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Library of Congress says NWA, Wilson Picket songs are national treasures

Actor Ice Cube helped create the gangster rap genre with NWA, which will have some of its music preserved by the Library of Congress.
Actor Ice Cube helped create the gangster rap genre with NWA, which will have some of its music preserved by the Library of Congress. AP

The Library of Congress has come out with a list of two dozen recordings that are going to be added to the list of “aural treasures worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.”

Songs included range from classics like Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” to N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” released in 1988.

All will become part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said Wednesday the 25 songs are to become part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress because of their cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

“This year’s exciting list gives us a full range of sound experiences,” said Hayden in a statement. “These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation’s cultural history and our history in general.”

Here’s the list, if you’re curious to see who is considered a national treasure.

1. The 1888 London cylinder recordings of Col. George Gouraud (1888)

2. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (singles), Manhattan Harmony Four (1923); Melba Moore and Friends (1990)

3. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (single), Harry Richman (1929)

4. “Over the Rainbow” (single), Judy Garland (1939)

5. “I’ll Fly Away” (single), The Chuck Wagon Gang(1948)

6. “Hound Dog” (single), Big Mama Thornton (1953)

7. “Saxophone Colossus,” Sonny Rollins(1956)

8. The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, announced by Vin Scully (September 8, 1957)

9. “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs,” Marty Robbins(1959)

10. “The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery,” Wes Montgomery (1960)

11. “People” (single), Barbra Streisand (1964)

12. “In the Midnight Hour” (single), Wilson Pickett(1965)

13. “Amazing Grace” (single), Judy Collins (1970)

14. “American Pie” (single), Don McLean (1971)

15. “All Things Considered,” first broadcast (May 3, 1971)

16. “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” David Bowie (1972)

17. “The Wiz,” original cast album (1975)

18. “Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975),” Eagles (1976)

19. “Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha,” Gunter Schuller, arr. (1976)

20. “Wanted: Live in Concert,” Richard Pryor (1978)

21. “We Are Family” (single), Sister Sledge (1979)

22. “Remain in Light,” Talking Heads (1980)

23. “Straight Outta Compton,” N.W.A. (1988)

24. “Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil),” Robert Shaw Festival Singers (1990)

25. “Signatures,” Renée Fleming (1997)

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