These 25 Songs Have Been Added To The Library Of Congress, And It’s About Damn Time

By 03.27.15
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As they have done each year since 2002, the Library of Congress has inducted 25 songs (and/or albums) to be preserved forever in the National Recording Registry. This year’s selections are mixture of songs we both know and love, and some headscratchers.

The mission of inducting these songs into the Library of Congress is to preserve ‘American’ music. Here is the stated goal on their site: “Congress understood the importance of protecting America’s aural patrimony when it passed the National Recording Preservation Act 15 years ago,” said Billington. “By preserving these recordings, we safeguard the words, sounds and music that embody who we are as a people and a nation.”

And when I says ‘headscratchers’ I’m not talking about the ‘Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings’ from 1890, I’m wondering why in the heck the Library of Congress would induct Lauryn Hill after she spent time in prison for three counts of tax evasion? She’s not exactly a model citizen, nor is she a friend of the U.S. Government, yet she’s now forever preserved within the Library of Congress’ vaults.

Technically the selections are for ‘2014’, but they were announced this week and enter the Library of Congress in the year 2015. Here are this year’s 25 selections:

Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings at University of California, Santa Barbara Library (c.1890-1910)

The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection, recorded at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago (1893)

“The Boys of the Lough”/”The Humours of Ennistymon” (single)—Michael Coleman (1922)

“Black Snake Moan” / “Match Box Blues”(single)—Blind Lemon Jefferson (1927)

“Sorry, Wrong Number” (episode of “Suspense” radio series, May 25, 1943)

“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (single)—Johnny Mercer (1944)

Radio Coverage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Funeral—Arthur Godfrey, et al. (April 14, 1945)

“Kiss Me, Kate” (original cast album) (1949)

“John Brown’s Body” (album)—Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey; directed by Charles Laughton (1953)

“My Funny Valentine” (single)—The Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker (1953)

“Sixteen Tons” (single)—Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955)

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (single)—The Swan Silvertones (1959)

“Joan Baez” (album)—Joan Baez (1960)

“Stand by Me” (single)—Ben E. King (1961)

“New Orleans’ Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band” (album)—Sweet Emma and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band (1964)

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (single)—The Righteous Brothers (1964)

“The Doors” (album)—The Doors (1967)

“Stand!” (album)—Sly and the Family Stone (1969)

“Lincoln Mayorga and Distinguished Colleagues” (album)—Lincoln Mayorga (1968)

“A Wild and Crazy Guy” (album)—Steve Martin (1978)

“Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites” (album)—Various (1995)

“OK Computer” (album)—Radiohead (1997)

“Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody from Southeastern Kentucky” (album)—Indian Bottom Association (1997)

“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (album)—Lauryn Hill (1998)

“Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman” (album)—Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor; Joan Tower, composer (1999)

‘Stand By Me’ is an obvious selection, but some unexpected choices are ‘The Doors’, ‘Sesame Street’, and ‘OK Computer’ by Radiohead. All in all I’d have to say this year’s a pretty quality cross-section of American music.


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