We get a fair number of famous people passing through your favorite national Library, but it’s not everyday that the world’s most famous (and only singing) frog hops on a video interview with the Librarian herself.
But Kermit the Frog did indeed chat with Carla Hayden about his induction into the 2020 class of the National Recording registry and his notable breakthrough of being the first frog to ever make the list. His entry was “The Rainbow Connection,” the huge hit from 1979’s “The Muppet Movie,” which made him a banjo-strumming star.
The list, announced yesterday, is an annual 25-recording addition to the nation’s historical archives of music, broadcasts or other recordings. There are now 575 recordings on the list. Highlights from this year include Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation;” Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints Go Marching In;” Phil Rizzuto’s broadcast of Roger Maris hitting his 61rst home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record; Jackson Browne’s “Late for the Sky;” Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” and one of Thomas Edison’s first recordings. (You can nominate songs yourself; about 900 were suggested this year.)
In the interview, Hayden asks the Muppet star about the film’s shooting, how he handles fame and the lasting meaning of “Rainbow.” There’s also a guest appearance by songwriter Paul Williams, who co-wrote the piece with Kenneth Ascher. Williams, the Oscar Award-winning writer of “Evergreen” and recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award, says the song is about “the immense power of faith.”
Kermit agreed, and was excited by his induction.
“Well, gee, it’s an amazing feeling to officially become part of our nation’s history,” he told Hayden. It’s a great honor. And I am thrilled — I am thrilled! — to be the first frog on the list!”
Subscribe to the blog— it’s free! — and the largest library in world history will send cool stories straight to your inbox.
This year’s National Recording Registry is a sonic smörgåsbord– quite a lot to choose from, and all of it audibly appetizing. The 25 selections being preserved by the Library of Congress based on their cultural, historic or aesthetic value include two takes on “The Wizard of Oz,” in the form of Judy Garland’s version of […]
Headlining Library of Congress news for March was the announcement of new selections to the National Recording Registry. Michael O’Sullivan of The Washington Post spoke with singer Gloria Gaynor, whose “I Will Survive” was one of the selections. “For Gaynor, the Library of Congress honor simply acknowledges what the world has already figured out,” he […]
(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) The Manuscript Division has added two collections to its growing list of Civil War materials now available online. The papers of army officer Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888) span the years 1853-1896, although the majority of the material dates from […]
(The following is an article from the May/June 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Daniel Blazek, a recorded sound technician at the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Preservation, wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Laughter, with its links to the development of the human brain, no doubt […]
(The following is an article from the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Editor Audrey Fischer wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Billie Holiday’s iconic song about racial inequality was penned by a poet whose works are preserved at the Library of Congress. Recorded in […]
Headlining Library of Congress news for March was the announcement of new selections to the National Recording Registry. Time called this year’s selections the “most American playlist ever.” “If the Smithsonian is America’s attic, the National Recording Registry is the dusty box of records that America’s parents left up there,” wrote reporter Ryan Teague Beckwith. […]
Where were you when you first heard that? I was in the theater audience for the movie “Woodstock,” and I recall thinking even then that the section featuring Sly and the Family Stone was the high point of the film. Now, whenever I hear “I Want to Take You Higher,” which has the Boom-shaka-laka-laka bridge […]
The Library made several major announcements in April, including new additions to the National Recording Registry. The addition of the 25 new recordings to the National Recording Registry brings the list to a total of 400 sound recordings. Among the new selections were Jeff Buckley’s haunting single “Hallelujah” from his one and only studio album; […]
(The following is a guest post by Steve Leggett, program coordinator for the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.) In the weeks since announcing the annual 25 additions to the National Recording Registry the Library has been asked a few questions about rap and hip-hop and its representation on the list. These […]