One of the many very cool tune collections on this new LC site.
I wanted to call your attention to the National Jukebox project at the Library of Congress. Launched in May, the National Jukebox is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment. The new website features over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings produced between 1901 and 1925 by the Victor Talking Machine Co.
While most of it is music, there is a "spoken word" category that includes speeches by William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Warren G. Harding. Thought your readers of Viral History might like to take it for a spin: http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/. Click on "genres" on the left to locate the spoken word recordings.
Hope you're having a great summer.
Robin Rausch is a writer and Senior Music Specialist at the Library of Congress.
I checked this out and found amazing things: Ragtime, Yiddish theatre, old banjo bluegrass and blues, politicians and comedians in dozens of languages. Some were scratchy, clearly recorded from old 78 rpm records, but that just adds to the sense of time. My favorite was a 1912 recording of Theodore Roosevelt ranting against big business bosses: Here's the link. All best. -KA