Sports radio isn’t big just in radio. It’s
also taking a larger role at the Library of Congress.
library — claimant as holder of the largest collection of sound recordings in
the world — is acquiring interview recordings from the radio program “Sports
Byline USA.” The shows, hosted by Ron Barr, date to the period 1988–2003. Later
programs are planned to be added. The show continues today.
Among the highlights is what organizers describe as the largest archive of
audio interviews with Negro League players.
the beginning of a three-year collaboration with the program’s producers to
preserve these historic interviews and to make them available for listening on
a streaming basis free to the public on the Library’s website,” the
Pretty cool. I heartily endorse
such programs that aim to save and protect our cultural content for the future.
Sometimes I marvel at how much interesting information passes us by in the
course of our daily and weekly lives, unsaved or unpreserved, whether it be
audio, video or data in other forms.
highlights, according to the library, are Mickey Mantle talking in 1994 about his
drinking and the death of his father; Willie Mays, the show’s first studio
guest, in 1988, talking about Negro League players; and Bill Russell discussing
his relationship with Wilt Chamberlain. Sports
President Darren Peck told the library, “One of the things that
makes this archive unique is there won’t be any more interviews with Bob
Feller, George Steinbrenner, Bill Walsh, Kirby Puckett, Joe Frazier, Evel
Knievel, Dale Earnhardt and others who have passed away, but we have them in
our extraordinary library sharing their lives, careers, successes and failures.”
Interviews will be preserved digitally at the Library’s
Packard Campus for Audiovisual Conservation
in Culpeper, Va., a place I hope to
visit at some point because the library’s conservation of radio and audio
content is a fascinating topic in itself.