Library Of Congress Adds Tupac, Cosby To Archives

Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama” And Bill Cosby’s second album are among the recordings being added to the Library Of Congress’ 2009 National Recording Registry.

That’s right, Tupac, who glamorized the hip-hop “gangsta” lifestyle and Cosby, who pretty much assumed the mantle of the nation’s patriarch by promoting family values, represent opposite ends of the spectrum in the selections. They’ll be joined by other pop music milestones, such as Patti Smith’s 1975 Horses album, Willie Nelson’s classic Red Headed Stranger from the same year, The Band’s 1969 self-titled release and Little Richard’s 1955 hit, “Tutti Frutti.”

Photo: AP Photo
New Orleans Arena, La.

Other works being added to the archive include R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe” (1981), Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1970) and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lighting.”

Librarian Of Congress James Billington said the Registry “showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the American soundscape.”

Evidently the LoC is something of a comedy critic. When asked why Cosby’s second comedy album, I Started Out As A Child, was selected over his first recording, 1963’s Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow … Right, which contains one of the Cos’ earliest classic routines about Noah and his ark, program coordinator Steve Leggett said the second album is better overall.

South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, B.C. Canada

For a complete list of additions to the National Recording Registry, click here for the Library Of Congress website.