WASHINGTON -- A high school band plays Beethoven. President Calvin Coolidge delivers his inaugural address. Fats Domino turns ''Blueberry Hill," a hit for big-band leader Glenn Miller, into a rock 'n' roll classic.
They're among the 50 records that the Library of Congress this year has deemed worthy of preservation.
''The National Recording Registry represents a stunning array of the diversity, humanity, and creativity found in our sound heritage, nothing less than a flood of noise and sound pulsating into the American bloodstream," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in announcing the choices for 2006.
The library took the occasion to announce a rare find: a 1940 jam session featuring tenor saxophonist Lester Young. The nightclub couldn't be positively identified, said Gene DeAnna, head of the library's recorded sound section, but it may have been the Village Vanguard in downtown Manhattan.
''It wasn't Carnegie Hall," DeAnna said at a news conference. ''At one point you can hear the MC announcing, 'The chili con carne is ready, if anyone wants to order it.' "
Loren Schoenberg, executive director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, compared it to finding a Shakespeare sonnet or a short story by Ernest Hemingway.
The library also announced that it had recently received 186 test pressings of records made in the late 1950s or early '60s, among them 25 songs by bluesman Robert Johnson. The pressings, donated by blues collector Tom Jacobsen, were used to make the first Johnson reissue anthology, ''King of the Delta Blues," which influenced the Rolling Stones and other groups.
The Modesto, Calif., High School band did well in competitions of the 1920s and '30s. Few high school bands were recorded until the late 1940s, making the Modesto school's 1930 version of Beethoven's ''Egmont Overture" a rarity.
Coolidge, known as a man of few words, spoke for 47 minutes in the first broadcast inaugural address. A circuit of 21 radio stations was put together for the event in 1925.
Domino recorded his relaxed version of ''Blueberry Hill," adding Creole cadences, in Los Angeles in 1956. He was inspired by a Louis Armstrong version of the song, which Miller had taken to number one in 1940.
Other rock classics being inducted include Jerry Lee Lewis's ''Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and Buddy Holly's ''That'll Be the Day," both from 1957; the Jimi Hendrix Experience's ''Are You Experienced?" from 1967; and Sonic Youth's landmark noise-rock album ''Daydream Nation" from 1988.
Other sounds to be preserved include a radio broadcast by Clem McCarthy of Joe Louis's first-round knockout of Max Schmeling in 1938. The audience was estimated at 70 million. ''The symbolism of an African-American defeating a citizen of the political state that proclaimed the superiority of the white race was lost on no one," the library commented.
Samuel Barber's ''Adagio for Strings" was performed the same year by the NBC Symphony, led by Arturo Toscanini. The library noted that the work has been called the ''American anthem for sadness and grief."
Every year since 2000, the library has registered recordings ''that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." Last year it unveiled newly discovered tapes of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane from 1957, a discovery that yielded one of the top-selling jazz CDs of 2005.