December 7, 2016

25 New Entries to National Recording Registry Include Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,” and George Carlin’s “Class Clown”

Resources to learn more about all registry entries at the bottom of this post.

From the National Preservation Recording Board/Library of Congress:

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.

Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao today named 25 new sound recordings to the registry that have been recognized for their cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s aural legacy.

“These recordings, by a wide range of artists in many genres of music and in spoken word, will be preserved for future listeners,” Mao said. “This collection of blues, jazz, rock, country and classical recordings, interspersed with important recordings of sporting events, speeches, radio shows and comedy, helps safeguard the record of what we’ve done and who we are.”

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.

Gloria Gaynor, reached with the news of her song’s addition to the registry, said “‘I Will Survive’ is my mantra, the core of my God-given purpose. It is my privilege and honor to use it to inspire people around the world of every nationality, race, creed, color and age group to join me as I sing and live the words: ‘I Will Survive.'”

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.”

The 2015 registry also features a recording, long thought lost, of a 1940 cavalcade of stars, many performing their own songs, at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco; a variation on a common fiddle tune called “Bonaparte’s Retreat” that musicologists believe laid the groundwork for Aaron Copland’s ballet and orchestral suite piece “Hoe-Down”; and two episodes from a radio show of the late 1940s, “Destination Freedom,” that artfully attacked racial prejudice, authored by an African-American newspaper editor who wrote all 97 shows in the series.

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. The Library is currently accepting nominations for the next registry at the NRPB website.

Direct to Complete List of All National Recording Registry Listing

Direct to Descriptions of All Entries and Extended Essays ||| Index of Recording Essays

Direct to Streaming Audio of Some Registry Entries

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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