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What do Janet Jackson and Kermit the Frog have in common? The Library of Congress just archived their songs


The Library of Congress has added Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814” and Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection” to its National Recording Registry.

The songs are among 25 “audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage,” the Library of Congress said in a statement on Wednesday.

Other new additions include Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints Go Marching In” and Nas’ “Illmatic.”

The selections span from 1878 to 2008, and range from pop and hip-hop to country, gospel and even children’s music. The additions bring the number of song titles in the National Recording Registry to 575, the Library of Congress said. The national archive boasts a vast collection of nearly 4 million recorded sounds.

“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”

The Library of Congress chose Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814” for its powerful message of inclusion and unity. “The ‘1814’ of the title was a call back to the composition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ with this being a new anthem for a new nation — one built on a multiracial, multiethnic vision and a thick dance groove,” the Library said.

Jackson’s album was joined by a Muppet classic, “The Rainbow Connection.” The song was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher, and performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog in 1979’s “The Muppet Movie.” Williams said the song is about “the immense power of faith,” according to the Library of Congress.

Kermit the Frog celebrated the induction as another barrier broken for frogs.

He told the Library of Congress: “Well, gee, it’s an amazing feeling to officially become part of our nation’s history. It’s a great honor. And I am thrilled — I am thrilled! — to be the first frog on the list!”

In addition to the songs, the Library of Congress also added a range of other recordings to their archive, including a recording of Thomas Edison and the registry’s first podcast, a 2008 episode of “This American Life,” which explained the subprime mortgage crisis.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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