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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

UMG Donates 200,000 Masters to Library of Congress

UMG Donates 200,000 Masters to Library of Congress


Judy Garland, recording for
UMG's Decca label, circa 1940.
Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2011)--Universal Music Group (UMG) has donated more than 200,000 historic master recordings—many long out-of-print or never released—to the Library of Congress’ Recorded Sound Section, which has more than 3 million sound recordings in its collections.

Totaling in excess of 5,000 linear feet, UMG’s gift is the largest single donation ever received by the Library’s audio-visual division and the first major collection of studio master materials ever obtained by the nation’s oldest cultural institution. Among the collection’s thousands of metal and lacquer discs and master mono tapes are released and unreleased versions of recordings by such seminal artists as Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Billie Holiday, the Andrews Sisters, Connee Boswell, Jimmy Dorsey, the Mills Brothers, Guy Lombardo, Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Waring, Judy Garland, and Dinah Washington, among others.

They include:

• Bing Crosby’s 1947 version of "White Christmas"
• Louis Armstrong singing "Ain’t Misbehavin’"
• The Mills Brothers’ "Paper Doll"
•  Ella Fitzgerald’s and Louis Armstrong’s duet "Frim Fram Sauce"
• Les Paul’s "Guitar Boogie"
• Josh White singing "Jim Crow"
• Machito and his Afro-Cuban All Stars Mercury recordings

"It is certainly within the national interest to acquire this recorded collection, and all its accompanying materials, for custodial care," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "A surprisingly high percentage of America’s recording heritage since the early part of the 20th century has been lost due to neglect and deterioration. The donation of the UMG archive to the Library of Congress is a major gift to the nation that will help maintain the inter-generational connection that is essential to keeping alive, in our collective national memory, the music and sound recordings meaningful to past generations."

UMG has one of the most extensive catalogs of music in the world and its gift to the Library includes historic masters from such subsidiary labels as Decca, Mercury, Vocalion and Brunswick, dating from the late 1920s through the late 1940s. "Music is a distinctive feature of any historical period, and this particular collection of masters provides true insight into popular music’s humble beginnings and who we are as a culture today," said Zach Horowitz, UMG’s president and chief operating officer. "We are delighted to be collaborating with the Library of Congress to preserve and call attention to the groundbreaking musical achievements of these amazing musical pioneers."


UMG Donates 200,000 Masters to Library of Congress
UMG Donates 200,000 Masters to Library of Congress (Library of Congress)
A/V Conservation (Library of Congress)
Motion Picture and Television Reading Room (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress)
Recorded Sound Reference Center (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress)
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