Washington, DC (April 5, 2017)—Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has named the 25 recordings added this year to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress because of their cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.
Judy Garland’s hit single “Over The Rainbow”; the original-cast album of The Wiz; the rap group N.W.A’s seminal album, Straight Outta Compton; the Eagles’ 1976 Their Greatest Hits; and others have been designated as aural treasures worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.
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.
The recordings named to the registry feature a rich and diverse array of spoken-word and musical recordings-representing nearly every musical category-spanning the years 1888 to 1997. Among the 2016 selections are Harry Richman’s 1929 “Puttin’ on the Ritz”; Big Mama Thornton’s 1953 “Hound Dog”; Sonny Rollins’ 1956 “Saxophone Colossus”; Wilson Pickett’s 1965 “In the Midnight Hour”; Talking Heads’ 1980 Remain in Light; Marty Robbins’ 1959 Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs; the 1960 album The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery; David Bowie’s 1972 apocalyptic concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; and Sister Sledge’s 1979 hit single. “We Are Family.”
Barbra Streisand’s 1964 debut hit single, “People,” was also tapped for a place in the registry.
The recordings selected for the 2016 registry bring the total number of titles on the registry to 475, a small part of the Library’s vast recorded-sound collection of nearly 3 million items.
Library of Congress