- The Washington Times - Friday, March 19, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An 1888 recitation of “The Lord’s Prayer,” the original cast recording of “Oklahoma!” and the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album will be enshrined together in the nation’s registry of historic sound.

They are among the second group of 50 recordings chosen to be digitally preserved by the Library of Congress in an annual program similar to the library’s more-established registry of films.

This year’s list begins with inventor Emile Berliner, a pioneer of recorded sound, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” A year earlier, he had won his patent for a gramophone that played a flat-disc record instead of the wax cylinders that held the first sound recordings.

The list’s two most recent recordings date to 1975: Bruce Springsteen’s rock album “Born to Run” and the Fania All-Stars’ salsa performance at Yankee Stadium.

Nominations from the public are accepted for the recording registry, and a special board advises Librarian of Congress James H. Billington on the final choices, which he announced yesterday. Entries must be at least 10 years old.

This year’s additions include the first children’s book that was bound with recordings in 1917; the inaugural ceremony of President John F. Kennedy, including a reading by poet Robert Frost; and a radio broadcast of the fourth game of the 1941 World Series, when Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen’s infamous dropped third strike handed the New York Yankees the win. The Yankees won the World Series the next day.

There’s also a 1921 re-enactment by former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan of his “Cross of Gold” speech at the Democratic convention of 1896.

“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold,” Bryan famously intoned in his unsuccessful plea to free the U.S. dollar from the gold standard.

The library is accepting nominations for the next 50 items in the registry.

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