SSHHHHHHH, The Ramones are in the Library of Congress
The Ramones’ 1976 eponymous debut album — which brought us “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,” and “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement” — is among the 25 recordings added Thursday to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
The LOC says*:
“The band’s first album captured the incandescence of guitarist Johnny Ramone’s speedy no-nonsense playing, Dee Dee Ramone’s propulsive bass and the surfy sonorities of Tommy’s drums. The youthful tone of Joey Ramone’s singing voice was equally influenced by Iggy Pop and bubblegum rock. When combined with the backing vocals and lyrics portraying teen love and anxiety, it gave the album a strong pop flavor despite its heavy sound and the disturbing aspects of other songs dealing with drug use, Nazism and male prostitution.”
Rocket engines that may have powered the flight of the first man to walk on the moon have been recovered off the coast of Florida from a depth of nearly three miles beneath the ocean’s surface.
Well, parts of some of them have been found and hauled up, according to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos. He and an “A-team” of experts were in search of the historic F-1 engines used on Apollo 11. Whether they found them, or engines from another Apollo flight, isn’t clear. A forthcoming restoration effort may answer that question. (NPR)
On February 27, 2013, a statue of Rosa Parks commissioned by Congress was unveiled in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol, approximately 100 years after her birth on February 4, 1913. Rosa Parks, whose arrest in 1955 for refusing to yield her seat on a segregated bus to a white passenger helped ignite the modern American civil rights movement. This bronze statue depicts Parks seated on a rock-like formation of which she seems almost a part, symbolizing her famous refusal to give up her bus seat. The statue is close to nine feet tall including its pedestal. It weighs 600 pounds and its granite pedestal, partially hollowed out inside, weighs 2,100 pounds. The pedestal is made of Raven Black granite and inscribed simply with her name and life dates, “Rosa Parks/1913–2005.” (Architect of the Capitol)
“We know instinctively that not everything we come to believe as history is true. But we want it to be.”
Gwen Ifill explores the untold stories of Rosa Parks, who would have turned 100-years-old this week, before and after the bus boycott of 1955. She talked with Jeanne Theoharis whose book, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” brings to light moments of Parks’ life, not in the history books. Watch the interview here.
A little of this I knew, but there was a lot here I did not know. — tanya b.
In the unlikely scenario that you one day find yourself delivering an inaugural address, there are a few things you should know. Our systematic and scientific analysis of past inaugural addresses has yielded 11 easy steps to the perfect speech.
There is any number of “first disco records.” But there is no question that the first recorded disco mix — the first collection of songs beat-matched on tape to facilitate nonstop dancing — came from Tom Moulton.
In 1971, Moulton — a former A&R man for King Records, the home of James Brown in the 1950s and ’60s, who’d briefly quit the music business and become a model — was inspired by a visit to New York’s Fire Island to try his hand at making the dance floor experience more seamless. As Moulton told NPR last March, he spent 80 hours splicing together a reel-to-reel mix of current hits — then began to make them every few months for the Sandpiper, a Fire Island club.
But maybe his most important accidental creation came in 1974, when Moulton pressed his re-edit of Al Downing’s “I’ll Be Holding On” with a 12-inch acetate rather than the normal 7-inch ones used for singles. It was simple physics— wider grooves contain more information — and the sound quality was huge, bassy and powerful: perfect for DJs working with big systems, and expanding the canvas for musicians. (NPR)
Photo: Gloria Gaynor, whose cover of the Jackson 5’s”Never Can Say Goodbye” was one of the first songs included in a side-long megamix, in the 1970s. (Echoes/Redferns)
Today’s 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam got us thinking: What if Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner could revisit some of the original sites he photographed? If he used his equipment today, what would the images look like? That is: How have the landscapes changed — or stayed the same? (NPR)
Photo: The area around the white brick Dunker Church was a scene of heavy fighting. Men had been carried from the places where they fell, in preparation for burial. (Todd Harrington and Library of Congress)