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Jay-Z, Nina Simone, Cyndi Lauper Among National Recording Registry Inductees
What do Curtis Mayfield, Nina Simone, Cab Calloway, Cyndi Lauper, Ritchie Valens, Neil Diamond and Jay-Z all have in common? These artists are all among this year's class of inductees to the Library Of Congress' National Recording Registry, an honor bestowed upon 25 recordings each year deemed to “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
From Valens' groundbreaking and GRAMMY-nominated 1958 hit "La Bamba" to Earth, Wind & Fire's 1978 groove classic "September" to Jay-Z's 2001 hip-hop masterpiece album The Blueprint, this year's selections span multiple eras and genres. In addition to the musical selections, spoken-word recording such as Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 speech on the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are also represented.
Other highlights include the1931 single "Minnie the Moocher" by Calloway, who was honored with the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, Simone's 1964 single "Mississippi Goddam," Diamond's 1969 single "Sweet Caroline," Mayfield's 1972 soundtrack album Super Fly, which was nominated for the GRAMMY for Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special, and Lauper's 1983 album She's So Unusual, which was nominated for Album Of The Year.
"I'm really honored that 'She’s So Unusual' is being recognized as being one of the nation’s audio treasures worthy of lifetime preservation," Lauper said in a statement. "I was really determined to make a cohesive collection of songs and really determined to make sure all typed of women were represented in the 'Girls…' video. I had this very strong vision of how I wanted to put the music together. If this is going to be my thing, and if this is the only time I ever get to open my mouth and sing, I want it to be great."
The diverse group of inductees also includes a 1952 episode of the western radio drama "Gunsmoke," Lefty Frizzell's 1959 recording of "Long Black Veil," the original Broadway cast recording of "Hair" from 1968, and the 1996-released "Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set," and more.
Recordings must be at least 10 years old to be eligible, and selections are made advice from the Library's National Recording Preservation Board. The registry now holds a total of 525 titles dating back to the instatement of the National Recording Preservation act of 2000.
"The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "The influence of recorded sound over its nearly 160-year history has been profound and technology has increased its reach and significance exponentially. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future."
Recordings representing Native-American and African-American cultures were also among the selections. Melville Jacobs collection of recordings of Native Americans of the American Northwest (1929-1939) documented 23 different separate tribal languages and have been used to revive these vanishing native dialects.
Details on the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board, including a full list of the 25 recording inducted, information on how to nominate for the 2019 Recording Registry and even how to listen to registry titles, is available at the NRPB's website.