The Library of Congress today announced that 25 songs and sound recordings have been added to the National Recording Registry. The artists represented include the late Donna Summer, Bo Diddley, Prince, early hip-hop group the Sugarhill Gang, and country icon Dolly Parton.
The Parton song getting the honor is “Coat of Many Colors,” an autobiographical work that brings Dolly’s Tennessee mountain upbringing to vivid life through a tearful–but, ultimately, resilient and uplifting–story of an unusual coat her mother made for her.
“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,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in a statement on Library’s website.
Other recordings that made the list this year include Prince and the Revolution’s “Purple Rain”; Leonard Bernstein’s debut performance with the New York Philharmonic; the Grateful Dead’s 1977 Barton Hall concert; an album from A Charlie Brown Christmas; and the pioneering hip-hop single “Rapper’s Delight.”
This year’s entries join the likes of Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Billie Holliday, Bing Crosby, Lead Belly, Stevie Wonder, Patsy Cline, and Bruce Springsteen in the prestigious registry (see the full list — it’s fascinating).
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, 25 recordings are selected each year that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old.
Nominations were gathered through online submissions from the public and from the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB). And if you have any thoughts on a song, artist, or recording that you feel should be highlighted and preserved for future generations like this, take note that nominations are currently being accepted for the next registry at the NRPB website.