Listen to This: The National Recording Registry Class of 2023

As I slowly wake up from my long winter’s nap, I am greeted with this year’s 25 inductees into the National Recording Registry. The Class of 2023 is listed below, with relevant links embedded wherever possible. There’s also this handy playlist that the NRR has put together.

  1. The Very First Mariachi Recordings” — Cuarteto Coculense (1908-1909) 
  2. St. Louis Blues” — Handy’s Memphis Blues Band (1922)
  3. Sugar Foot Stomp” — Fletcher Henderson (1926)
  4. Dorothy Thompson: Commentary and Analysis of the European Situation for NBC Radio (Aug. 23-Sept. 6, 1939) 
  5. Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around” — The Fairfield Four (1947)
  6. Sherry” — The Four Seasons (1962)
  7. What the World Needs Now is Love” — Jackie DeShannon (1965)
  8. Wang Dang Doodle” — Koko Taylor (1966)
  9. Ode to Billie Joe” — Bobbie Gentry (1967)
  10.  “Déjà Vu” — Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (1970) 
  11.  “Imagine” — John Lennon (1971)
  12.  “Stairway to Heaven” — Led Zeppelin (1971)
  13.  “Take Me Home, Country Roads” — John Denver (1971)
  14.  “Margaritaville” — Jimmy Buffett (1977)
  15.  “Flashdance…What a Feeling” — Irene Cara (1983)
  16.  Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — Eurythmics (1983)
  17.  “Synchronicity” — The Police (1983)
  18.  “Like a Virgin” — Madonna (1984)
  19.  “Black Codes (From the Underground)” — Wynton Marsalis (1985)
  20.  Super Mario Bros. theme — Koji Kondo, composer (1985)
  21.  “All Hail the Queen” — Queen Latifah (1989)
  22.  “All I Want for Christmas is You” — Mariah Carey (1994)
  23.  “Pale Blue Dot” — Carl Sagan (1994)
  24.  “Gasolina” — Daddy Yankee (2004)
  25.  “Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra” — Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, composer (2012)

As always, it’s quite the eclectic bunch, including several that I can’t believe hadn’t made the cut yet (“Imagine”? “Stairway to Heaven”? Where have you been?). Especially noteworthy is the Super Mario Bros. theme, further proof that the NRR is less stingy about the “National” qualification than the NFR (though the argument can be made that Super Mario has made a large enough impact on American pop culture). And shoutout to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who I mentioned back in my “Woodstock” post hadn’t made the NRR yet. We did it!

Thanks for reading. Next post coming soon. Very soon. Like, right now.

Happy Listening,


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