Cliburn, Checker Among New Additions to National Recording Registry

BY Anne Davenport  March 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM EST

Van Cliburn‘s triumphant Cold War performance in Moscow, the mambo music of Cuban bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez, and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” are among the 25 sound recordings newly inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, Librarian of Congress James Billington announced last week.

The Librarian of Congress, with guidance from the library’s National Recording Preservation Board, annually selects recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and are at least 10 years old” and that celebrate the “diversity and creativity of the American experience.” With the 2012 additions, there are now 375 recordings in the registry. The selections feature spoken-word and musical recordings representing nearly every musical category from 1918 to 1980.

This year’s other inductees include Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Ramones and Pink Floyd.

The public and the National Recording Preservation Board — composed of leaders in music and sound preservation — submit ideas for the registry. The library is currently accepting nominations for the next registry at the NRPB web site.

As part of its congressional mandate, the Library of Congress preserves the best existing versions of each recording at the National Audio-Video Conservation Center in Culpeper, Va. We sat down there this week with executive director Patrick Loughney to talk about the new inductees (see video above).