National Recording Registry Inducts Classics by Dr. Dre, Mister Rogers and Cheap Trick

Whitney Houston, Glen Campbell, Memphis Minnie and the Village People are also having records inducted into august company.

National Recording Registry Adds Dr. Dre,
Courtesy Library of Congress

Mister Rogers, meet Dr. Dre. Memphis Minnie, meet “Dusty in Memphis.” “Wichita Lineman,” wave hello to the “Fiddler on the Roof.” “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” say hi to Whitney Houston.

And perhaps in the time of coronavirus, all these classic records can help — in the words of Eddy Arnold — “Make the World Go Away.”

They’re all among the 25 records that have been selected for induction into the Library of CongressNational Recording Registry were announced Wednesday, with a list that runs from 1920 into the 21st century and from classical to hip-hop. Range is big, for the Recording Registry: A mid-century recording of Puccini’s “Tosca” is included, and so is the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.”

With 25 recordings having been added every year since the list began at the turn of the century, a total of 550 are now included in the Registry.

Although the vast majority are musical in nature, spoken-word recordings are eligible, too, and so this year, the list includes a play-by-play of a 1951 National League tiebreaker between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. It expands to include Broadway cast recordings, kids’ music, country, folk, Latin and disco.

The most recognizable additions for a modern audience include Whitney Houstons song “I Will Love You” and Dr. Dre’s album “The Chronic,” both from 1992 — and the most recent pop music entries on the list. (Recordings have to be at least 10 years old to be nominated, but only jazz and classical albums represent the decade of the 2000s.)

Other “household name” entries include Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” and Dutry Springfield’s “Dusty in Memphis” from the 1960s, “Cheap Trick at Budokan” and “Mister Rogers Sings 21 Favorite Songs From ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’” from the ’70s, and Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” (1984) and Selena’s “Ven Conmigo” (1990).

Of the “Wichita Lineman” honor, songwriter Jimmy Webb said in a statement, “I’m humbled and, at the same time for Glen, I am extremely proud,. I wish there was a some way I could say, ‘Glen, you know they’re doing this. They are putting this thing in a mountain.”

“We are honored that our breakout album, ‘Cheap Trick at Budokan,’ is being added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress,” said Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen in a statement. “We thank our loyal fans who nominated us, and our favorite Rockford school librarian who got the ball rolling.”

The earliest piece represented is “Whispering,” a jazz-swing number by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, from 1920. Opera singer Maria Callas is an early superstar who shows up on the list, with might be the earliest household name on the list, as one of the performers of Puccini’s “Tosca” in a 1953 recording.

The Registry always includes an offbeat choice or two representing a specific moment in history, and besides that ballgame replay, that’s also the case here with an afternoon radio broadcast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing in 1963 that includes the conductor telling the live and home listening audience of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, followed by the stunned orchestra playing Beethoven’s “Funeral March” as an impromptu addition.

Further eclectic choices range from Arnold’s Hank Cochran-penned “Make the World Go Away,” one of the great countrypolitan singles of the ’60s, to an old-time radio horror program from 1939, to a collection of more than 50 hours of Afghan music, to Allan Sherman’s “camp” classic novelty record from 1963.


The full 2020 National Recording Registry list:

1. “Whispering” (single), Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (1920)

2. “Protesta per Sacco e Vanzetti,” Compagnia Columbia; “Sacco e Vanzetti,” Raoul Romito (1927)

3. “La Chicharronera” (single), Narciso Martinez and Santiago Almeida (1936)

4. “Arch Oboler’s Plays” episode “The Bathysphere.” (Nov. 18, 1939)

5. “Me and My Chauffeur Blues” (single), Memphis Minnie (1941)

6. The 1951 National League tiebreaker: New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers — Russ Hodges, announcer (Oct. 3, 1951)

7. Puccini’s “Tosca” (album), Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Angelo Mercuriali, Tito Gobbi, Melchiorre Luise, Dario Caselli, Victor de Sabata (1953)

8. “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” (single), Allan Sherman (1963)

9. WGBH broadcast of the Boston Symphony on the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1963)

10. “Fiddler on the Roof” (album), original Broadway cast (1964)

11. “Make the World Go Away” (single), Eddy Arnold (1965)

12. Hiromi Lorraine Sakata Collection of Afghan Traditional Music (1966-67; 1971-73)

13. “Wichita Lineman” (single), Glen Campbell (1968)

14. “Dusty in Memphis” (album), Dusty Springfield (1969)

15. “Mister Rogers Sings 21 Favorite Songs From ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ ” (album), Fred Rogers (1973)

16. “Cheap Trick at Budokan” (album), Cheap Trick (1978)

17. Holst: Suite No. 1 in E-Flat, Suite No. 2 in F / Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks / Bach: Fantasia in G (Special Edition Audiophile Pressing album), Frederick Fennell and the Cleveland Symphonic Winds (1978)

18. “Y.M.C.A.” (single), The Village People (1978)

19. “A Feather on the Breath of God” (album), Gothic Voices; Christopher Page, conductor; Hildegard von Bingen, composer (1982)

20. “Private Dancer” (album), Tina Turner (1984)

21. “Ven Conmigo” (album), Selena (1990)

22. “The Chronic” (album), Dr. Dre (1992)

23. “I Will Always Love You” (single), Whitney Houston (1992)

24. “Concert in the Garden” (album), Maria Schneider Orchestra (2004)

25. “Percussion Concerto” (album), Colin Currie (2008)