Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Bonnie Raitt added to National Recording Registry: NPR

Singer Alicia Keys performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a few months after the 2001 9/11 attacks.

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Singer Alicia Keys performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a few months after the 2001 9/11 attacks.

George De Sota / Getty Images

When the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, staff at the city’s largest public radio station struggled to report the news – not because their transmitter was on top of one of the Twin Towers. But our colleagues at WNYC persevered and managed to keep New Yorkers informed throughout the horror and chaos of the dreaded day and deliver the first eyewitness accounts of the attack.

Now, WNYC’s 9/11 broadcasts will be filed in the National Recording Registry. Every year since 2000, when the registry was first created by a congressional law, the Library of Congress selects 25 titles to be preserved for posterity.

The list usually includes what the LOC calls “the sounds of history,” and this year those choices include the complete presidential speeches by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and WSB-Atlanta’s coverage of Hank Aaron’s 715th homecoming, vividly called by legendary sports caster Milo Hamilton.

“When Aaron hit that homer, Hamilton’s abundance in the air matched those in the stands,” the Library of Congress said in a statement. “Almost as well remembered as the actual 715th home run, Hamilton’s announcement of breaking the ‘record that would never be broken’ is one of baseball – and radio’s biggest calls ever.”

The purpose of the register is to promote LOC’s conservation efforts. So how is it better to publicize yourself than to include the country’s most beloved musicians? This year’s inmates include, as usual, several celebrities and classic rock. Entire albums recently added to the registry, from Duke Ellington’s 1956 Ellington and Newport to the 1997s Good Vista Social Club to Linda Ronstadt’s career milestone in 1987, Songs by my father.

Linda Ronstadt performs at Songs from my father cconcert in 1989.


Songs by my father is an album I have always wanted to make because of my Mexican heritage, “Ronstadt said in a statement.” I love the musical traditions that came with it. I always thought it was world class songs. And I thought it was songs that the music could cross the language barrier. “

Other notable albums added to the 2022 record include Alicia Keys’ Songs in A minor, Bonnie Raitts At the last minute and Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter Wu-Tang (36 chambers)from 1993. According to the Library of Congress, that album would “shape the sound of hardcore rap and confirm the creative capacity of the East Coast rap scene. The group’s individual artists would continue to produce associated projects that deepened the group’s influence for decades in hip hop.”

But the list also dusts off more obscure, esoteric and offbeat contributions. The earliest recording – “Harlem Strut” from 1921 – is the first known recording by jazz pianist James P. Johnson, who also composed “The Charleston”. And the latest addition, from nearly a century later, is a podcast episode: WTF with Marc Maron, from 2010, Robin Williams contained in a hot, tumultuous and sensationally intimate conversation. Four years later, the comedian would have died of suicide at the age of 63.

“The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound,” said Congress librarian Carla Hayden as part of the announcement. Along with several of the featured artists, she will be interviewed as part of the series “The Sounds of America” ​​from NPR’s 1A, which focuses on this year’s selections for the National Recording Registry.

These choices follow in chronological order:

“Harlem Strut” – James P. Johnson (1921)

2. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-1945)

3. “Walking the Floor Over You” – Ernest Tubb (1941) (single)

4. “On a Note of Triumph” (May 8, 1945)

5. “Jesus Gave Me Water” – The Soul Stirrers (1950) (single)

6. “Ellington at Newport” – Duke Ellington (1956) (album)

7. “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite” – Max Roach (1960) (album)

8. “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole (1961) (single)

9. “Tonight’s the Night” – The Shirelles (1961) (album)

10. “Moon River” – Andy Williams (1962) (single)

11. “In C” – Terry Riley (1968) (album)

12. “It’s a Small World” – Disneyland Boys Choir (1964) (single)

13. “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” – The Four Tops (1966) (single)

14. Hank Aarons 715. Career Home Run (April 8, 1974)

15. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen (1975) (single)

16. “Don’t Stop Believin ‘” – Journey (1981) (single)

17. “Songs from my father” – Linda Ronstadt (1987) (album)

18. “Nick of Time” – Bonnie Raitt (1989) (album)

19. “The Low End Theory” – A Tribe Called Quest (1991) (album)

20. “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” – Wu-Tang Clan (1993) (album)

21. “Buena Vista Social Club” (1997) (album)

22. “Livin ‘La Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin (1999) (single)

23. “Songs in A Minor” – Alicia Keys (2001) (album)

24. WNYC Broadcasts for 9/11 (September 11, 2001)

25. “WTF with Marc Maron” (Guest: Robin Williams) (April 26, 2010)

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