The Bee Gees, from left, Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb, attend a party following the Hollywood premiere of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' in this July 31, 1978 file photo.
(Credit: Lennox McLendon, AP)
From Jimmie Davis' You Are My Sunshine to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, the newest inductees into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, announced Wednesday, span 62 years of recorded sound and represent an impressive diversity.
Librarian James H. Billington announced the registry's 25 additions, which represent historic radio broadcasts, dance crazes, Southern gospel and punk rock. The list, which brings the total number of registry recordings to 375, includes the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, a 1931 Will Rogers broadcast and pianist Van Cliburn's award-winning 1958 performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as recordings from Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin's Big Brother and the Holding Company, Chubby Checker and The Ramones. The newly enshrined recordings stretch from 1918 to 1980.
"I share this achievement with millions of fans worldwide who, for more than 35 years, have committed the music of Saturday Night Fever to the soundtrack of their lives," the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb said in a statement. "I share this honor in joyful memory of my brothers - Maurice, Robin and Andy - and wish to convey the heartfelt gratitude of myself and each of our families."
Each year, under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the librarian selects 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and at least 10 years old.
These recordings will be housed in the library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., which contains more than 6 million collection items, including nearly 3.5 million sound recordings.
The inductees (listed in chronological order):After You've Gone, Marion Harris (1918). The cabaret star, one of the first white singers to popularize jazz and blues tunes, helped make this Turner Layton/Harry Creamer number a standard.Bacon, Beans and Limousines, Will Rogers (Oct. 18, 1931). The social commentator's Depression-era broadcast with President Herbert Hoover includes his famous line, "We'll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile."Begin the Beguine, Artie Shaw (1938). The jazz clarinetist built his career on his definitive swing version of this Cole Porter tune, which he recorded at his first session for RCA Victor.You Are My Sunshine, Jimmie Davis (1940). One of the most popular country songs of all time, Davis' hit version was used in his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign in 1944 and became Louisiana's official state song in 1977.D-Day Radio Broadcast, George Hicks (June 5-6, 1944). The war correspondent's description of the U.S. Army's invasion of Normandy, France, captured by a portable film recorder on the deck of a ship carrying troops, was called by the New York World Telegram "the greatest recording yet to come out of the war."Just Because, Frank Yankovic & His Yanks (1947). The Ohio accordionist's million-selling cover of this popular country hit helped him earn the title of "America's Polka King."South Pacific, original cast album (1949). The cast recording of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical was one of the best-selling albums of its day and initiated bidding wars between record labels for the rights to future cast recordings.Descargas: Cuban Jam Session in Miniature, Cachao Y Su Ritmo Caliente (1957). Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez had a huge impact on Afro-Cuban music, particularly salsa, with these late-night, jam-session recordings that highlighted different aspects of Afro-Cuban styles.Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, Van Cliburn (April 11, 1958). The 23-year-old pianist from Texas became a worldwide musical phenomenon after winning Moscow's Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition with this performance.President's message relayed from Atlas satellite, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Dec. 19, 1958). Eisenhower's pre-recorded message from the world's first communications satellite soothed the fears of Americans who feared the country was losing the space race to Russia, which had launched artificial satellite Sputnik in 1957.A Program of Song, Leontyne Price (1959). The soprano's debut recital from New York's Town Hall featured songs by Francis Poulenc and Richard Strauss. A year later, she became the first African American to sing a leading role at Italy's greatest opera house, Milan's Teatro alla Scala.The Shape of Jazz to Come, Ornette Coleman (1959). The saxophonist pushed bebop into the realm of free jazz with his Atlantic Records debut, which featured cornetist Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins. Crossing Chilly Jordan, The Blackwood Brothers (1960). This lively Southern gospel tune from one of the genre's best-known acts features and was written by bass singer J.D. Sumner, who went on to sing with Elvis Presley for years.The Twist, Chubby Checker (1960). This record launched the hip-swiveling dance craze of the '60s after Dick Clark convinced Checker to record it and perform it on American Bandstand.Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's, Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, et al. (1960-1962). This album not only revived the career of banjoist Ashley, who had recorded several 78s during the 1920s and '30s, it also launched the career of the young blind guitar player who accompanied him, Doc Watson.Hoodoo Man Blues, Junior Wells (1965). This landmark Chicago blues recording not only features Wells on harmonica, it's got Buddy Guy with his guitar run through a Hammond organ's Leslie speaker.Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel (1966). The duo's second album contains I Am a Rock, as well as the hit version of the title song, which featured overdubs from members of Bob Dylan's studio band recorded the same day they backed him on Like a Rolling Stone.Cheap Thrills, Big Brother and the Holding Company (1968). The psychedelic rock group's second album, and its last with singer Janis Joplin, is its definitive studio set, containing both Summertime and Piece of My Heart.The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (1973). The classic-rock classic is one of the top-selling albums of all time, having been certified 15-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and, at one point, staying on the Billboard album chart for 741 weeks.Music Time in Africa, Leo Sarkisian (July 29, 1973). This representative program from the longest-running English-language show in the history of Voice of America features host Sarkisian discussing and presenting music from Mauritania.Wild Tchoupitoulas, The Wild Tchoupitoulas (1976). This album celebrating the musical style of Mardi Gras featured New Orleans R&B mainstays The Meters and other members of what became known as the Neville Brothers.Ramones, The Ramones (1976). Though it peaked at No. 111 on the Billboard album chart, The Ramones' debut album essentially was the flash point for punk rock, influencing countless bands with its simple, insanely sped-up approach to rock 'n' roll.Saturday Night Fever, The Bee Gees, et al. (1977). Disco's definitive musical statement features not only the Brothers Gibb, but Tavares, Yvonne Elliman, K.C. & the Sunshine Band and Kool & The Gang, as well.Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson (1979). This five-hour multimedia opera, featuring Glass's harmonic and rhythmic structures, was influenced by non-Western music and avant-garde theater.The Audience With Betty Carter, Betty Carter (1980). The great jazz singer launched the most successful phase of her career when she started her own record label and released this album, recorded with her trio during a three-night stand at San Francisco's Keystone Korner.