April 2nd announcement by the Library of Congress:
Jeff Buckley’s haunting single "Hallelujah" from his one and only studio album; Lyndon B. Johnson’s massive collection of presidential conversations; Isaac Hayes’ landmark soundtrack album "Shaft"; and "The Laughing Song" performed by the nation’s first black recording artist are among the newest recordings selected for induction into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the selection of 25 sound recordings to the registry that will be preserved as cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures, representing the richness and diversity of the American soundscape.
"These recordings represent an important part of America’s culture and history," said Billington. "As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation’s aural legacy is protected. The National Recording Registry is at the core of this effort."
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), is tasked with annually selecting 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old. The selections for the 2013 registry bring the total number of recordings on the registry to 400, a small part of the Library’s vast recorded sound collection of more than 3.5 million items.
One of these recordings was a blues single:
"Dust My Broom" (single)—Elmore James (1951)
Several versions of "Dust My Broom" had been released by 1951 when Elmore James made this landmark 78-rpm recording for Lillian McMurry’s Jackson, Mississippi-based Trumpet label. Though the song wasn’t new, his sound was. James replaced the acoustic, solo blues of Robert Johnson with an electric blues band. James is known to have tinkered with his guitar pickups and fans still argue about how he achieved his signature sound. Whatever combination of guitar and pickup was used in his slide guitar opening, Elmore James created the most recognizable guitar riff in the history of the blues. The influence of "Dust My Broom" has been widespread and long-lasting. Many blues and rock artists have since covered "Dust My Broom" in the Elmore James arrangement, including Hound Dog Taylor, J.B. Hutto, and the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, featuring slide guitar by Jeremy Spencer. James later recorded "Dust My Broom" for other labels, often under different titles including "Dust My Blues" or "I Believe," but his signature treatment of the song began with this 1951 Trumpet version.
2013 National Recording Registry (Listing in Chronological Order)
- "The Laughing Song" (single)—George Washington Johnson (c. 1896)
- "They Didn’t Believe Me"—Harry Macdonough and Alice Green (1915)
- "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" (singles)—Bing Crosby; Rudy Vallee (both 1932)
- "Franz Boas and George Herzog Recordings of Kwakwaka’wakw Chief Dan Cranmer (1938)
- "Were You There" (single)—Roland Hayes (1940)
- "The Goldbergs": Sammy Goes Into the Army (July 9, 1942)
- "Caldonia" (single)—Louis Jordan (1945)
- "Dust My Broom" (single)—Elmore James (1951)
- "A Night at Birdland" (Vols. 1 and 2) (albums)—Art Blakey (1954)
- "When I Stop Dreaming" (single)—The Louvin Brothers (1955)
- "Cathy’s Clown" (single)—The Everly Brothers (1960)
- "Texas Sharecropper and Songster" (album)—Mance Lipscomb (1960)
- "The First Family" (album) (1962)
- Lawrence Ritter’s Interviews with Baseball Pioneers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century (1962-1966)
- Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson (Nov. 22, 1963 – Jan. 10, 1969)
- "Carnegie Hall Concert with Buck Owens and His Buckaroos" (album)—Buck Owens and His Buckaroos (1966)
- "Fortunate Son" (single)—Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
- "Theme from ‘Shaft’" (album)—Isaac Hayes (1971)
- "Only Visiting This Planet" (album)—Larry Norman (1972)
- "Celia & Johnny" (album)—Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco (1974)
- "Copland Conducts Copland: Appalachian Spring"—Aaron Copland (1974)
- "Heart Like a Wheel" (album)—Linda Ronstadt (1974)
- "Sweeney Todd" (album)—Original Cast Recording (1979)
- "The Joshua Tree" (album)—U2 (1987)
- "Hallelujah" (single)—Jeff Buckley (1994)