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Heard on the Hill: Historical Jukebox

In the Library of Congress, one usually hears discussions about history or policy.

But come Tuesday, a splash of something different will come when the one and only Harry Connick Jr. croons his way into the hearts of researchers and maybe even the Librarian of Congress himself.

Connick, along with Librarian of Congress James Billington and Sony Music Entertainment President Richard Story, will present the launch of National Jukebox, a free interactive website from the LOC’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. The website will feature 10,000 historic sound recordings, including popular music, dance music, opera, early jazz, famous speeches, poetry and comedy routines. The website will allow users to create and share their own playlists.

An LOC spokeswoman wasn’t sure whether the Librarian of Congress was personally a fan of Connick’s, but if he isn’t already, maybe he’ll be converted with the performer’s rendition of “I’m Wild About Harry” (rather appropriate, in HOH’s opinion). The song is featured in the National Jukebox and was written by music legend Eubie Blake.

The event will also feature a short film of a 9-year-old Connick performing with Blake.

HOH wonders whether Connick will get an encore. And if you’re reading this, Harry, we’d love a live rendition of “It Had to Be You.”