Mar 29 2017

Library of Congress Honors Works Written by 15 SHOF Inductees


Recordings are Inducted into National Recording Registry as “culturally, artistically and historically significant”

Fifteen Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees were a key creative force behind legendary recordings selected this year for the prestigious National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. The 2017 selections were announced today by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, and will become part of an elite group of recordings destined for special preservation and scholarship attention due to their “cultural, artistic and historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.” She added “These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation’s cultural history and our history in general.” This years list includes 26 recordings made over 109 years, ranging from 1888 Edison cylinder recordings to a 1997 classical work.

Of the 20 non-classical musical recordings, ten were written by SHOF inductees. They include:
• Judy Garland’s 1939 recording of “Over The Rainbow,” written by Harold Arlen and E Y. Harburg , a song honored as a SHOF Towering Song in 2014
• Big Mama Thornton’s original 1952 recording of “Hound Dog” written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
• Barbra Streisand’s megahit “People” written by Jule Stein and Robert Merrill
• David Bowie’s legendary “Ziggy Stardust” album
• The Eagles “Greatest Hits” album, written in large part by Don Henley and Glenn Frey
• The disco anthem “We Are Family” written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and performed by Sister Sledge
• Wilson Pickett’s breakout hit “In The Midnight Hour” co-written by Pickett and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Steve Cropper
• Irving Berlin’s indelible “Puttin’ on the Ritz” first recorded by Harry Richman in 1929
• The original African American anthem “Lift Every Voice” written by James Weldon Johnson and memorably recorded in 1923 by the Manhattan Harmony Four

SHOF President and CEO Linda Moran, said: “We are pleased to see the recognition accorded by the Library of Congress for the work of so many SHOF inductees. The Library’s criteria of artistic, historical and cultural significance resonates strongly with the guidelines the SHOF Nominating Committee and membership employ in determining who, among thousand of eligible songwriters, should be inducted each year. 

“We note that dozens upon dozens of SHOF inductees have created works that have been added to this special National Recording Registry by the Library over the years. It is a remarkable and most-deserved synchronicity in recognition of great musical works by great songwriters and lyricists over the decades.”

Moran serves as a member of the federally-chartered National Recording Preservation Board, which assists the Librarian in selecting the recordings each year.

The Registry was established in 2002, and has inducted just 475 recordings of the more than 3 million in the Library’s vast recorded sound collection. Each year, the National Recording Preservation Board recommends works to be added to the collection, and the Librarian of Congress makes a final selection of about 25 works annually. The Board also advises on significant strategies in preservation of rare and endangered recordings, in collaboration with the nation’s leading academic institutions.

The full list of this year’s Registry selections is available in the official Library of Congress media release at: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-029/

Playlists of selected tracks from this year’s inductees are available on Pandora and Spotify.

More information on the Registry and the Library’s important work in audio preservation is available on the Library’s special website at: http://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/about-this-program/