To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.
The National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress honors and preserves recordings of significant cultural, musical and historical value. The registry contains 17 recordings that has ties to Kansas City.
Scott Joplin, Ragtime Compositions on Piano Rolls. Joplin is best associated with Sedalia, Mo., where he lived for about six years, but his first compositions were published by Kansas City companies. Joplin created these piano rolls in the early 1900s, when he was most likely living in St. Louis.
Ko-Ko, Charlie Parker. This landmark 1945 is thought to be the first be-bop recording. Written by Parker, the Kansas City native, the recording also features Dizzie Gillespie on trumpet.
What’d I Say, Ray Charles, and Respect, Aretha Franklin. Both recordings were produced by Jerry Wexler, who attended what is now Kansas State University.
Body and Soul, Coleman Hawkins. Recorded in 1939, this jazz standard has influenced several generations of tenor sax players. Born in St. Joseph, Mo., Hawkins was one of three area players who defined jazz tenor in the 1940s, the other two being Lester Young and Ben Webster.
In the Mood, the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Miller Orchestra’s signature song was arranged by Eddie Durham, a guitarist and arranger who was part of the Kansas City jazz community in the 1920s and 1930s.
Four Saints in Three Acts, Virgil Thomson. Thomson, the noted classical composer and music critic, was born and grew up in Kansas City. This landmark opera featured an all-black cast and a libretto by writer Gertrude Stein. It debuted on Broadway in February 1934. The 1947 cast recording was included in the registry.
Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy. One track from this historic hip-hop recording, Welcome to the Terrordome, uses a sample featuring drummer James Gadson. A Kansas City native, Gadson has played on more than 300 gold records and has been heavily sampled by a wide variety of hip-hop artists.