January 22, 2011

Vintage 365: Library of Congress to steam 200,000 vintage songs from Universal online

Day 22 of Vintage 365

{Talented songstress trio the Andrews Sisters, seen here, are among the many wonderful artists whose work will appear in the upcoming Library of Congress release of over 200,000 classic Universal song recordings. Vintage photo of the Andrews Sisters via last.fm.}
One of the fascinating perks of being married to someone whose personal and professional interests often differ significantly from your own is that it provides your with a window into sources of knowledge and inspiration you might not otherwise encounter. Case in point, because of my husband's involvement in the tech community, I've come to follow a fair number of sites that cover exciting news pertaining in some way to technology.

Recently a story (including a press release) on one such site, called engadget.com, caught both my vintage and music loving eye. In order to help preserve and ensure that in this modern era of digital media classic music recordings do not potentially go the way of the dinosaur, Universal Music Group recently announced that they'll soon be donating more than 200,000 master recordings of early 20th century music (specifically songs that were recorded during the years spanning the 1920s through the late 40s) to the Library of Congress.

Amongst the works that will be uploaded and streamed online by the Library of Congress in the not-too-distant future are many original copies (some of which are out of print or have never been released before) by legendary vintage artists like Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, and Billie Holiday.

This amazing roundup of songs, which is has been dubbed The Universal Music Collection, consists of Universal's best existing copies, all of which are going to be digitized and catalogued at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, before this stellar plethora of vintage tunes is released to the public on a (thus far undisclosed) website this coming spring.

I think this is superb, important project that will benefit many, many generations to come, and I sincerely appreciate what Universal has decided to do for the sake of preserving some of the most wonderful music of all time.

You can bet I'm going to be keeping my eyes - and ears - peeled for the launch of that website (or link on the Library of Congress website, if they decide to go that route), and will definitely keep you informed of any updates on this story that I come across (perhaps on another one of those fascinating tech news centered sites I have my sweet hubby to thank for introducing me to).


  1. What fabulous news! Can't wait for this to be launched! Thanks for the info xx

  2. looking forward to this streaming!

  3. OOOOH this is music to my ears. Keep us posted!

  4. Thanks for the info! I look forward to finding out about the site, here first, of course!

  5. this is a really interesting topic for a post, something a bit different for our vintage blogs but very relevant. Thanks for educating me on this!

  6. Oh my goodness, please do share when you find out more about this. How exciting!!