25 Recordings Newly Inducted into Library of Congress National Recording Registry

The U.S. Library of Congress has announced the 2009 Inductees in the National Recording Registry, a collection now comprising 300 music, spoken word, and audio documentary recordings. In order to qualify for inclusion, a recording must be at least ten years old and be deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and worthy of preservation. Nominations come from a Library of Congress preservation board and online suggestions from the public. Some of the music highlights among the 25 newly inducted recordings are: the complete Village Vanguard Recordings of jazz pianist Bill Evans’s classic trio; Willie Nelson’s 1975 outlaw country concept album Red Headed Stranger and proto-punk singer-songwriter Patti Smith’s contemporaneous debut Horses; Azucar Pa’ Ti (1965), Eddie Palmieri’s fifth salsa album with his band La Perfecta; the original cast recording of the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Little Richard’s hit single “Tutti Frutti”; early Dixieland and klezmer performances, blues gems by Howlin’ Wolf and Mississippi John Hurt, and more recent songs by the alternative rock band R.E.M. and the late gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur; the earliest commercially released recording of computer-synthesized speech—”Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” by Max Mathews (1961)—and Morton Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon, an original 1967 electronic music composition which was the first ever commissioned expressly for release on an LP recording (by Nonesuch Records).

In announcing the registry, Librarian of Congress James Billington said the list “showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the American soundscape.”

Below is a complete list of the inductees (in chronological order of the original recording’s release):

  • Abe Elenkrig’s Yidishe Orchestra: “Fon der Choope” (From the Wedding) (1913)

  • King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band: “Canal Street Blues” (1923)

  • Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Metropolitan Opera, featuring Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior, NBC Broadcast of March 9, 1935

  • Cliff Edwards: “When You Wish Upon a Star” (recorded 1938, released 1940)

  • “America’s Town Meeting of the Air: Should Our Ships Convoy Materials to England?”(May 8, 1941)

  • The Library of Congress Marine Corps Combat Field Recording Collection, Second Battle of Guam (July 20 – August 11, 1944)

  • Iry LeJeune: “Evangeline Special” and “Love Bridge Waltz” (1948)

  • “The Little Engine That Could” narrated by Paul Wing (1949)

  • Leon Metcalf Collection of recordings of the First People of Western Washington State (1950-1954)

  • Little Richard: “Tutti Frutti” (1955)

  • Howlin’ Wolf: “Smokestack Lightning” (1956)

  • Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim: Gypsy original cast recording (1959)

  • Bill Evans Trio: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings (June 25, 1961)

  • Max Mathews: “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” (1961)

  • Bill Cosby: I Started Out As a Child (1964)

  • Eddie Palmieri: Azucar Pa Ti (1965)

  • Mississippi John Hurt: Today! (1966)

  • Morton Subotnick: Silver Apples of the Moon (1967)

  • The Staple Singers: “Soul Folk in Action” (1968)

  • The Band: The Band (1969)

  • Loretta Lynn: “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1970)

  • Willie Nelson: Red Headed Stranger (1975)

  • Patti Smith: Horses (1975)

  • R.E.M.: “Radio Free Europe” (1981)

  • Tupac Shakur: “Dear Mama” (1995)

(—Condensed from the press release)