Library of Congress Builds 1925's Most Advanced Jukebox

Sneezes, jazz, and William Jennings Bryan speeches, together at last

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Good news, Dixieland jazz fans--the Library of Congress and Sony Music are teaming up on a new project that will allow every American unfettered access to the original recording of "Muskrat Ramble."

They're calling it the National Jukebox, a new Web site featuring over 10,000 recordings from 1901 through 1925. (Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Sony controls much of the back catalog of pre-1934 recordings.) The site, which went live today, has usage rights to Sony's entire pre-1925 catalog. Don't like music? That's OK. The jukebox also features "political speeches by Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft," "recitings of famous popular poems," and "early sound-effects records such as a collection of snores and sneezes."

It's actually pretty nifty, but we wish the recordings weren't just available on a streaming-only basis. We want one of these sneezes as our ringtone.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.