Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Wu-Tang Clan & More Selected for 2022 National Recording Registry: See the Full List

Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Wu-Tang Clan & More Selected for 2022 National Recording Registry: See the Full List

The 25 recordings that were added to the National Recording Registry on Wednesday (April 13) run the gamut from the Disneyland Boys Choir’s 1964 earworm “It’s a Small World” to Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 rap classic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

The selections span 89 years — from 1921 (James P. Johnson’s “Harlem Strut”) to 2010 (an episode of the popular podcast WTF With Marc Maron featuring guest Robin Williams). This year’s inductions bring the number of titles in the registry to 600.

The roster of 2022 honorees includes two albums that topped the Billboard 200 – Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time (1990) and Alicia KeysSongs in A Minor (2001) — and two singles that topped the Billboard Hot 100 – The Four Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (1966) and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (1999).

Martin’s smash was at the forefront of the Latin pop explosion of the late ’90s. Two other Latin projects got the nod this year: Linda Ronstadt’s Canciones de Mi Padre (1987) and Buena Vista Social Club’s Buena Vista Social Club (1997). This marks the first time that three (or even two) recordings classified as Latin by the National Recording Registry have been inducted in the same year.

It’s a similar story with rap/hip-hop. Two rap/hip-hop recordings were inducted — A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 album The Low End Theory and the aforementioned Wu-Tang Clan album. This marks the first time two recordings classified as rap/hip-hop by the Registry have been inducted in the same year.

A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip expressed pride in the achievement. “We are honored to have our work added to the prestigious National Recording Registry amongst so many other astounding works,” he said in a statement provided by the Registry. “We are humbled and grateful for this acknowledgement. Thank you so, so much.”

Keys’ Songs in A Minor was a distinctive blend of elements that made the singer an overnight star. “But what is it about [the album] that I think resonates with everybody for so long?” Keys wondered in a statement. “I just think it was so pure. … People hadn’t quite seen a woman in Timberlands and cornrows and really straight 100% off of the streets of New York performing classical music and mixing it with soul music and R&B … And people could find themselves in it. And I love that.”

While Ronstadt is best known for pop, rock and country music, she often referenced her Mexican-American roots. In 1987, she paid tribute to her heritage with Canciones de Mi Padre, recorded with four mariachi bands. The album is the top-selling non-English recording in American recording history.

Canciones de Mi Padre is an album I’ve always wanted to make because of my Mexican heritage,” Ronstadt said in a statement. “I love the musical traditions that came with it. I always thought they were world-class songs. And I thought they were songs [where] the music could transcend the language barrier.”

This is Ronstadt’s second recording to be added to the National Recording Registry. Her 1974 pop/rock classic Heart Like a Wheel was previously honored.

Two pop and jazz legends were each honored for a third time. Duke Ellington was acknowledged for his 1956 album Ellington at Newport; Nat “King” Cole for a 1961 recording of The King Cole Trio’s timeless 1946 holiday classic “The Christmas Song.”

The Registry also added the Four Tops’ 1966 classic “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” one of the finest singles ever to come off the Motown “assembly line.” Other Motown classics to have gotten the nod over the years are the Supremes’ “Baby Love,” Martha & The Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” The Temptations’ “My Girl,” The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears” and two landmark albums – Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life.

Queen’s 1975 classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was honored three years after a Freddie Mercury biopic with the same title won four Oscars.

Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian of Congress, with advice from the National Recording Preservation Board, selects 25 titles each year that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The only stipulation is that they be least 10 years old.

“The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound,” Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, said in a statement. “The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings.”

The recordings added to the registry this year also include sounds of history as it happened. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-45) was inducted, joining three previously inducted FDR entries – his informal radio addresses dubbed “fireside chats,” his “Day of Infamy” address to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack; and his Christmas Eve 1941 broadcast with Winston Churchill.

Public radio station WNYC’s broadcasts from Sept. 11, 2001, also join the Registry this year. The NPR station from New York City broadcast the chaotic first details of the attack on the World Trade Center from its studios just blocks away. The station would struggle to keep its signal live because its transmitters were atop one of the towers. Remarkably, the WNYC staff remained on the air throughout that terrible day.

The 9/11 as-it-happened coverage joins several previously inducted accounts of traumatic events in American history, including Herbert Morrison’s description of the crash of the Hindenburg in May 1937; radio coverage of FDR’s funeral in April 1945; WGBH’s broadcast of the Boston Symphony on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963; and coverage of Robert F. Kennedy’s unscripted remarks to a mostly Black audience on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968.

Radio coverage of Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run (April 8, 1974) is the latest in a series of baseball-themed entries to be honored. Others include World Series game four (New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers) (1941); Russ Hodges’ coverage of New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (1951); Vin Scully’s coverage of Brooklyn Dodgers vs. New York Giants (1957);  and coverage of Roger Maris hitting his 61st home run, which broke Babe Ruth’s single-season record (1961).

“WTF with Marc Maron” (April 26, 2010) is most recently recorded title to be inducted into the National Recording Registry. It’s among the first podcasts to be cited. An episode of This American Life, a public radio program/podcast, was previously honored.

Here’s the complete list of 2022 selections for the National Recording Registry. They are shown in chronological order.

“Harlem Strut” — James P. Johnson (1921)
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-1945)
“Walking the Floor Over You” — Ernest Tubb (1941) (single)
“On a Note of Triumph” Norman Corwin (May 8, 1945)
“Jesus Gave Me Water” — The Soul Stirrers (1950) (single)
Ellington at Newport — Duke Ellington (1956) (album)
We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite — Max Roach (1960) (album)
“The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole (1961) (single)
Tonight’s the Night — The Shirelles (1961) (album)
“Moon River” — Andy Williams (1962) (single)
In C — Terry Riley (1968) (album)
“It’s a Small World” — The Disneyland Boys Choir (1964) (single)
“Reach Out, I’ll Be There” — The Four Tops (1966) (single)
Hank Aaron’s 715th Career Home Run (April 8, 1974)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen (1975) (single)
“Don’t Stop Believin’” — Journey (1981) (single)
Canciones de Mi PadreLinda Ronstadt (1987) (album)
Nick of TimeBonnie Raitt (1989) (album)
The Low End Theory — A Tribe Called Quest (1991) (album)
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — Wu-Tang Clan (1993) (album)
Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club (1997) (album)
“Livin’ La Vida Loca” — Ricky Martin (1999) (single)
Songs in A Minor — Alicia Keys (2001) (album)
WNYC broadcasts for the day of 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001)
“WTF with Marc Maron” (Guest: Robin Williams) (April 26, 2010)

Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Wu-Tang Clan & More Selected for 2022 National Recording Registry: See the Full List The 25 recordings that were added to the National Recording Registry on Wednesday (April 13) run the gamut from the Disneyland Boys Choir’s 1964 earworm “It’s a Small World” to Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 rap classic Enter the Wu-Tang…