Historical Recordings, Musical Legends
New Additions to the Library's National Recording Registry for 2006
What do President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, legendary performer and songwriter Eubie Blake, folksinger Paul Simon and rock band The Rolling Stones have in common? Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recently named sound recordings made by them and 21 others to the National Recording Registry to be preserved for all time.
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian is responsible for annually selecting recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" to be placed in the National Recording Registry. Recordings must be at least 10 years old. These selections bring the number of recordings named to the registry to 225.
"Selecting 25 recordings from our extraordinarily rich and varied sonic history is a difficult task, but we take this charge seriously because it showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the nation's sound heritage," said the Librarian in announcing the registry selections. "Our challenge and duty to history remain, however, finding collaborative and creative ways to preserve and make available this unmatched legacy for modern and future generations."
Nominations for the registry were gathered from members of the public, who submitted suggestions online, and from the National Recording Preservation Board, which comprises leaders in the fields of music, recorded sound and preservation.
The board also assisted the Librarian with the review of nominations. The Library is currently accepting nominations for the 2007 National Recording Registry at the National Recording Preservation Board Web site (www.loc.gov/nrpb/).
The new additions to the registry, which span the years 1904 to 1986, honor a wide variety of outstanding spoken and musical recordings. Among the selections are Franklin D. Roosevelt's legendary address to Congress after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; civil rights milestones, including Pete Seeger's 1963 Carnegie Hall concert and Sam Cooke's beautifully haunting song lamenting the lack of racial progress; Paul Simon's album "Graceland," which introduced the South African musical group Ladysmith Black Mambazo to the nation; the quintessential rock 'n' roll classic by The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"; and notable performances by a pantheon of significant artists, including Jelly Roll Morton, The Carter Family, Bob Marley, Arthur Rubinstein, Cole Porter, Eubie Blake and Sarah Vaughan.
On behalf of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board, the Library of Congress is conducting a study on the state of audio preservation and will develop a comprehensive national recording preservation program, the first of its kind. The study, being done by Rob Bamberger, encompasses the current state of sound-recording archiving, preservation, restoration activities and access to those recordings by scholars and the public. It will be published later this year.
The Library is identifying and preserving the best existing versions of the recordings on the registry. These efforts have received support from archives and record companies such as Sony BMG.
2006 National Recording Registry (in chronological order)
- "Uncle Josh and the Insurance Agent," Cal Stewart (1904)
- "Il mio tesoro," John McCormack, orchestra conducted by Walter Rogers (1916)
- National Defense Test, September 12, 1924 (1924)
- "Black Bottom Stomp," Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers (1926)
- "Wildwood Flower," The Carter Family (1928)
- "Pony Blues," Charley Patton (1929)
- "You're the Top," Cole Porter (1934)
- "The Osage Bank Robbery," episode of "The Lone Ranger" (December 17, 1937)
- Address to Congress, December 8, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1941)
- Native Brazilian music, recorded under the supervision of Leopold Stokowski (1942)
- "Peace in the Valley," Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys (1951)
- Chopin's Polonaise, op. 40, no. 1 ("Polonaise militaire"), Arthur Rubinstein (1952)
- "Blue Suede Shoes," Carl Perkins (1955)
- Interviews with William "Billy" Bell, recorded by Edward D. Ives (1956), representing the Edward D. Ives Collection held at the Maine Folklife Center, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, and the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
- "Howl," Allen Ginsberg (1959)
- "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart," Bob Newhart (1960)
- "Be My Baby," The Ronettes (1963)
- "We Shall Overcome," Pete Seeger (1963), recording of Pete Seeger's June 8, 1963, Carnegie Hall concert
- "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," The Rolling Stones (1965)
- "A Change Is Gonna Come," Sam Cooke (1965)
- "Velvet Underground and Nico," Velvet Underground (1967)
- "The Eighty-Six Years of Eubie Blake," Eubie Blake (1969)
- "The Wailers Burnin'," The Wailers (1973)
- "Live in Japan," Sarah Vaughan (1973)
- "Graceland," Paul Simon (1986)