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Library of Congress National Recording Registry Seeking Nominations

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I Want You to VoteEach year since 2002 the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) and members of the public have nominated recordings to the National Registry. The breadth of nominations received highlights the richness of the nation's audio legacy and underscores the importance of assuring the long-term preservation of that legacy for future generations. Bluegrass music and related music (e.g., Charlie Poole) have a place in the registry. The Bluegrass music community is invited to contribute their suggestions for the National Recording Registry.

Recordings selected so far by the Librarian of Congress for the Registry include: Edison cylinders, field recordings, radio broadcasts, a Wisconsin foghorn, rap albums, live concerts, and poetry readings. At present, there are several hundred items on the Registry.

Registry 168 is "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. (1947). This recording of the bluegrass standard by its composer, "The Father of Bluegrass," mandolinist Bill Monroe, is the song's earliest recording. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" has since been recorded by many other musicians, including Elvis Presley on his Sun Sessions. Presley's version was such a hit that Monroe later revised his performance to reflect Presley's influence. Selected for the 2002 registry.

Registry 183 is "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. (1949). Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys, made this influential recording for Mercury Records on December 11, 1949, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first of many instrumental hits featuring Scrugg's three-finger banjo picking style, it has set benchmarks for generations of banjo players and bluegrass performers. The 1949 recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was famously featured as chase music in the 1967 film "Bonnie and Clyde." Selected for the 2004 registry.

Another bluegrass entry is Registry 252, "Rank Stranger.” The Stanley Brothers. (1960). The Stanley Brothers, one of the premier bands of the formative days of bluegrass, always included sacred songs as a featured part of their performances. Their recording of “Rank Stranger,” written by famed gospel songwriter Albert E. Brumley Sr. and sung with reverence and simplicity in the traditional mountain style, shows why the Stanley Brothers continue to influence performers today. Carter Stanley’s masterful handling of the verses and his brother Ralph’s soaring tenor refrain produce a distinctive duet. The spare accompaniment of unamplified guitar and mandolin and the emotional call-and-response style vocals heighten the emotional anguish of the lyric. Selected for the 2008 registry.

The National Regristry adds 25 titles or works issued every year by the Librarian of Congress of recordings that are aesthetically, culturally or historically important and deserving of permanent housing within the nation’s library. You can learn more at:

While the Librarian depends on the input of the National Recording Preservation Board for his ultimate selections, the list is also impacted by public nominations. Anyone can send in their suggestions. Those who want to submit via e-mail can send to: Instructions for submissions may be found at Father of Bluegrass,

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