Washington, DC (March 23, 2018)—Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” is now officially a national treasure with the announcement by the Library of Congress that the 1984 mega-hit joins 24 other iconic titles in the National Recording Registry.
Tony Bennett’s hit single, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”; the Latin beat of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine’s 1987 “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”; the timeless soundtrack of “The Sound of Music”; Run-DMC’s 1986 crossover hit album “Raising Hell”; and radio coverage of the birth of the U.N. have been honored for their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the American soundscape. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named these recordings and 20 other titles to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as aural treasures worthy of preservation.
“This annual celebration of recorded sound reminds us of our varied and remarkable American experience,” Hayden said. “The unique trinity of historic, cultural and aesthetic significance reflected in the National Recording Registry each year is an opportunity for reflection on landmark moments, diverse cultures and shared memories—all reflected in our recorded soundscape.”
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), is tasked with annually selecting 25 titles that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old. Nominations were gathered through online submissions from the public and from the NRPB, which is comprised of leaders in the fields of music, recorded sound and preservation.
The recordings selected for the class of 2017 bring the total number of titles on the registry to 500, a small part of the Library’s vast recorded-sound collection of nearly three million items.
The recordings named to the registry feature a rich and diverse array of spoken-word and musical recordings spanning the years 1911 to 1996. The selections range from American standards and live radio to crossover hip-hop and Latin sounds. Among the selections are the 1939 “If I Didn’t Care” by The Ink Spots; Merle Travis’ 1946 album “Folk Songs of the Hills”; the 1954 rock and roll anthem “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets; Harry Belafonte’s 1956 album “Calypso”; Fleetwood Mac’s landmark 1977 album “Rumours”; the disco single “Le Freak” by Chic in 1978; and Kenny Rogers’ 1978 single “The Gambler,” which was written by Don Schlitz.
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Some registry titles have already been preserved by the copyright holders, the artists or other archives. In cases where a selected title has not already been preserved, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the sound recording will be preserved by some entity and available to future generations, either through the Library’s recorded-sound preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, recording studios and independent producers.
2017 National Recording Registry (in chronological order)
“Dream Melody Intermezzo: Naughty Marietta” (single), Victor Herbert and his Orchestra (1911)
Standing Rock Preservation Recordings, George Herzog and Members of the Yanktoni Tribe (1928)
“Lamento Borincano” (single), Canario y Su Grupo (1930)
“Sitting on Top of the World” (single), Mississippi Sheiks (1930)
The Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas (album), Artur Schnabel (1932-1935)
“If I Didn’t Care” (single), The Ink Spots (1939)
Proceedings of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (4/25/45-6/26/45)
“Folk Songs of the Hills” (album), Merle Travis (1946)
“How I Got Over” (single), Clara Ward and the Ward Singers (1950)
“(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” (single), Bill Haley and His Comets (1954)
“Calypso” (album), Harry Belafonte (1956)
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco” (single), Tony Bennett (1962)
“King Biscuit Time” (radio), Sonny Boy Williamson II and others (1965)
“My Girl” (single), The Temptations (1964)
“The Sound of Music” (soundtrack), Various (1965)
“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (single), Arlo Guthrie (1967)
“New Sounds in Electronic Music” (album), Steve Reich, Richard Maxfield, Pauline Oliveros (1967)
“An Evening with Groucho” (album), Groucho Marx (1972)
“Rumours,” (album), Fleetwood Mac (1977)
“The Gambler” (single), Kenny Rogers (1978)
“Le Freak” (single), Chic (1978)
“Footloose” (single), Kenny Loggins (1984) remake released in 2011.
“Raising Hell” (album), Run-DMC (1986)
“Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” (single), Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine (1987)
“Yo-Yo Ma Premieres: Concertos for Violoncello and Orchestra” (album), Various (1996)