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NPR Seeks Voices

Informal contest to set stage for year-long program

For the next couple of weeks, through Nov. 16, NPR is encouraging listeners to go to its Web site to vote in the “50 Great Voices” poll.

Those chosen will be featured in a year-long retrospect series of excerpts airing through 2010.

There are more than 100 nominated voices to choose from. Some are obvious candidates: Elvis Presley, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke; others are less known, often foreign, if not downright obscure. NPR is confident that each, popular or not, is worthy and unique.

To prevent the inevitable mass of “How could you leave out…?” complaints, NPR states, “The series isn’t an attempt to catalog the so-called ‘greatest’ singers. Instead, we hope to discover and rediscover awe-inspiring vocalists from around the world and across time.”

Each person gets to vote for five of the nominees.