Rare tunes, pop hits join National Recording Registry

This year's 25 picks include Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, Prince

Historic material ranging from an 1888 Edison recording for a talking doll to classic rock, country, funk and disco comprises the 25 selections for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

The newly announced titles, characterized as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the LOC, bring the total number of recordings in the Registry, now in its 10th year, to 350.

“America’s sound heritage is an important part of the nation’s history and culture and this year’s selections reflect the diversity and creativity of the American experience,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said. “These songs, words and natural sounds must be preserved for future generations.”

Such documents as the lone surviving recording by early 20th-century stage star Lillian Russell and 1932-41 interviews with former African-American slaves are entering the Registry.

Disco queen Donna Summer, who died May 17, was cited by the Registry for her 1977 hit “I Feel Love.” Country singers Dolly Parton and Patsy Montana, Hawaiian guitarists Sol Hoopii and Gabby Pahinui, gospel performers the Dixie Hummingbirds, soul instrumentalists Booker T. & the M.G.’s, funk unit Parliament and rockers Bo Diddley, Love and the Grateful Dead also join the LOC rolls.

The annals of broadcasting and film are represented by Leonard Bernstein’s 1943 debut performance with the New York Philharmonic on CBS Radio; “I Can Hear It Now,” Columbia Records’ 1948 compilation of Edward R. Murrow’s CBS news reports; jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack for the 1965 animated special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”; and Prince and the Revolution’s music for the 1984 feature “Purple Rain.”

Complete list of this year’s National Recording Registry selections:

1. Edison Talking Doll cylinder (1888)

2. “Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star,” Lillian Russell (1912)

3. “Ten Cents a Dance,” Ruth Etting (1930)

4. “Voices from the Days of Slavery,” Various speakers (1932-1941 interviews; 2002 compilation)

5. “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Patsy Montana (1935)

6. “Fascinating Rhythm,” Sol Hoopii and his Novelty Five (1938)

7. “Artistry in Rhythm,” Stan Kenton and his Orchestra (1943)

8. Debut performance with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1943)

9. International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Hottest Women’s Band of the 1940s (1944-1946)

10. “The Indians for Indians Hour” (March 25, 1947)

11. “Hula Medley,” Gabby Pahinui (1947)

12. “I Can Hear It Now,” Fred W. Friendly and Edward R. Murrow (1948)

13. “Let’s Go Out to the Programs,” The Dixie Hummingbirds (1953)

14. “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958)

15. “Bo Diddley” and “I’m a Man,” Bo Diddley (1955)

16. “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962)

17. “Forever Changes,” Love (1967)

18. “The Continental Harmony: Music of William Billings,” Gregg Smith Singers (1969)

19. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970)

20. “Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton (1971)

21. “Mothership Connection,” Parliament (1975)

22. Barton Hall concert by the Grateful Dead (May 8, 1977)

23. “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer (1977)

24. “Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979)

25. “Purple Rain,” Prince and the Revolution (1984)