A Mile of Music.
The Library of Congress has begun taking possession of a huge donation of recordings, some 200,000 metal, glass and lacquer master discs from the period 1926 to 1948 that have been languishing in the subterranean vaults of Universal Music Group, the largest music conglomerate in the United States.
The bequest, which is to be formally announced on Monday, contains music representing every major genre of American popular song of that era — jazz, blues, country and the smooth pop of the pre-rock-’n’-roll period — as well as some light classical and spoken-word selections. One historic highlight is the master recording of Bing Crosby’s 1947 version of “White Christmas,” which according to Guinness World Records is the best-selling single of all time.
Fun Fact: According to Tablet, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is one of the 100 Greatest Jewish Songs of All Time.
The typically modest Berlin:
“Not only is it the best song I ever wrote,” said Irving Berlin when he finished writing “White Christmas,” “it’s the best song anybody ever wrote.”