The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

March 21, 2013

Simon & Garfunkel song among those to be preserved

WASHINGTON — Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Sound of Silence,” which was written amid the turmoil following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, will join Chubby Checker’s 1960s dance hit “The Twist” as two of 25 recordings selected for preservation at the Library of Congress.

These are just a few sounds of the 20th century being added to the National Recording Registry on Thursday for long-term preservation due to their cultural, artistic and historic importance. The library said Checker’s rendition of “The Twist” became a symbol for the energy and excitement of the early 60s after “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark chose Checker to record a new version of the song.

Later, the 1966 album “Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was a hit in its day but not before the duo struggled and split early on. Their song “The Sound of Silence” from the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago this year had initially flopped — but it became a hit after it was re-edited as a single. That prompted the duo to reunite and quickly record another album under a similar title.

Garfunkel, 71, told The Associated Press he’s thrilled and flattered to have his work preserved in the Library of Congress. He said the hit album was a life changer for him and Simon. “Da da dee, da dee, da dee,” he sang in an interview.

“There’s something fundamentally appealing about the simplicity of those lines,” Garfunkel said.

“When you look at the little mesh, wire microphone ... and you address people on the other side of the mic, you hope that your performance will be special, and you hope that it will have lasting power,” he said, adding that he remembers thinking in the 60s that “if we do really good and give a very special performance to these great Paul Simon songs, we might last right into the next century and be appreciated.”

Their words and their tune have taken on special significance in American culture. Hearing Simon sing “The Sound of Silence” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, NBC newsman Tom Brokaw briefly struggled for composure. The music, he said, evokes memories.

This is the kind of impact the library was looking to preserve, “to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio heritage,” said Librarian of Congress James Billington in announcing the selections.

The recording that received the highest number of public nominations for this year’s registry was Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.” The library said it was notable as an example of “brilliant, innovative production in service of the music.”

Other selections included the original 1949 cast album for “South Pacific” and the soundtrack to the popular 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta and featuring the Bee Gees, which revived the disco craze.

The selections span from 1918 to 1980 and represent nearly every musical and recording category.

Recordings by Will Rogers, Jimmie Davis and President Dwight D. Eisenhower capture part of the political climate of their eras. In 1931, Rogers’ radio broadcast at a low point in the Great Depression included a folksy chat with President Herbert Hoover to kick off a nationwide unemployment relief campaign. Davis’ 1940 recording of “You Are My Sunshine” became his election campaign theme song while running for governor of Louisiana. It became one of the most popular country songs of all time and the state song of Louisiana in 1977.

Eisenhower’s voice was carried in a prerecorded message in 1958 carried by the first communications satellite launched on a U.S. rocket. Eisenhower’s message of peace to the world transmitted from space was touted as a victory in the space race after the Soviet Union launched a satellite the year before.

Van Cliburn’s Cold War piano performance in Moscow when he won the prestigious Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition at 23 also was selected. At the time in 1958, Time magazine noted his appearance and tour of the Soviet Union “has had more favorable impact on more Russians than any U.S. export of word or deed since World War II.”

Earlier this year, the Library of Congress unveiled an extensive plan to help libraries and archives nationwide preserve recorded sound to guard against losing historic recordings. It’s proposing 32 recommendations to Congress on actions to preserve endangered audio.

For his part, Garfunkel said he’s still working, writing poems, putting together a book and singing. He said he’s working to regain his voice after having vocal troubles. And he said he’s ramping up to get back to the stage and wouldn’t rule out a reunion with Simon when the time is right.

“Who knows what the future brings?” Garfunkel said. “This is my old buddy, the first friend I made in life.”

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014