National Recording Registry 2021

Flaco Jiménez

Partners. Flaco JiminezYou may have heard about 25 recordings making it into the National Recording Registry. Some got more press than others.

Edison’s “St. Louis tinfoil” recording (1878). I can’t find it yet, but it should be available starting August 28, 2021, when the Missouri History Museum starts its St. Louis Sound exhibition.
Nikolina – Hjalmar Peterson (1917) (single). This appears to be a 1929 version.
Smyrneikos Balos – Marika Papagika (1928) (single). “An authentic Greek recording.”
When the Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra (1938) (single). He performed this song a lot, but this is among the finest versions.
Christmas Eve  Broadcast – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (December 24, 1941), right after the US entered WWII.
The Guiding Light – Nov. 22, 1945. I can’t find it, but now I know why it’s on the list. It aired “the first Thanksgiving after the conclusion of World War II… The Rev. Dr. Frank Tuttle gives a moving sermon to a packed church.”

The 1950s and 1960s

Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues – Odetta (1957) (album). My father LOVED her voice.
Lord, Keep Me Day by Day – Albertina Walker and the Caravans (1959) (single)
Roger Maris hits his 61st home run (October 1, 1961). I don’t know if it’s the one with Phil Rizzuto’s voice, or, more likely that of Red Barber.
Aida – Leontyne Price, et.al. (1962) (album)
Once A Day – Connie Smith (1964) (single) – EIGHT weeks at #1 on the country charts in 1964, though only #101 on the pop charts
Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King (1967) (album). I may still own this on vinyl.

Onto the ’70s and ’80s

Free to Be… You and Me – Marlo Thomas and Friends (1972) (album). I watched the TV special for sure. I might have even bought the album.
The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff (1972) (album). There are YouTube versions with more than 12 songs, but the version I own has the dozen.
Lady Marmalade – Labelle (1974) (single). Patti LaBelle didn’t know what this song was about? She didn’t understand French, evidently.
Late for the Sky – Jackson Browne (1974) (album)
Bright Size Life — Pat Metheny (1976) (album). Didn’t find it.
The Rainbow Connection – Kermit the Frog (1979) (single)

Celebration — Kool and the Gang (1980) (single). On the 22 March 2021 JEOPARDY, R and B and SOUL HITS $800. 40 years later and partygoers still like to get on the dance floor and “celebrate good times” to a hit by this group. Triple Stumper, but I knew it instantly. I have the album on vinyl.
Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs – Jessye Norman (1983) (album)
Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 – Janet Jackson (1989) (album). I LOVE this album. She performed much of it when I saw her at SPAC in 2018.

THE Find

Partners – Flaco Jiménez (1992) (album). I was not familiar with this artist, but he performs with Stephen Stills, Linda Ronstadt, John Hiatt, and Los Lobos on songs they wrote or co-wrote, plus Dwight Yoakam, Oscar Tellez, and Ry Cooder
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1993) (single). I may have gotten a little teary-eyed when this played on the TV show E.R. just before Dr. Greene’s departure. Maybe not. Possibly.
Illmatic – Nas (1994) (album)
This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money  (May 9, 2008). “A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s?”

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “National Recording Registry 2021”

  1. I was in the target age for “Free to Be, You and Me” when it came out and I remember it pretty well, especially the Rosey Grier needlepoint segment (probably because my mom did needlepoint back in those days, and I remember thinking it was cool that a “big, tough” football player did that. I also remember “William’s Doll” and the point that boys usually grow up to be fathers (and anyway, being caring is good, regardless of who you are) and also the bit with the unpleasant little girl who always wanted to be first and got eaten by a crocodile (?) for her troubles.

  2. LOVE seeing Albertina Walker and the Caravans in there. SO MANY amazing talents passed through that group, and I listen to a LOT of their stuff together and as soloists, especially Shirley Caesar. Probably heretical to say this, but my fave recording of “Mary Don’t You Weep” is not the one from Aretha’s “Amazing Grace” album/show, but the one by the Caravans with Inez Andrews singing lead circa 1958. Rev James Cleveland (who arranged it) basically deployed the exact same arrangement for Aretha when she sang it in Watts for her album 15ish years later. Gonna spin it now, just because . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5UDBf9Q2bc

    Also glad to see “The Harder They Come,” another family favorite. And, yeah, my old vinyl version had 12 tracks . . . but that included the title song and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” being on both sides of the record!

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