'Over The Rainbow', THE WIZ Among Titles Added to National Recording Registry
Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow" Barbra Streisand's "People" and the original cast album of Broadway's THE WIZ are among the 25 titles which will be preserved by the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry for 2016. Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects 25 songs that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and at least 10 years old. This year's collection spans the years 1888 to 1997, bringing the total number of songs on the Registry's list to 475.
Upon learning that her song "People", composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Bob Merrill, had been selected, Barbra Streisand commented that the honor was both "humbling and gratifying." "This is the prestigious treasure house in which American art is archived and acknowledged as part of the flow of our nation's culture," she said. "I believe 'People' touched our common desire to relate to others with love and caring, and I've always tried to express this in my renditions of this magical song."
"People" is from the Broadway musical FUNNY GIRL. The hit single was released two months before the show opened and became one of Streisand's signature songs.
Also on the list, one of the best-known ballads of all time, 1939's "Over the Rainbow," from the classic American film The Wizard of Oz. The song became an anthem for Judy Garland, one she cherished throughout her life as her favorite. "It represents everyone's wondering why things can't be a little better," she said in a 1967 interview. The song won an Academy Award, and the 1939 Decca recording by Garland - released a few weeks after the film's premiere - with accompaniment by Victor Young and his orchestra, became a best-seller.
The 1975 original cast album of THE WIZ is from the Broadway musical which was an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz (as both show and cast album) has endured as a family favorite and cultural touchstone since its debut on the New York stage in 1975. One of the first musicals with an all-black cast in the history of the Great White Way, the musical would go on to win seven Tony Awards, including the one for best musical. Along with showcasing the talents of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ted Ross and Mabel King, the show made an instant star of its original "Dorothy," Stephanie Mills. The original-cast album from the show included well-known songs as "Home," "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News," "So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard" and, of course, "Ease on Down the Road."
The 2016 National Recording Registry titles follow (in chronological order)
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)