March 23, 2016 National Recording Registry Recognizes "Mack the Knife," Motown and Mahler

"Piano Man," "I Will Survive" and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-Point Game Receive Designation

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456; Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Steve Leggett (202) 707-5912
Website: National Recording Preservation Board

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.

As part of its congressional mandate, the Library identifies and preserves the best existing versions of each recording on the registry. These recordings will be housed in the Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, a state-of-the-art facility that was made possible through the generosity of David Woodley Packard and the Packard Humanities Institute, with benefaction from the U.S. Congress. The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items, including more than 3 million sound recordings.

The Library's National and International Outreach Service Unit (NIO) National Programs Directorate manages and provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board and the National Registries for film and recorded sound. This constitutes part of NIO's broader mission to administer the public-facing programs and activities of the Library of Congress with the mission of broadening awareness and use of the Library and its resources through outreach and external partnerships.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the world's largest library. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at

2015 National Recording Registry


PR 16-056
ISSN 0731-3527