Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings, at least 10 years old, that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” to add to the National Recording Registry. The newest additions were announced April 2, 2014. These bring the registry total to 400 recordings. From the official press release:
The selections named to the registry feature a diverse array of spoken-word and musical recordings—representing nearly every musical category—spanning the years 1896-1994. Among this year’s selections are U2’s revolutionary 1987 album “The Joshua Tree”; the Depression-era tune “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” that generated two best-selling singles by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee in 1932; Roland Hayes’ moving rendition of the spiritual, “Were You There”; the first commercial breakthrough single for The Louvin Brothers, “When I Stop Dreaming”; the Everly Brothers’ 1960 hit, “Cathy’s Clown,” which influenced a generation of musicians, including the Beatles; the 1962 comedy album spoofing President John F. Kennedy and his family, pulled from distribution following his assassination; Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 war-protest song, “Fortunate Son”; the original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical, “Sweeney Todd”; and Linda Ronstadt’s 1974 groundbreaking album, “Heart Like a Wheel.”
Additions to the registry feature notable performances by Art Blakey, Louis Jordan, Elmore James, Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco, Aaron Copland and Larry Norman, among others. The 2013 registry also features rare interviews with baseball pioneers of the late 19th and 20th centuries and field recordings documenting the culture and traditions of a Native American tribe.
As part of its congressional mandate, the Library is identifying and preserving the best existing versions of each recording on the registry. These recordings will be housed in the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.
You can view a chronological list of all 400 recordings on the full National Recording Registry.
The UB Music Library has many of the musical selections available:
- Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (singles)—Bing Crosby; Rudy Vallee (both 1932). CD 6032: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? American Song during the Great Depression
- Dust My Broom (single)—Elmore James (1951). CD 12380: Shake Your Money Maker: The Best of the Fire Sessions / Elmore James
- A Night at Birdland (Vols. 1 and 2) (albums)—Art Blakey (1954). CD 12223/24: A Night at Birdland / Art Blakey
- Fortunate Son (single)—Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969). Record X3936: Willy and the Poorboys / Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Theme from ‘Shaft’ (album)—Isaac Hayes (1971). Record 16134/35: Shaft / Isaac Hayes
- Sweeney Todd (album)—Original Cast Recording (1979). CD 13064/65: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street / music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ; book by Hugh Wheeler. (Sing along with the vocal score, M933 So57 sw)
- The Joshua Tree (album)—U2 (1987). CD 4807: The Joshua Tree / U2
Copland Conducts Copland: Appalachian Spring—Aaron Copland (1974). Record 9077