December 20, 2011 Real to Reel Musical Legends Showcased in Tribute to the National Recording Registry

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation pays tribute to the nation’s aural heritage in its January film series. Features include a combination of musical biopics, documentaries and films featuring recordings selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry or showcased on the National Jukebox website. The screenings in the plush state-of-the-art theater in Culpeper, Va. will feature such notables found on the registry as Mick Jagger, Nat “King” Cole, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, George Harrison, Orson Welles and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” for preservation in the National Recording Registry ( The Library’s National Jukebox ( is an interactive website streaming historic sound recordings from the Victor Talking Machine Co. collection, which includes popular music, dance music, opera, early jazz, famous speeches, poetry and humor. The site includes innovative features that allow users to create and share their own playlists.

Programs in the film series are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. Some screenings will also include short subjects before the main feature. Titles are subject to change without notice.

All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For reservation information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during business hours, beginning one week before any given screening. Reservations will be held until 10 minutes before showtime. In case of inclement weather, call the theater reservation line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations. For further information on the theater and film series, visit

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings ( The Packard Campus is home to more than 6 million collection items, including nearly 3 million sound recordings. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board, and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

Series Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m.
“St. Louis Blues”
(Paramount, 1958)
Based on the life of the “Father of the Blues,” legendary composer and musician W.C. Handy, this musical biography stars Nat “King” Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald. A 1921 recording of Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” is on the Library of Congress National Jukebox website. Also featured is the short documentary, “Nat ‘King’ Cole Musical Story” (Universal, 1955).

Friday, Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m.
“The Concert for Bangladesh”
(20th Century-Fox, 1972)
Beatles legend George Harrison organized and headlined a concert to fund relief efforts for Bangladesh refugees. Saul Swimmer directed a film of the concert, featuring such performers as Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Ravi Shankar.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2 p.m.
(Disney, 1940)
Walt Disney’s second animated feature is the story of the puppet Pinocchio who, with the help of Jiminy Cricket as his conscience, proves himself worthy of becoming a real boy. The song “When You Wish Upon a Star,” sung by Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket, was added to the National Recording Registry in 2009. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 1994. The screening also includes a showing of “Royal Rodeo” (Warner Bros., 1939), a musical short with Cliff Edwards and John Payne.

Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.
“The Great Caruso”
(MGM, 1951)
This fictionalized biography of the life of the great tenor Enrico Caruso was directed by Richard Thorpe and stars Mario Lanza and Ann Blyth. Caruso’s 1907 recording of “Vesti la giubba” from “Pagliacci” was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2002.

Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
(Triton Pictures, 1992)
This documentary about the variations on the dance “The Twist” includes interviews with such early rock ‘n’ rollers as Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, Hank Ballard and Joey Dee.

“Theremin: An Electric Odyssey” (Orion Classics, 1994)
Steven M. Martin directed this study of the inventor of the first electronic synthesizer instrument, including a history of his instrument. The film features interviews with Leon Theremin, Robert Moog and Brian Wilson.

Friday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.
“The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez”
(Embassy Pictures, 1982)
Edward James Olmos and James Gammon star in this historical drama based on a true incident in Gonzales, Texas in 1901, revolving around a stolen horse, mistaken identity and a killing. The story became the basis for the folk song “Gregorio Cortez,” recorded by Trovadores Regionales in 1929. It was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2004.

Saturday, Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.
(Warner Bros., 1970)
James Fox and Mick Jagger star in this crime drama about a wounded mobster who holes up in a reclusive rock star’s decaying mansion. Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg directed this R-rated film.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.
“Funny Girl”
(Columbia, 1968)
The life of comedienne Fannie Brice is explored from her early days in the Lower East Side of New York to the height of her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, including her romance with gambler Nick Arnstein. Directed by William Wyler, this musical comedy-drama stars Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Walter Pidgeon. Brice’s recording of “Second Hand Rose” (1921) was added to the National Recording Registry in 2005.

Friday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.
“Follow the Boys”
(Universal, 1944)
A. Edward Sutherland directed an all-star cast of Universal Studios talent in this story about a former vaudeville performer turned movie actor who organizes U.S.O. shows. George Raft, The Andrews Sisters, Sophie Tucker, Orson Welles and Artur Rubenstein are featured in this musical comedy.

Saturday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.
“King: A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis”
(Marion Films, 1970)
Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed this biographical documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented in the form of newsreel footage and recordings by King. King’s 1963 speech “I Have a Dream” was added to the National Recording Registry in 2002. The documentary was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1999.


PR 11-238
ISSN 0731-3527