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Green Day, Notorious B.I.G., The Chicks and More Are Inducted Into the Library of Congress

Green Day, Notorious B.I.G., the Chicks and More Inducted Into the Library of Congress
Green Day, Notorious B.I.G, The Chicks. Getty Images(3)

The Notorious B.I.G. is in the Library of Congress.

On Tuesday, April 16, the National Recording Registry announced its 2024 selection. The NRR, a collection of recordings administered by the United States Library of Congress, seeks to preserve “the defining sounds of history and culture.” The late Biggie Smalls’ debut album, 1994’s Ready to Die, was one of the 25 selections made this year.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden also picked The Cars’ 1978 self-titled album, ABBA’s Arrival, Blondie’s Parallel Lines and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow for the NRR. The Chicks’ 1998 album, Wide Open Spaces, and Green Day’s landmark 1994 album, Dookie, were also among the recordings set to be preserved.

Lily Tomlin’s This Is a Recording became the first comedy album by a woman to be inducted into the Registry. Other selections included Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Gene Autry’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star,” Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “La-Di-Da-Di” and Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are.”

Green Day, Notorious B.I.G., the Chicks and More Inducted Into the Library of Congress
Rich Fury/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 created the National Recording Preservation Board to “ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s audio heritage,” according to the NRPB’s mission statement. Since 2002, the Library of Congress has picked 25 recordings deemed “audio treasures” to be preserved every year.

Some of the first recordings to be inducted into the registry were Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say,” Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast from 1938, Abbott and Costello’s first broadcast of the “Who’s on First?” routine, Elvis Presley’s Sun Records sessions, the 1909 recording of the Fisk Jubilee Singers performing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message.”

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Other entries in the National Registry include The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison, Nirvana’s Nevermind, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, the Ramones’ self-titled debut album, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s We’re Only in It for the Money, Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama” and Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet.

Green Day, Notorious B.I.G., the Chicks and More Inducted Into the Library of Congress
Chris Walter/WireImage

The Registry also contains non-music recordings, like Neil Armstrong’s broadcast from the July 1969 moon landing, Studs Terkel’s 1962 interview with author James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg reciting his poem “Howl” in 1969 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech.

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“For the past 21 years, the National Recording Preservation Board has provided musical expertise, historical perspective and deep knowledge of recorded sound to assist the Librarian in choosing landmark recordings to be inducted into the Library’s National Recording Registry,” said Robbin Ahrold, chair of the National Recording Preservation Board, in a statement.

“The board again this year is pleased to join the Librarian in highlighting influential works in our diverse sound heritage, as well as helping to spread the word on the National Recording Registry through their own social media and streaming media campaigns,” added Ahrold.

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