click to enlarge gramophone.jpg

Library of Congress

loc.gov/jukebox

American Idol has nothing on Tin Pan Alley. The Library of Congress has launched its streaming National Jukebox at loc.gov/jukebox. Imagine your iPhone or laptop as a Victrola or gramophone as you access more than 10,000 78-rpm discs issued between 1900 and 1925. We're talking George M. Cohan, John Phillip Sousa and Al Jolson--the Bieber, Cee Lo and Diddy of their day.

You'll hear band music, dance rhythms and Broadway hits from the early 20th century. For the better part of a year, Library of Congress audio engineers and sound technicians have been transferring once-lost master recordings into digital copies. Their painstaking work was unveiled to the public last week.

New preservations are promised every month. If Pandora just doesn't soothe your fever for Enrico Caruso, National Jukebox has the cure for your retro blues.

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