Jonathan Rhodes Lee (Music) recently had an article published by the U.S. Library of Congress as part of its National Recording Registry. This program honors 25 recordings each year that showcase "the range and diversity of American recorded sound heritage." The registry pursues this aim by preserving original media, making digital versions of these audio recordings streamable, and inviting scholars to pen essays describing the significance and history of these works.
Lee's essay focuses on Alex North's soundtrack to A Streetcar Named Desire (Warner Bros., 1951). It demonstrates the ways that North's music, which blends jazz and symphonic idioms, reflects the complex depictions of the American South in Tennessee Williams's original script and Elia Kazan's film adaptation.