The Recording Academy is a founding member of the National Recording Preservation Board, and lobbied and were instrumental in getting the board created by Congress. Now, they’ve revealed a new list of audio recordings worthy of being preserved forever.
Alicia Keys' classic debut album "Songs in A Minor," Ricky Martin's irresistible "Livin' La Vida Loca" and Journey's anthemic "Don't Stop Believin" are among the musical works joining the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. The 2022 class includes important inductions of hip-hop and Latin music, including recordings by Linda Ronstadt, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and Buena Vista Social Club.
Today, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named 25 recordings as audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation's recorded sound heritage.
"The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation's history and culture through recorded sound," Hayden said in a statement. "The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings, and we welcome the public's input. We received about 1,000 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry."
The recordings selected for the National Recording Registry bring the number of titles on the registry to 600, representing a small portion of the national library's vast recorded sound collection of nearly 4 million items.
The latest selections named to the registry span from 1921 to 2010 and range from rock, pop, R&B, hip-hop and country to Latin, Motown, jazz, and recordings of history as it happened. In addition to the musical selections, the new class includes the famous speeches of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, WNYC's broadcasts on 9/11 and a podcast interview with legendary comedian Robin Williams.
"I'm so honored and grateful that Songs in A Minor, the entire album, gets to be recognized as such a powerful body of work that is just going to be timeless," Keys said of her album's induction into the registry.
NPR's "1A" will host several features in the series, "The Sounds of America," on this year's selections for the National Recording Registry, including interviews with Hayden and several featured artists in the weeks ahead. Follow the conversation about the registry on Twitter and Instagram @librarycongress and #NatRecRegistry.
You can listen to many of the recordings on your favorite streaming service. The Digital Media Association, a member of the National Recording Preservation Board, has compiled a list of some streaming services with National Recording Registry playlists here: dima.org/national-recording-registry-2022-inductees/.
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian of Congress, with advice from the National Recording Preservation Board, selects 25 titles each year that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old.
More information on the National Recording Registry can be found at loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/about-this-program/. The public may nominate recordings for the Registry here.
National Recording Registry, 2022 Selections (chronological order)
"Harlem Strut" — James P. Johnson (1921)
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-1945)
"Walking the Floor Over You" — Ernest Tubb (1941) (single)
"On a Note of Triumph" (May 8, 1945)
"Jesus Gave Me Water" — The Soul Stirrers (1950) (single)
"Ellington at Newport" — Duke Ellington (1956) (album)
"We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite" — Max Roach (1960) (album)
"The Christmas Song" — Nat King Cole (1961) (single)
"Tonight's the Night" — The Shirelles (1961) (album)
"Moon River" — Andy Williams (1962) (single)
"In C" — Terry Riley (1968) (album)
"It's a Small World" — The Disneyland Boys Choir (1964) (single)
"Reach Out, I'll Be There" — The Four Tops (1966) (single)
Hank Aaron's 715th Career Home Run (April 8, 1974)
"Bohemian Rhapsody" — Queen (1975) (single)
"Don't Stop Believin'" — Journey (1981) (single)
"Canciones de Mi Padre" — Linda Ronstadt (1987) (album)
"Nick of Time" — Bonnie Raitt (1989) (album)
"The Low End Theory" — A Tribe Called Quest (1991) (album)
"Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" — Wu-Tang Clan (1993) (album)
"Buena Vista Social Club" (1997) (album)
"Livin' La Vida Loca" — Ricky Martin (1999) (single)
"Songs in A Minor" — Alicia Keys (2001) (album)
WNYC broadcasts for the day of 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001)
"WTF with Marc Maron" (Guest: Robin Williams) (April 26, 2010)