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The National Jukebox

May 10, 2011

Want to see what happens when your computer turns in to a 1925 grammy phone? Sony Music Entertainment and the Library of Congress today announced a historic partnership to make Sony’s pre-1925 catalog available to the public for the first time digitally via a new website called the “National Jukebox” where visitors can stream music and view thousands of label images, record-catalog illustrations, and artist and performer bios. The catalog consists of more than 10,000 rare vintage recordings from a wide variety of genres, from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s “Livery Stable Blues” – widely considered to be the first jazz recording ever released– to Lena Horne’s 1923 hit “T’aint Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do”  to comedy skits by the Vaudeville team of Gallagher and Shean.

Wait, it doesn’t stop there. Not only does the “National Jukebox” allow users to stream these treasured recordings but they can also create their own playlists by genre, time period, artist and other themes that can be posted on a user’s Facebook page and shared with friends. Users can also further explore the catalog by accessing special interactive features and listening to playlists curated by Library staff and guest programmers.

And if you’re a big opera fan, or if opera’s not quite your thing but you want to impress a cute girl or boy who happens to dig arias, you’ve hit the mother lode, my friend. The National Jukebox includes a comprehensive digitized opera guide book called the “Victor Book of the Opera” that features aria comparisons by different Victor label performers, opera plot outlines, illustrations and much more to help any user bone up on this historical genre and blow away the competition.

This historic initiative represents another great example of the fantastic benefit to consumers made by the marriage of music and technology. We commend Sony Music and the Library of Congress for this great effort that encourages music fans to dive deep into our musical history and discover the rich sounds of the early 20th century. That’s an effort we can always get behind. So dive in and enjoy!


Cara Duckworth Weiblinger, Vice President, Communications, RIAA