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They're staying together for all eternity.
Al Green's seminal 1971 tune "Let's Stay Together," Tammy Wynette's 1968 anthem "Stand By Your Man," and De La Soul's 1989 debut album 3 Feet High and Rising are among the latest batch of 25 recordings that will be preserved by the Library of Congress, it was announced today.
Songs are singled out on an annual basis for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." On that score, you can't get any more significant than Edward Meeker's rendition of the unofficial baseball anthem "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or Henry Mancini's famous theme for TV's Peter Gunn.
There's also Steely Dan's 1977 jazz-pop fusion, Aja, which chief librarian James H. Billington praised for "swimming against the tides" of then-popular punk rock and disco. Other notable acts making it into the archives include Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band for their third album, 1969's Trout Mask Replica, satirist Mort Sahl for the 1955 bootleg recording of his live act At Sunset (considered the first stand-up comedy album) and, going way back, Texas blues legend Blind Willie Johnson for his 1927 gospel-blues masterpiece "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground."
So who else is getting immortalized? Here's the complete list:
Phonautograms, Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville (ca. 1853-1861)
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game," Edward Meeker, accompanied by the Edison Orchestra (1908)
Cylinder Recordings of Ishi (1911-14)
"Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground," Blind Willie Johnson (1927)
"It's the Girl," The Boswell Sisters with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (1931)
"Mal Hombre," Lydia Mendoza (1934)
"Tumbling Tumbleweeds," The Sons of the Pioneers (1934)
"Talking Union," The Almanac Singers (1941)
"Jazz at the Philharmonic," (July 2, 1944)
"Pope Marcellus Mass" (Palestrina), The Roger Wagner Chorale (1951)
"The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest," The Rev. C. L. Franklin (1953)
"Tipitina," Professor Longhair (1953)
At Sunset, Mort Sahl (1955)
Interviews with jazz musicians for the Voice of America, Willis Conover (1956)
The Music From "Peter Gunn," Henry Mancini (1959)
United Sacred Harp Musical Convention in Fyffe, Ala., field recordings by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins (1959)
"Blind Joe Death," John Fahey (1959, 1964, 1967)
"Stand By Your Man," Tammy Wynette (1968)
Trout Mask Replica, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band (1969)
Songs of the Humpback Whale (1970)
"Let's Stay Together," Al Green (1971)
"Black Angels (Thirteen Images from the Dark Land)," George Crumb, CRI Recordings (1972)
Aja," Steely Dan (1977)
3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul (1989)
GOPAC strategy and instructional tapes (1986-1994)