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Last year, Ronstadt revealed she’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She said the progressive effects of the disease have taken away her singing, and she misses it.

“You wake up in the morning and go ‘Well, can I still walk? Does this leg work? Does that leg work?” Ronstadt said. “But something’s going to get ya. So that got me.”

For the first time, the recordings being preserved this year also include extensive White House recordings, capturing the era of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The set includes 9,400 telephone conversations, 77 cabinet-room meetings totaling nearly 850 hours. Barton said the Johnson recordings represent a dramatic time in history and a colorful character.

“This was not a boring person,” Barton said. “He was certainly very direct and very earthy but also very interesting.”


Library of Congress: