Also honored was Janet Jackson’s 1989 album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (that’s a mouthful of a title). As I noted a couple of years ago, I have a huge blindspot when it comes to Janet Jackson, not realizing exactly how major an impact she has had both commercially and creatively. Clearly the Library of Congress doesn’t share my ignorance.
The opening ballad of the 1979 The Muppet Movie is one of the sweetest, gentlest odes to optimism ever written, and Kermit’s earnest performance is one for the ages. It says so much about the creative imagination of Jim Henson and his team that we so easily think of this puppet as a living, breathing artist in his own right.
For example, I never knew the 2001 Moulin Rouge song ‘Lady Marmalade’ was a cover of a 1974 single by Labelle. And I didn’t know Patti LaBelle fronted a girl group called Labelle, a trio that started as Patte LaBelle and the Bluebelles before changing their name in the early 70s.
The Library of Congress added Connie Smith’s ‘Once a Day’ to the National Registry, honoring a woman acknowledged as one of the most influential vocalists in country music history. I’d never heard of her.
Her 1964 recording of ‘Once a Day’ was Smith’s debut single and the biggest hit of her career. It was the first debut song by a female country artist to hit #1, and held a record for most weeks in the top spot by a female country artist for 50 years, when it was unseated by Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together.’
These can be songs, albums, or spoken word broadcasts — the only restriction is that they be at least 10 years old and they physically exist. Members of the public are welcome to submit nominations.