Washington, DC (March 24, 2016)—“Metallica, Wilt Chamberlain and Bobby Darin go into a library.” It sounds like the set-up to a joke, but it’s true. Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao has named 25 new sound recordings to the National Recording Registry—a list which now includes those notables.
Two cuts at Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife”—by Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin—will join Billy Joel’s single “Piano Man,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,” a recording of the fourth quarter of Wilt Chamberlain’s historic 100-point game and a poignant capture of Mahler’s ninth symphony among the recordings recently selected for induction into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
The 2015 registry selections span the years 1911-1986. Among the selections are the rock group Santana’s 1970 album Abraxas, two blues numbers from the 1920s (Clarence Williams’ 1923 “Wild Cat Blues” and Blind Willie McTell’s 1928 “Statesboro Blues”), Julie London’s 1955 recording of “Cry Me A River,” George Marshall’s 1947 speech outlining the Marshall Plan to restore Europe following World War II, saxophonist John Coltrane’s 1964 oeuvre A Love Supreme, Merle Haggard’s 1968 song “Mama Tried,” Clifton Chenier’s 1976 Zydeco album “Bogalusa Boogie,” Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 1964 album It’s My Way, George Carlin’s groundbreaking 1972 comedy album Class Clown and Metallica’s 1986 takeoff from its thrash-metal roots, Master of Puppets.
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), annually selects 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old. The selections for the 2015 registry bring the total number of recordings on the registry to 450, only a minuscule portion of the Library’s vast recorded-sound collection of more than 3 million items.
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.
Library of Congress