Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, Louis Armstrong's 1938 rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In," Kermit the Frog's "The Rainbow Connection," and even the 1878 Thomas Edison recording that may be the oldest playable recording of an American voice are among the 25 recordings the Library of Congress recently added to their National Recording Registry.
Created in 2000, the National Recording Registry collects recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and at least 10 years old. 900 nominations were made by the public last year. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, announced this year's 25 inductees.
Besides the four nominees previously mentioned, recordings inducted in 2021 include Patti LaBelle's 1974 single "Lady Marmalade," Jackson Browne’s 1974 album Late for the Sky, Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole’s 1993 single “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” and Nas’s 1994 album Illmatic.
As for other nonmusical recordings, Phil Rizzuto’s play-by-play of Roger Maris’s 61st home run in 1961 made the cut. So did a 1941 Christmas Eve broadcast featuring Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, a 1945 radio episode of the soap opera The Guiding Light, and NPR's "This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money" segment from May 2008 - the most recent recording to be inducted this year.
NEWS: @LibnOfCongress Carla Hayden today named 25 recordings as audio treasures worthy of preservation based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation's sound heritage. View the 2020 selections to the #NatRecRegistry: https://t.co/4KFYwoRxh8 pic.twitter.com/jvdg9nNahz— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) March 24, 2021
Janet Jackson's 1989 album was among the titles that received the most votes in the public nominating process. Kermit the Frog actually sat down for an interview with Carla Hayden after "The Rainbow Connection" was inducted into the National Recording Registry. The famous Thomas Edison recording - made in 1878 after he invented his tape recording machine - went unheard until 2013. Scientists had to find a way to recover the sound from the tin foil on which it was recorded. The Library of Congress calls the 78-second clip "surprisingly listenable."
With these 25 new inductees, the National Recording Registry now has 575 recordings in total. To see the full list of new inductees, click here.
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Article Image: Janet Jackson at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Kermit the Frog at the "Muppets Most Wanted" Los Angeles Premiere, Thomas Alva Edison in 1922. (s_bukley, Jean_Nelson via DepositPhotos, Everett Collection via Shutterstock.)