‘Thriller’ added to prestigious list

Michael Jackson's hit record on Recording Registry

Michael Jackson’s 1982 smash record “Thriller” was added to the prestigious National Recording Registry on Wednesday.

So was a 1945 radio broadcast of then-New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reading comics to children during a newspaper delivery strike.

Those were just two of 25 listings added to the registry, which is intended to keep track of and preserve sound recordings deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” according to the Library of Congress, which oversees the registry.

Under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the librarian of Congress selects the 25 each year based on nominations from the public and from consultations with the National Recording Preservation Board, “which comprises leaders in the fields of music, recorded sound and preservation,” the library said.

“Audio preservation constitutes a critical challenge,” librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. “Much has already been lost, particularly in the field of radio. As the nation’s library, the Library of Congress and NRPB are working to identify problems; come up with practical, consensus solutions; and assist other institutions facing these daunting challenges.”

Country, blues and soul as well as pop music were represented by recordings of Kitty Wells (“It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”), T-Bone Walker (“Stormy Monday”), Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (“Tracks of My Tears”) and others.

A compilation of jazz recordings (“The Jazz Scene”) includes works by the leading 20th century artists of the genre. Art Tatum’s “Sweet Lorraine” was included separately, by itself.

With this latest round of selections, representing choices for 2007, the registry now totals 250 listings.

The complete list of 2007 selections, in chronological order:

  • The first trans-Atlantic radio broadcast (March 14, 1925)

  • “Allons a Lafayette,” Joseph Falcon (1928)

  • “Casta Diva,” from Bellini’s “Norma,” Rosa Ponselle, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Giulio Setti (Dec. 31, 1928, and Jan. 30, 1929)

  • “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again,” Thomas A. Dorsey (1934)

  • “Sweet Lorraine,” Art Tatum (Feb. 22, 1940)

  • Fibber’s closet opens for the first time, “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio program (March 4, 1940)

  • “Wings Over Jordan,” Wings Over Jordan (1941)

  • Fiorello LaGuardia reading the comics (1945)

  • “Call It Stormy Monday but Tuesday Is Just as Bad,” T-Bone Walker (1947)

  • Harry S. Truman’s speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention (July15, 1948)

  • “The Jazz Scene,” various artists (1949)

  • “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” Kitty Wells (May 30, 1952)

  • “My Fair Lady,” original cast recording (1956)

  • Navajo Shootingway ceremony field recordings, recorded by David McAllester (1957-58)

  • ” ‘Freight Train,’ and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes,” Elizabeth Cotten (1959)

  • “Marine Band Concert Album to Help Benefit the National Cultural Center” (1963)

  • “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Roy Orbison (1964)

  • “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 (1966)

  • “For the Roses,” Joni Mitchell (1972)

  • “Headhunters,” Herbie Hancock (1973)

  • Ronald Reagan radio broadcasts (1976-79)

  • “The Sounds of Earth,” disc prepared for the Voyager spacecraft (1977)

  • “Thriller,” Michael Jackson (1982).

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