In the past year YouTube has evolved from a curiosity into a major online resource. If you’re interested in seeing rare film and video clips by a fast-growing number of great performers of the past, you’ll find them there–but only if you have the patience to sift through the innumerable postings of nitwits who think the world is waiting with bated breath to see their homemade music videos.
From time to time I’ve passed on links to interesting videos that I’ve found on other blogs, but it never occurred to me to try making this blog a one-stop portal to the wonders of YouTube–until now. Take a look at the “Sites to See” module of the right-hand column and you’ll find that it ends with a brand-new roll of selected culture- and history-oriented video links, most (but not all) of them to YouTube. So far as I know, this is the first such list to appear anywhere on the Web.
In addition to blogrolling the links I’ve already mentioned on “About Last Night,” I recently spent several hours trolling through YouTube in search of still more buried treasure. The results are now available for your amusement and edification. Most of the videos to which I’ve linked are familiar to specialists, but my guess is that you’ll find quite a few that are new to you.
This is an experiment. You’re invited to take part by sending me any choice culture-related links that you run across in the course of your own YouTube explorations. As you’ll see, I’ve tried to be selective, so keep in mind that for the moment I’m more interested in increasing the total number of artists represented than in posting additional links to videos by those artists already included on the list–though I’ll be more than happy to make room for something that’s really good. (In addition, please let me know if any of the existing links have gone dead since I posted them.)
UPDATE: I’ve also added a similar list of links to RealAudio and QuickTime files of spoken-word recordings by artists and other historical figures.