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Library of Congress
Inventor Emile Berliner's recitation of the Lord's Prayer, recorded on his gramophone in 1888, rates as one of the oldest entries on the Library of Congress' latest list of sounds for digital preservation.
updated 3/23/2004 1:13:07 PM ET 2004-03-23T18:13:07

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 Friday. 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 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.

Alongside the Beatles’ 1967 Sgt. Pepper album, considered a groundbreaking rock classic , are selections from Chuck Barry, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Marvin Gaye and Carole King.

From Broadway come George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”

Evangelist Billy Graham speaks on “Problems of the American Home,” and then there’s the first broadcast in 1974 of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

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

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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