{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/navcc.php' }

National Recording Registry Welcomes 25 New Works!

Today’s post is by Cary O’Dell, Boards Assistant to the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.


Twenty-five new titles were selected by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for induction to the National Recording Registry. The 25 new sound recordings have been recognized for their cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s aural legacy.  This brings the total number of recordings on the Registry to 475.

american pie

“American Pie”–Don McLean

The Librarian of Congress chose the 25 new recordings based upon recommendations from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board, Library staff members and nominations by the American public.

This year, the 25 selections range from  1888 to 1997  showcasing sounds of a a pre-1900, English-born experiment to the mean streets of modern-day LA and favorite titles as American Pie to Ziggy Stardust.

A full list of this year’s inductees, and a description of each can be found, in the Library’s official press release.

NRR Press Release

The Registry chooses recordings that show the strong range and diversity of American recorded sound. .

Some fine examples this year include “I’ll Fly Away” by the Chuck Wagon Gang from 1948), Judy Collin’s seminal rendition of “Amazing Grace” from 1970, a 1989 treatment of Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” by Robert Shaw and company, and Don McLean’s “American Pie” (1971) lyrics.  Two versions of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the first from 1923, the second from 1990, which has been recognized as the official African-American national anthem can be found on the Registry. “Lift” with its powerful lyrics and message and even more powerful history takes on the feel of full-on gospel anthem.

Other selections although recorded as much as 30 or more years ago, still sound strikingly new, and they still inspire and influence contemporary musicians. On the list are the late David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” from 1972 and Talking Heads’s new wave masterpiece “Remain in Light” from 1980.


David Bowie, c. 1972

Meanwhile, some of music’s most powerful women, past and present, found themselves on the Registry this year. Along with Judy Collins, another Judy, Judy Garland, and her signature song, “Over the Rainbow” (1939), made the Registry this year in recognition for its incredible endurance and deep meaning to so many.  Modern day diva Renee Fleming with her 1997 “Signatures” collection and the incredible soul prowess of Big Mama Thornton also can be found. Big Mama Thornton’s ripping version of “Hound Dog” which she recorded in 1952, four years before Elvis released his version of the song, can’t be overlooked.   Finally, there’s Barbra Streisand.  Considered by many to be the possessor of one of the finest voices in the history of popular music, Streisand—with both board and public support–saw her 1964 album “People” added to the Registry this year.  Along with the signature title tune, the LP (it of its iconic beach cover) also includes the singer’s take on standards by Irving Berlin, Jule Styne and Harold Arlen.

over the rainbow

“Over the Rainbow”–Judy Garland

Public nominations to the National Recording Registry are taken year round.  See the following link for more information:

National Recording Preservation Board




Photo Blog #14: More Musical Mysteries

It’s #14 of our unknown photos series!  This time, we return to some photos that are of a musical nature–or so they seem.  We welcome your suggestions regarding the names of the people in any of the shots below.  As always, as they are identified, we will update this blog accordingly.  As always as well, ”clicking” on any of the […]

Designing an Audio Suite

The following is a guest post by Cary O’Dell, Boards Assistant to the National Recording Preservation Board. Achieving excellent recorded sound quality is not only a matter of personnel and equipment but also the environment. At the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation there are eight rooms specifically designed for optimal sound recording. […]

Smokey Robinson Receives Gershwin Prize for American Song

Last night, Wednesday, November 16, Smokey Robinson, a rhythm and blues icon whose career has spanned more than 50 years, received the Library’s Gershwin Prize for American Song. The gala award event, featuring prominent performers and musicians was held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.  Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden presented the award. […]

John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’ On the Air: The Story of the 1946 Radio Production

The following is a guest post by David Jackson, Archivist, Bob Hope Collection, and Matt Barton, Curator, Recorded Sound. “This chronicle of suffering and destruction is not presented in defense of an enemy. It is broadcast as a warning that what happened to the people of Hiroshima, a year ago, could next happen anywhere.” So […]

Mystery Photos #1: Who’s That Lady?

While it’s natural that people would associate the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division with, well, film, video, and sound recordings, we have a tremendous amount of associated documentation like scripts, lobby cards, pressbooks, and copyright descriptive material. We also have well more than a million publicity stills, a fraction of which we’ve used […]

Now Playing at the Library of Congress (August 11-13, 2016)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, a Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. AT THE PACKARD CAMPUS THEATER, CULPEPER, VA: Thursday, August 11 (7:30 p.m.) Raise the Red Lantern (Orion Classics, 1991) This spectacularly photographed, sumptuously colored drama set in Northern China in the 1920s tells the story of 19-year-old Songlian (Gong […]

Marshall Crenshaw! Malpass Brothers!–LIVE! FREE! Concerts!!

On Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 7pm, Grammy-nominated performing artist Marshall Crenshaw will perform a LIVE concert at the Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, VA.  The Packard Campus is located at 19053 Mt. Pony Road in Culpeper, VA. MARSHALL CRENSHAW SHOW IS SOLD OUT! SOME SEATING STILL AVAILABLE FOR MAPLASS BROTHERS. Seating is FREE but […]

Bob Hope and D-Day: an unconventional season finale

The following is a guest post by David Jackson, Archivist, Bob Hope Collection, Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. Recently I began the task of processing the papers for the Bob Hope Collection, held in the Recorded Sound Section, at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia. The papers complement the moving […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus (May 13-15, 2016)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Friday, May 13 (7:30 p.m.) Come On Down!: A TV Game Show Retrospective (1950-1970) The password is “FUN” as the Packard Campus digs into the vaults and “comes on down” for this one-night retrospective of some of TV’s biggest […]