National Recording Registry

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was one of the 50 recordings added on the first year of existence of the United States National Recording Registry.

The National Recording Registry is a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." The registry was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000,[1] which created the National Recording Preservation Board, whose members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress. The recordings preserved in the United States National Recording Registry form a registry of recordings selected yearly by the National Recording Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress.[2]

The legislative intent of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 was to develop a national program to guard America's sound recording heritage. The Act resulted in the formations of the National Recording Registry, The National Recording Preservation Board and a fund-raising foundation to aid their efforts.[3] The act established the Registry specifically for the purpose of maintaining and preserving sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.[1] Beginning in 2002, the National Recording Preservation Board began selecting nominated recordings each year to be preserved.

The first four yearly lists included 50 selections. However, since 2006, 25 recordings have been selected annually. Thus, a total of 450 recordings have been preserved in the Registry as of 2016. Each calendar year, public nominations are accepted for inclusion in that year's list of selections to be announced the following spring. Nominations are made in the following categories:

  • Blues
  • Broadway/Musical Theatre/Soundtrack
  • Cajun/Zydeco/"Swamp"
  • Children's recordings
  • Choral
  • Classical
  • Comedy/Novelty
  • Country/Bluegrass
  • Documentary/Broadcast/Spoken Word
  • Environmental
  • Field
  • Folk/Ethnic
  • Gospel/Spiritual
  • Heavy Metal
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • Pop (pre-1955)
  • Pop (post-1955)
  • R&B
  • Radio
  • Rap/Hip-hop
  • Rock
  • Technology

Each yearly list has often included a few recordings that have also been selected for inclusion in the holdings of the National Archives' audiovisual collection. Those recordings on the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry that are of a political nature will tend to overlap with the audiovisual collection of the National Archives. The list shows overlapping items and whether the National Archives has an original or a copy of the recording.

Selection criteria

The criteria for selection are as follows:[4]


On January 27, 2003, the following 50 selections were announced by the National Recording Preservation Board.[5]

Selected exhibition recordings for the phonograph were added in 2002.
Booker T. Washington recreated his controversial 1895 Atlanta Exposition Speech in 1906.
"Downhearted Blues" was the first release by Bessie Smith.
Louis Armstrong was one of American music's most important figures. The preserved sessions, and his solos in particular, set a standard musicians still strive to equal in their beauty and innovation.[5]
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" "redefined the relationship between the president and the American people."[5]
Orson Welles' 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio drama created alarm and panic across the United States.
Bob Dylan is considered one of the 20th century's most influential figures.
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
Edison exhibition recordings (Group of three cylinders):[6]
  • "Around the World on the Phonograph"
  • "The Pattison Waltz"
  • "Fifth Regiment March"
Thomas Edison 1888–1889
Passamaquoddy Indians field recordings Recorded by Jesse Walter Fewkes 1890
"Stars and Stripes Forever"
(Berliner Gramophone disc recording)
Military Band 1897
Metropolitan Opera cylinder recordings (the Mapleson Cylinders) Lionel Mapleson and the Metropolitan Opera 1900–1903
Ragtime compositions piano rolls Scott Joplin 1900s
1895 Atlanta Exposition speech Booker T. Washington 1906 recreation copy
"Casey at the Bat" DeWolf Hopper 1906
"Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci Enrico Caruso 1907
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Fisk Jubilee Singers 1909
Lovey's Trinidad String Band Lovey's Trinidad String Band 1912
"Tiger Rag" Original Dixieland Jazz Band 1918
"Arkansas Traveler" and "Sallie Gooden" Eck Robertson 1922
"Downhearted Blues" Bessie Smith 1923
Rhapsody in Blue George Gershwin, piano; Paul Whiteman Orchestra 1924
Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven 1925–1928
Victor Talking Machine Company sessions in Bristol, Tennessee Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman, and others 1927
Highlander Center Field Recordings Collection Rosa Parks, Esau Jenkins and others 1930s–1980s
Bell Laboratories experimental stereo recordings Philadelphia Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, conductor 1931–1932
"Fireside Chats" radio broadcasts[A] Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933–1944 original
Harvard Vocarium record series T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden and others 1933–1956
"New Music Quarterly" recordings series Henry Cowell, producer 1934–1949
Description of the crash of the Hindenburg Herbert Morrison May 6, 1937 original
The Cradle Will Rock
(Marc Blitzstein)
Original cast 1938
"Who's on First?"
Earliest existing radio broadcast version
Abbott and Costello October 6, 1938
The War of the Worlds Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air October 30, 1938 copy
"God Bless America"
Radio broadcast premiere
Kate Smith November 11, 1938
The John and Ruby Lomax Southern States Recording Trip John and Ruby Lomax 1939
"Strange Fruit" Billie Holiday 1939
Grand Ole Opry
First network radio broadcast
Uncle Dave Macon, Roy Acuff, and others October 14, 1939
Béla Bartók and Joseph Szigeti in Concert at the Library of Congress Béla Bartók, piano; Joseph Szigeti, violin 1940
The Rite of Spring Igor Stravinsky conducting the New York Philharmonic 1940
Blanton-Webster era recordings Duke Ellington Orchestra 1940–1942
"White Christmas"
original 1942 single
Bing Crosby 1942
"This Land is Your Land" Woody Guthrie 1944
D-Day radio address to
the Allied Nations
Dwight D. Eisenhower June 6, 1944 original
"Ko Ko" Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others 1945
"Blue Moon of Kentucky" Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys 1947
"How High the Moon" Les Paul and Mary Ford 1951
Songs for Young Lovers Frank Sinatra 1954
Sun Records sessions Elvis Presley 1954–1955
Dance Mania Tito Puente 1958
Kind of Blue Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, and others 1959
"What'd I Say", Parts 1 and 2 Ray Charles 1959
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan Bob Dylan 1963
"I Have a Dream" speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963 copy
"Respect" Aretha Franklin 1967
Philomel: For Soprano Bethany Beardslee, recorded soprano,
and synthesized sound
Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey Thomas A. Dorsey,
Marion Williams,
and others
Crescent City Living Legends Collection
(New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Archive/WWOZ New Orleans)
"The Message" Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five 1982


"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" was one of Marian Anderson's favorite spirituals, and she often performed it at the conclusion of her recitals.[7]
The Cole Porter Songbook was the first of Ella Fitzgerald's many anthologies.
Chuck Berry- widely considered to have "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance".
O. Winston Link's recordings of the sounds produced by a variety of locomotive models capture "the unique and now-lost sounds of the engines which united the United States."[7]
The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is arguably one of the most important albums in popular music.
Marvin Gaye has been covered by artists from The Who to Alicia Keys.

In March 2004, the following 50 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[7]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"The Lord's Prayer" and
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
Emile Berliner c. 1890
"Honolulu Cake Walk" Vess Ossman 1898
Victor Releases Bert Williams and
George Walker
"You're a Grand Old Rag [Flag]" Billy Murray 1906
Chippewa/Ojibwe Cylinder Collection Frances Densmore 1907–1910
The Bubble Book
(the first Bubble Book)
Cylinder recordings
of African-American music
Guy B. Johnson 1920s
"Cross of Gold" speech
Speech re-enactment
William Jennings Bryan 1921
"The OKeh Laughing Record" Lucie Bernardo and Otto Rathke 1922
"Adeste Fideles" Associated Glee Clubs of America 1925
Cajun-Creole Columbia releases Amédé Ardoin and
Dennis McGee
"Goodnight, Irene" Lead Belly 1933
"Every Man a King" speech Huey P. Long February 23, 1935 copy
"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" Marian Anderson 1936
The Complete Recordings Robert Johnson 1936–1937
Interviews conducted by Alan Lomax Jelly Roll Morton, Alan Lomax 1938
Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert Benny Goodman 1938
Complete day of radio broadcasting, WJSV (Washington, D.C.) WJSV, Washington, D.C. September 21, 1939 original
"New San Antonio Rose" Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys 1940
Porgy and Bess
(George Gershwin)
Original cast 1940, 1942
Beethoven String Quartets Budapest Quartet 1940–1950
World Series-Game Four New York Yankees
vs. Brooklyn Dodgers
October 5, 1941
(Rodgers and Hammerstein)
Original cast 1943
Othello Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen,
José Ferrer, and others
Bach B-Minor Mass Robert Shaw Chorale 1947
The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) Louis Kaufman and
the Concert Hall String Orchestra
Piano Sonata No. 2, "Concord"


John Kirkpatrick 1948
Pictures at an Exhibition (Modest Mussorgsky) Rafael Kubelík conducting
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
"Problems of the American Home" Billy Graham 1954
Goldberg Variations (Bach) Glenn Gould 1955
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook Ella Fitzgerald 1956
"Roll Over Beethoven" Chuck Berry 1956
Brilliant Corners Thelonious Monk 1956
Steam locomotive recordings, 6 vol. O. Winston Link 1957–1977
Complete Ring Cycle (Richard Wagner) Georg Solti and
the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Winds in Hi-Fi Eastman Wind Ensemble
with Frederick Fennell
Mingus Ah Um Charles Mingus 1959
New York Taxi Driver Tony Schwartz 1959
Ali Akbar College of Music,
Archive Selections
"Crazy" Patsy Cline 1961
Kennedy Inauguration Ceremony John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
Robert Frost, and others
January 20, 1961 original
Judy at Carnegie Hall Judy Garland 1961
"I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" Otis Redding 1965
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles 1967
At Folsom Prison Johnny Cash 1968
What's Going On Marvin Gaye 1971
Tapestry Carole King 1971
A Prairie Home Companion
First broadcast
Garrison Keillor July 6, 1974
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen 1975
Live at Yankee Stadium Fania All-Stars 1975


In April 2005, the following 50 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[8]

The traditional pop music song "Fascinating Rhythm," was sung by Fred and Adele Astaire in Lady, Be Good.
The NBC's coverage of Colonel Lindbergh in Washington was an important achievement for the network, and involved reporters in three locations in the city.
In spite of the controversy surrounding MacArthur at the time, his farewell speech to congress is noted for its eloquence and effectiveness.[8]
Among those to have claimed musical satirist Tom Lehrer as an influence are Lenny Bruce and Weird Al Yankovic.
"Houston. Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed ... I'm going to step off the LEM now. That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong's words upon landing on the moon "have become some of the most recognizable and memorable sentences spoken in United States history."[8]
Nirvana are considered one of the modern era's most influential bands, helping popularize alternative rock.
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"Gypsy Love Song" Eugene Cowles 1898
"Some of These Days" Sophie Tucker 1911
"The Castles in Europe One-Step
(Castle House Rag)"
Europe's Society Orchestra 1914
"Swanee" Al Jolson 1920
Armistice Day radio broadcast Woodrow Wilson November 10, 1923 original
"See See Rider" Gertrude "Ma" Rainey 1923
"Charleston" Golden Gate Orchestra 1925
"Fascinating Rhythm" Fred and
Adele Astaire;
George Gershwin, piano
NBC radio coverage of
Charles A. Lindbergh's
arrival and reception
in Washington, D.C.
June 11, 1927 copy
"Stardust" Hoagy Carmichael 1927
"Blue Yodel (T for Texas)" Jimmie Rodgers 1927
"Ain't Misbehavin'" Thomas "Fats" Waller 1929
"Gregorio Cortez" Trovadores Regionales 1929
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano;
Leopold Stokowski, conductor;
Philadelphia Orchestra
"The Suncook Town Tragedy" Mabel Wilson Tatro July 1930
Oral narrative from
the Lorenzo D. Turner Collection
Rosina Cohen 1932
"Stormy Weather" Ethel Waters 1933
"Body and Soul" Coleman Hawkins 1939
Peter and the Wolf
(Sergey Prokofiev)
Serge Koussevitzky, conductor;
Richard Hale, narrator;
Boston Symphony Orchestra
"In the Mood" Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 1939
Broadcasts from London Edward R. Murrow 1940 copy
We Hold These Truths
(Norman Corwin)
December 15, 1941 original
Piano Concerto No. 1, op. 23, Bb minor
(Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
Vladimir Horowitz, piano;
Arturo Toscanini, conductor;
NBC Symphony Orchestra
"Down by the Riverside" Sister Rosetta Tharpe 1944
U.S. Highball
(A Musical Account of
a Transcontinental Hobo Trip)
Harry Partch, Gate 5 Ensemble 1946
Four Saints in Three Acts (Virgil Thomson) Original cast 1947
"Manteca" Dizzy Gillespie Big Band
with Chano Pozo
The Jack Benny Program Jack Benny March 28, 1948
"Foggy Mountain Breakdown" Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs 1949
"Lovesick Blues" Hank Williams 1949
Guys & Dolls Original cast 1950
"Old Soldiers Never Die"
(Farewell Address to the United States Congress)
General Douglas MacArthur April 19, 1951 copy
Songs by Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer 1953
"Hoochie Coochie Man" Muddy Waters 1954
"Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" The Penguins 1954
Tuskegee Institute Choir Sings Spirituals Tuskegee Institute Choir,
directed by William L. Dawson
Messiah Eugene Ormandy, conductor;
Richard P. Condie, choir director;
Mormon Tabernacle Choir;
Philadelphia Orchestra
Giant Steps John Coltrane 1959
Drums of Passion Michael Babatunde Olatunji 1960
Peace Be Still James Cleveland 1962
"The Girl from Ipanema"
(Garota de Ipanema)
Stan Getz,
João Gilberto,
Antonio Carlos Jobim,
Astrud Gilberto
Live at the Apollo James Brown and The Famous Flames 1963
Pet Sounds The Beach Boys 1966
King James version of the Bible Alexander Scourby 1966
Remarks broadcast from the moon Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong July 21, 1969 original
At Fillmore East The Allman Brothers Band 1971
Star Wars (Soundtrack) John Williams 1977
Recordings of Asian elephants Katharine B. Payne 1984
Fear of a Black Planet Public Enemy 1990
Nevermind Nirvana 1991


In April 2006, the following 50 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[9]

An athlete, a gentleman and a scholar, Robeson used his diverse talents to pave a successful career as a performer and become active in sociopolitical affairs.
Count Basie, prominent band leader during the big band era, influenced many musicians of his day.
Former champion Max Schmeling handed Joe Louis his first loss.
B. B. King and his guitar Lucille.
Don't Crush That Dwarf ... was the first comedy album to utilize such production techniques including 16-track recording and Dolby noise reduction.
Stevie Wonder has been awarded over 20 Grammy Awards. His 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life won the Grammy that year for Album of the Year.
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"Canzone del Porter"
from Martha (von Flotow)
Edouard de Reszke 1903
"Listen to the Lambs" Hampton Quartette;
recorded by Natalie Curtis Burlin
"Over There" Nora Bayes 1917
"Crazy Blues" Mamie Smith 1920
"My Man" and "Second Hand Rose" Fanny Brice 1921
"Ory's Creole Trombone" Kid Ory June 1922
Second inauguration of Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge March 4, 1925
"Tanec Pid Werbamy/
Dance Under the Willows"
Pawlo Humeniuk 1926
"Singin' the Blues" Frankie Trumbauer and
His Orchestra
with Bix Beiderbecke
First official transatlantic
telephone conversation
W.S. Gifford and Sir Evelyn P. Murray January 7, 1927 original
"El Manisero" ("The Peanut Vendor")
(Two versions)
Rita Montaner,
vocal with orchestra;
Don Azpiazu and
His Havana Casino orchestra
Light's Golden Jubilee Celebration October 21, 1929 copy
Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Op. 84 Modesto High School Band 1930
Show Boat Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson,
James Melton and others;
Victor Young, conductor;
Louis Alter, piano
"Wabash Cannonball" Roy Acuff 1936
"One O'Clock Jump" Count Basie and His Orchestra 1937
The Fall of the City (Columbia Workshop) Orson Welles, narrator;
Burgess Meredith, Paul Stewart
April 11, 1937 copy
The Adventures of Robin Hood
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
May 11, 1938
Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight Clem McCarthy, announcer June 22, 1938
John the Revelator Golden Gate Quartet 1938
"Adagio for Strings" Arturo Toscanini, conductor;
NBC Symphony
November 5, 1938
Command Performance,
show No. 21
Bob Hope, master of ceremonies July 7, 1942 copy
"Straighten Up and Fly Right" Nat "King" Cole 1943
The Fred Allen Show Fred Allen October 7, 1945
"Jole Blon (Jolie Blonde)" Harry Choates 1946
Tubby the Tuba Victor Jory 1946
"Move On Up a Little Higher" Mahalia Jackson 1948
Anthology of American Folk Music Edited by Harry Smith 1952
"Schooner Bradley" Pat Bonner 1952–60
Damnation of Faust Boston Symphony Orchestra
with the Harvard Glee Club
and Radcliffe Choral Society
"Blueberry Hill" Fats Domino 1956
Variations for Orchestra
Representative of the Louisville Orchestra
First Edition Recordings series
Louisville Orchestra 1956
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" Jerry Lee Lewis 1957
"That'll Be the Day" Buddy Holly and The Crickets 1957
Poeme Electronique Edgard Varèse 1958
Time Out The Dave Brubeck Quartet 1959
Studs Terkel interview
with James Baldwin
Representative of the Studs Terkel Collection at the Chicago History Museum (formerly the Chicago Historical Society)
Studs Terkel, James Baldwin September 29, 1962
United States Military Academy address William Faulkner April 19–20, 1962
"Dancing in the Street" Martha and the Vandellas 1964
Live at the Regal B.B. King 1965
Are You Experienced The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1967
We're Only in It for the Money Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention 1968
Switched-On Bach Wendy Carlos 1968
"Oh Happy Day" Edwin Hawkins Singers 1969
Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers Firesign Theatre 1970
"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" Gil Scott-Heron 1970
Will the Circle Be Unbroken Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1972
The old foghorn, Kewaunee, Wisconsin Recorded by James A. Lipsky 1972
Songs in the Key of Life Stevie Wonder 1976
Daydream Nation Sonic Youth 1988


On March 6, 2007, the following 25 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[10]

Cal Stewart was among the most prolific and popular recording artists of the first 20 years of commercial recording.
Pete Seeger adapted a gospel song, "I Shall Overcome", by changing "I" to "We", and it became a civil rights standard.
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones' first U.S. No. 1 is thought to be one of the greatest rock songs.
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"Uncle Josh and the Insurance Agent" Cal Stewart 1904
"Il Mio Tesoro" John McCormack; orchestra
conducted by Walter Rogers
National Defense Test General John J. Pershing September 12, 1924 copy
"Black Bottom Stomp" Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers 1926
"Wildwood Flower" Carter Family 1928
"Pony Blues" Charley Patton 1929
"You're the Top" Cole Porter 1934
The Lone Ranger
Episode: "The Osage Bank Robbery"
Earle Graser, John Todd December 17, 1937
"Day of Infamy" speech to Congress Franklin D. Roosevelt December 8, 1941 copy
Native Brazilian music recorded
under the supervision of Leopold Stokowski
Pixinguinha, Donga, Cartola,
Jararaca, Ratinho and José Espinguela
"Peace in the Valley" Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys 1951
"Polonaise in A Major" ("Polonaise militaire"),
Op. 40, No. 1, by Frédéric Chopin
Artur Rubinstein 1952
"Blue Suede Shoes" Carl Perkins 1955
Interviews with William "Billy" Bell
(Canadian-Irish northwoods work songs)
Recorded by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives 1956
Howl Allen Ginsberg 1959
The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart Bob Newhart 1960
"Be My Baby" The Ronettes 1963
We Shall Overcome Pete Seeger 1963
"A Change Is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke 1964
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" The Rolling Stones 1965
The Velvet Underground & Nico The Velvet Underground and Nico 1967
The Eighty-Six Years of Eubie Blake Eubie Blake 1969
Burnin' The Wailers 1973
Live in Japan Sarah Vaughan 1973
Graceland Paul Simon 1986


"Allons à Lafayette" was the best-known recording by Cajun accordionist Joe Falcon.
Fiorello La Guardia read the comics on WNYC radio during the 1945 newspaper delivery strike.
T-Bone Walker- one of the first electric guitarists.
Murmurs of Earth is an eclectic 90-minute record of life and culture, sent into space by NASA.

On May 14, 2008, the following 25 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[11][12]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
The first transatlantic broadcast March 14, 1925
"Allons a Lafayette" Joe Falcon 1928
"Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma Rosa Ponselle and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Giulio Setti December 31, 1928 and January 30, 1929
"If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" Thomas A. Dorsey 1934
"Sweet Lorraine" Art Tatum 1940
Fibber McGee and Molly
Fibber's closet opens for the first time
Jim Jordan, Marian Jordan March 4, 1940
Wings Over Jordan May 10, 1942
Fiorello H. La Guardia reading the comics Fiorello H. La Guardia 1945
"Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)" T-Bone Walker 1947
Speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention Harry S. Truman July 15, 1948
The Jazz Scene Various artists, produced by Norman Granz 1949
"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" Kitty Wells 1952
My Fair Lady Original cast 1956
Navajo Shootingway Ceremony Field Recordings Recorded by David McAllester 1957–1958
"Freight Train" and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes Elizabeth Cotten 1959
United States Marine Band Recordings for the National Cultural Center 1963
"Oh, Pretty Woman" Roy Orbison 1964
"The Tracks of My Tears" Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 1965
You'll Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song Ella Jenkins 1966
Music from the Morning of the World Various artists, recorded by David Lewiston 1966
For the Roses Joni Mitchell 1972
Head Hunters Herbie Hancock 1973
Ronald Reagan radio broadcasts Ronald Reagan 1976–79
Murmurs of Earth
Disc prepared for the Voyager spacecraft
Thriller Michael Jackson 1982


Shortly after his Carnegie Hall debut, violinist Jascha Heifetz made his first recordings for Victor.
Mary Lou Williams was a prolific jazz pianist, composer, and arranger.
Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" address originated the term "Iron Curtain."
With Rumble, Link Wray popularized the power chord.

On June 10, 2009, the following 25 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[13]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"No News, or What Killed the Dog" Nat M. Wills 1908
Acoustic recordings for Victor Talking Machine Company Jascha Heifetz 1917–1924
"Night Life" Mary Lou Williams 1930
Sounds of the ivory-billed woodpecker 1935
Gang Busters 1935–1957
"Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" The Andrews Sisters 1938
"O Que É Que A Baiana Tem?" Carmen Miranda 1939
NBC Radio coverage of Marian Anderson's recital at the Lincoln Memorial Marian Anderson April 9, 1939
"Tom Dooley" Frank Proffitt 1940
Mary Margaret McBride Mary Margaret McBride and Zora Neale Hurston January 25, 1943
"Uncle Sam Blues"
Oran "Hot Lips" Page, accompanied by Eddie Condon's Jazz Band 1944
"Sinews of Peace" (Iron Curtain) Speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri Winston Churchill March 5, 1946
"The Churkendoose" Ray Bolger 1947
"Boogie Chillen'" John Lee Hooker 1948
A Child's Christmas in Wales Dylan Thomas 1952
A Festival of Lessons and Carols as Sung on Christmas Eve in King's College Chapel, Cambridge King's College Choir; Boris Ord, director 1954
West Side Story Original cast 1957
"Tom Dooley" The Kingston Trio 1958
"Rumble" Link Wray 1958
The Play of Daniel: A Twelfth-Century Drama New York Pro Musica under the direction of Noah Greenberg 1958
"Rank Stranger" The Stanley Brothers 1960
"At Last" Etta James 1961
2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks 1961
The Who Sings My Generation The Who 1966
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" George Jones 1980


On June 23, 2010, the following 25 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[14]

Little Richard
Bill Cosby
Mississippi John Hurt
Willie Nelson
Patti Smith
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"Fon der Choope (From the Wedding)" Abe Elenkrig's Yidishe Orchestra April 4, 1913
"Canal Street Blues" King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band April 5, 1923
Tristan und Isolde, NBC broadcast Metropolitan Opera, featuring Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior March 9, 1935
"When You Wish Upon a Star" Cliff Edwards 1938 (recorded) / 1940 (released)
America's Town Meeting of the Air: "Should Our Ships Convoy Materials to England?" George V. Denny, Jr. (host); Reinhold Niebuhr, John Flynn (guests) May 8, 1941
The Library of Congress Marine Corps Combat Field Recording Collection, Second Battle of Guam. 1944
"Evangeline Special" and "Love Bridge Waltz" Iry LeJeune 1948
The Little Engine that Could Paul Wing, narrator 1949
Leon Metcalf Collection of recordings of the First People of western Washington State Leon Metcalf 1950–1954
"Tutti Frutti" Little Richard 1955
"Smokestack Lightning" Howlin' Wolf 1956
Gypsy Original cast recording 1959
The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings Bill Evans Trio June 25, 1961
"Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)" Max Mathews 1961
I Started Out as a Child Bill Cosby 1964
Azucar Pa' Ti Eddie Palmieri 1965
Today! Mississippi John Hurt 1966
"Silver Apples of the Moon" Morton Subotnick 1967
Soul Folk in Action The Staple Singers 1968
The Band The Band 1969
"Coal Miner's Daughter" Loretta Lynn 1970
Red Headed Stranger Willie Nelson 1975
Horses Patti Smith 1975
"Radio Free Europe"
original Hib-Tone single
R.E.M. 1981
"Dear Mama" 2Pac 1995


Ishi, last surviving member of the Yahi tribe
Willis Conover, broadcaster with the Voice of America
Don Van Vliet, better known by the stage name Captain Beefheart
A humpback whale, known for producing whale songs

On April 6, 2011, the following 25 selections were announced.[15]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
Phonautograms Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville ca. 1853–1861
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" Edward Meeker, accompanied by the Edison Orchestra 1908
Yahi language cylinder recordings Ishi, last surviving member of the Yahi tribe 1911–1914
"Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" Blind Willie Johnson 1927
"It's the Girl" The Boswell Sisters with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra 1931
"Mal Hombre" Lydia Mendoza 1934
"Tumbling Tumbleweeds" The Sons of the Pioneers 1934
Talking Union The Almanac Singers 1941
Jazz at the Philharmonic Nat "King" Cole, Les Paul, Buddy Rich, others July 2, 1944
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass" Roger Wagner Chorale 1951
"The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest" Reverend C. L. Franklin 1953
"Tipitina" Professor Longhair 1953
"At Sunset" Mort Sahl 1955
Interviews with jazz musicians for the Voice of America Willis Conover 1956
The Music from Peter Gunn Henry Mancini 1958
United Sacred Harp Musical Convention in Fyffe, Alabama field recordings by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins 1959
Blind Joe Death John Fahey 1959, 1964, 1967
"Stand by Your Man" Tammy Wynette 1968
Trout Mask Replica Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band 1969
Songs of the Humpback Whale Frank Watlington, Roger Payne, and others 1970
"Let's Stay Together" Al Green 1971
"Black Angels (Thirteen Images from the Dark Land)" New York Strings Quartet 1972
Aja Steely Dan 1977
GOPAC Strategy and Instructional Tapes Newt Gingrich, others 1986–1994
3 Feet High and Rising De La Soul 1989


On May 23, 2012, the following 25 selections were made by the National Recording Preservation Board.[14]

Lillian Russell
Leonard Bernstein
Bo Diddley
Dolly Parton
Grateful Dead
Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
Edison Talking Doll cylinder November 1888
"Come Down Ma Evenin' Star" Lillian Russell 1912
"Ten Cents A Dance" Ruth Etting 1930
Voices from the Days of Slavery Various 1932–1975
"I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" Patsy Montana 1935
"Fascinating Rhythm" Sol Hoopii 1938
"Artistry In Rhythm" Stan Kenton 1943
New York Philharmonic debut of Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein November 14, 1943
Hottest Women's Band of the 1940s International Sweethearts of Rhythm 1944–1946 (released 1984)
"Hula Medley" Gabby Pahinui 1947
Indians for Indians (Hour) Don Whistler March 25, 1947
I Can Hear It Now: 1933-1945 Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly 1948
"Let's Go Out to the Programs" The Dixie Hummingbirds 1953
Also Sprach Zarathustra Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1954, 1958
"Bo Diddley"/ "I'm a Man" Bo Diddley 1955
"Green Onions" Booker T. & The M.G.'s 1962
A Charlie Brown Christmas Vince Guaraldi Trio 1965
Forever Changes Love 1967
The Continental Harmony: The Gregg Smith Singers Perform Music of William Billings The Gregg Smith Singers 1969
"Coat of Many Colors" Dolly Parton 1971
Mothership Connection Parliament 1975
Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University Grateful Dead 1977
"I Feel Love" Donna Summer 1977
"Rapper's Delight" Sugarhill Gang 1979
Purple Rain Prince and The Revolution 1984


On March 21, 2013, the following 25 selections were announced.[15]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"After You've Gone" Marion Harris 1918
"Bacon, Beans and Limousines" Will Rogers October 18, 1931
"Begin the Beguine" Artie Shaw 1938
"You Are My Sunshine" Jimmie Davis 1940
D-Day Radio Broadcast George Hicks June 5–6, 1944
"Just Because" Frank Yankovic & His Yanks 1947
South Pacific
Original Cast Recording
Original Cast 1949
Descargas: Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature Cachao 1957
Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 Van Cliburn April 11, 1958
President's Message Relayed from Atlas Satellite Dwight D. Eisenhower December 19, 1958
A Program of Song Leontyne Price 1959
The Shape of Jazz to Come Ornette Coleman 1959
"Crossing Chilly Jordan" Blackwood Brothers 1960
"The Twist" Chubby Checker 1960
Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, others 1960–1962
Hoodoo Man Blues Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band feat. Buddy Guy 1965
Sounds of Silence Simon & Garfunkel 1966
Cheap Thrills Big Brother and the Holding Company 1968
The Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd 1973
Music Time In Africa Leo Sarkisian July 29, 1973
The Wild Tchoupitoulas The Wild Tchoupitoulas 1976
Ramones Ramones 1976
Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack The Bee Gees, et al. 1977
Einstein On The Beach Philip Glass and Robert Wilson 1979
The Audience With Betty Carter Betty Carter 1980


On April 2, 2014, the following 25 selections were announced.[16][17]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"The Laughing Song" George W. Johnson c.1896
"They Didn’t Believe Me" Harry Macdonough and Alice Green 1915
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"
(Two Versions)
Bing Crosby
Rudy Vallee
Recordings of Kwakwaka’wakw Chief Dan Cranmer Franz Boas and George Herzog 1938
"Were You There" Roland Hayes 1940
"Sammy Goes to the Army" The Goldbergs July 9, 1942
"Caldonia" Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five 1945
"Dust My Broom" Elmore James 1951
A Night of Birdland (Vols. 1 & 2) Art Blakey 1954
"When I Stop Dreaming" The Louvin Brothers 1955
"Cathy's Clown" The Everly Brothers 1960
Texas Sharecropper and Songster Mance Lipscomb 1960
The First Family Vaughn Meader 1962
Lawrence Ritter's Interviews with Baseball Pioneers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century Lawrence Ritter 1962-1966
Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
Carnegie Hall Concert with Buck Owens and His Buckaroos Buck Owens and His Buckaroos 1966
"Fortunate Son" Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969
Shaft Isaac Hayes 1971
Only Visiting This Planet Larry Norman 1972
Celia & Johnny Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco 1974
Copland Conducts Copland: Appalachian Spring Aaron Copland 1974
Heart Like a Wheel Linda Ronstadt 1974
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Original Cast Recording
Original Cast 1979
The Joshua Tree U2 1987
"Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley 1994


On March 25, 2015, the following 25 selections were announced.[18]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
The Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings at University of California, Santa Barbara Library University of California, Santa Barbara 1890-1910
The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection, recorded at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago Benjamin Ives Gilman 1893
"The Boys of the Lough"/"The Humours of Ennistymon" Michael Coleman 1922
"Black Snake Moan"/ "Match Box Blues" Blind Lemon Jefferson 1928
"Sorry, Wrong Number" (episode of Suspense radio series) Suspense May 25, 1943
"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" Johnny Mercer 1944
Radio Coverage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Funeral Arthur Godfrey, et al. April 14, 1945
Kiss Me, Kate
Original Cast Recording
Original Cast 1949
John Brown's Body Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey; directed by Charles Laughton 1953
"My Funny Valentine" The Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker 1953
"Sixteen Tons" Tennessee Ernie Ford 1955
"Mary Don't You Weep" The Swan Silvertones 1959
Joan Baez Joan Baez 1960
"Stand By Me" Ben E. King 1961
New Orleans’ Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band 1964
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" The Righteous Brothers 1964
The Doors The Doors 1967
Lincoln Mayorga and Distinguished Colleagues Lincoln Mayorga 1968
Stand! Sly and the Family Stone 1969
A Wild and Crazy Guy Steve Martin 1978
Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites Various 1995
OK Computer Radiohead 1997
Songs of the Old Regular Baptists Various 1997
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Lauryn Hill 1998
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor; Joan Tower, composer 1999


On March 23, 2016, the following 25 selections were announced.[19]

Recording or collection Performer or agent Year National
"Let Me Call You Sweetheart" Peerless Quartet 1911
"Wild Cat Blues" Clarence Williams' Blue Five 1923
"Statesboro Blues" Blind Willie McTell 1928
"Bonaparte's Retreat" W.H. Stepp 1937
"Decoration Day Parade"[20] Vic and Sade May 28, 1937[21]
Mahler Symphony No. 9 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Bruno Walter, conductor 1938
Carousel of American Music George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Arthur Freed, Shelton Brooks, Hoagy Carmichael, others September 24, 1940
The Marshall Plan Speech George C. Marshall June 5, 1947 copy
"A Garage in Gainesville" and "Execution Awaited" Destination Freedom September 25 and October 2, 1949
A Streetcar Named Desire soundtrack Alex North 1951
"Cry Me a River" Julie London 1955
"Mack the Knife"
(Two Versions)
Louis Armstrong
Bobby Darin
Fourth-quarter radio coverage of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game Bill Campbell, announcer March 2, 1962
A Love Supreme John Coltrane 1964
It's My Way! Buffy Sainte-Marie 1964
"Where Did Our Love Go" The Supremes 1964
"People Get Ready" The Impressions 1965
"Mama Tried" Merle Haggard 1968
Abraxas Santana 1970
Class Clown George Carlin 1972
Robert and Clara Schumann Complete Piano Trios Beaux Arts Trio 1972
"Piano Man" Billy Joel 1973
Bogalusa Boogie Clifton Chenier 1976
"I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor 1978
Master of Puppets Metallica 1986


As of 2014, the oldest recording on the list is Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville's Phonautograms which date back to 1853. The most recent is Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman by Joan Tower, performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop, which was released in 1999.[22]

Selections vary widely in duration. Both the early Edison recordings and the instrumental "Rumble" by Link Wray clock in at under three minutes; the Edison Talking Doll cylinder is only 17 seconds long. Meanwhile, Georg Solti's recording of Wagner's complete Ring Cycle is approximately 15 hours in duration and Alexander Scourby's recitation of the King James Bible is over 80 hours in length.[22]

See also



  1. 1 2 "Current Registry". The Library of Congress. November 3, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  2. "Current Registry". The Library of Congress. November 3, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  3. "Overview". The Library of Congress. November 16, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  4. "National Recording Registry Criteria". The Library of Congress. November 3, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  5. 1 2 3 "The National Recording Registry 2002". The Library of Congress. December 6, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  6. "Edison cylinders chosen for National Recording Registry". Edison National Historic Site. National Park Service. December 22, 2004. Archived from the original on February 7, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  7. 1 2 3 "The National Recording Registry 2003". The Library of Congress. October 25, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  8. 1 2 3 "The National Recording Registry 2004". The Library of Congress. October 25, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  9. "The National Recording Registry 2005". The Library of Congress. October 25, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  10. "The National Recording Registry 2006". The Library of Congress. March 6, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  11. Logue, Susan (May 15, 2008). "Jackson, Reagan Added to National Recording Registry". VOA News. Voice of America. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  12. "The National Recording Registry 2007". The Library of Congress. May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  13. Metzler, Natasha (June 9, 2009). "New National Recording Registry entries announced". Associated Press, San Fransciso Chronicle. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  14. 1 2 Registry Choices 2009: The National Recording Preservation Board (Library of Congress). Retrieved on October 27, 2010.
  15. 1 2
  16. "Hallelujah, the 2013 National Recording Registry Reaches 400". Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  17. "Library of Congress Beefs Up Recordings Collection, but Watch Out for That Barber". Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  19. "National Recording Registry Recognizes "Mack the Knife," Motown and Mahler". Library of Congress. March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  20. "Complete National Recording Registry Listing". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  21. "Complete National Recording Registry Listing". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  22. 1 2 "Full Registry". The Library of Congress. November 3, 2006. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
  23. "National Archives Sound Recordings Named to National Recording Registry". U.S. Newswire. January 23, 2003. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2007.

External links

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