LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Songs by Tupac Shakur, R.E.M. and Little Richard, and albums from the likes of Willie Nelson and Patti Smith are among the 25 eclectic recordings inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Under the terms of 2000’s National Recording Preservation Act, the criteria for preservation by the Library of Congress are that the work be “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and be at least 10 years old. Nominations were gathered from online submissions from the public and from members of the National Recording Preservation Board.
This year’s list of recordings features a diverse selection of spoken-word and musical recordings that span the years 1913 (“Fon der Choope” (From the Wedding) -- Abe Elenkrig’s Yidishe Orchestra) to 1995 (Shakur’s “Dear Mama”). There are now 300 recordings in the National Recording Registry.
In its citation for “Dear Mama,” the NRPB called the song a “moving and eloquent homage to both the murdered rapper’s own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference.”
Nelson’s album “Red Headed Stranger” is cited for its “uncommon elegance,” and R.E.M.’s original version of “Radio Free Europe” is lauded for setting “the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio’s general indifference.”
Smith’s “Horses,” The Band’s self-titled release, Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” also made the grade.
Librarian of Congress James Billington said the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., will preserve and maintain the recordings and make them available to the American public.