Each year since 2002, the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) and members of the public have nominated recordings to the National Recording Registry. Recordings selected for the Registry are those that are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States. The Library of Congress then identifies and preserves the best existing versions of each selected recording in the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia.
Black Grooves readers are encouraged to make nominations for the 2012 Registry via the online submission form on the NRPB website. Recordings of all types—commercial releases, field recordings, radio broadcasts, spoken word, sound effects—are all eligible provided there is an extant copy and the recording is at least ten years old. Categories include Broadway, Cajun/Zydeco, classical, comedy, folk, ethnic, gospel, jazz, pop, R&B, blues, rap, speeches, news, and just about anything else that has been put to wax. Please remember to submit a brief justification of the recording’s significance along with your nominations.
In 2011 there were 25 new entries on the National Recording Registry including the American Folklife Center’s collection of oral histories “Voices from the Days of Slavery” (1932-1941), “Let’s Go Out to the Programs” (1953) by the legendary gospel quartet Dixie Hummingbirds, Bo Diddley’s rocking first singles “Bo Diddley” and “I’m a Man” (1955), Booker T. & the M.G.’s hit soul instrumental “Green Onions” (1962), the album Forever Changes (1967) by the integrated psychedelic L.A. rock band Love, the ultimate P-funk Afro-futurist concept album Mothership Connection (1975) by Parliament, Donna Summer’s electronic dance hit “I Feel Love” (1977), the Sugarhill Gang’s seminal “Rapper’s Delight” (1979), and Prince and the Revolution’s black rock musical soundtrack Purple Rain (1984).
The full registry includes 350 entries listed in chronological order edning in “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur (1995).
The U.S. Presidential election might be several months away, but you can “vote” for your favorite recordings today!