Sp16. National Recording Registry
- 1 Discussion
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Jazz percentage from the U.S. National Recording Registry
- 4 Percentage of jazz from RIAA Top 365 songs of the 20th century in the United States
- 5 Jazz is 0% included in "Greatest Songs of All Time" lists
- 6 NOTES
“The National Recording Registry of the United States 🇺🇸 is a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." The registry was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, which created the National Recording Preservation Board, whose members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress. The recordings preserved in the United States National Recording Registry form a registry of recordings selected yearly by the National Recording Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress.
The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 established a national program to guard America's sound recording heritage. The Act created the National Recording Registry, The National Recording Preservation Board and a fund-raising foundation. The purpose of the Registry is to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Beginning in 2002, the National Recording Preservation Board has selected recordings nominated each year to be preserved.
The first four yearly lists each had 50 selections. Since 2006, 25 recordings have been selected annually. As of 2019, a total of 550 recordings have been preserved in the Registry. Each calendar year, public nominations are accepted for inclusion in that year's list of selections, which are announced the following spring. (bold and bold italic not in original)
Jazz percentage from the U.S. National Recording Registry
The answer is that there are 65 entries listed below chosen by the National Recording Registry, which is 11.818181818%, or roughly 12% of the total number.
If we limit ourselves to just the top 25 ranked songs four are jazz tunes giving a percentage of 16% (4/25). The four with its ranking given first are:
- (1) 10. "The Entertainer," Scott Joplin, 1902
- (2) 11. "In the Mood," Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1940
- (3) 15. "Mack the Knife," Bobby Darin, 1959
- (4) 17. "Take the A Train," Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1941
- (1) 10. "The Entertainer," Scott Joplin, 1902
It is true that it is a stretch to include Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" under jazz, but the history of jazz musicians who recorded the song perhaps reveals that it is a song that draws a jazz attention. Wikipedia: "List of 1920s jazz standards" under the year 1928 informs us that “The first jazz recording of the song ("Mack the Knife") was made by Sidney Bechet in 1954 under the title "La Complainte de Mackie". Louis Armstrong's 1955 version established the song's popularity in the jazz world.” Dick Hyman, 60 year career American jazz pianist, recorded an instrumental version in 1955. Frank Sinatra recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his vocal jazz album "L.A. Is My Lady." Ella Fitzgerald made a famous live recording in 1960 (released on her vocal jazz album "Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife") where after forgetting the lyrics early on she improvised new lyrics in a performance that earned her a Grammy Award. Other notable jazz vocalists who recorded the song are Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, and Michael Bublé. Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded an instrumental version on Saxophone Collossus entitled "Moritat" in 1956.
NOTE: Click on the light blue hyperlinks for more information about the musician/entity, composition/item, or the historical year in the United States of America 🇺🇸.
The National Recording Registry of the United States 🇺🇸 as of 2019 that are ragtime or jazz or jazz vocals or Latin jazz
- Scott Joplin, Ragtime composition piano rolls, early 1900's
- Original Dixieland Jazz Band, "Tiger Rag," 1918
- Paul Whiteman (George Gershwin on piano), "Rhapsody in Blue," 1924
- Louis Armstrong, Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, 1925-1928
- Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit," 1939
- Duke Ellington Orchestra, Blanton-Webster era recordings, 1940-1942
- Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others, "Ko Ko," 1945
- Tito Puente, Dance Mania, 1958
- Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, 1959
- Jelly Roll Morton interviewed by Alan Lomax, Interviews conducted by Alan Lomax, 1938
- Benny Goodman, Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert, 1938
- Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book, 1956
- Thelonious Monk, "Brilliant Corners," 1956
- Charles Mingus, "Mingus Ah Um," 1959
- Hoagy Carmichael, "Stardust," 1927
- Thomas "Fats" Waller, "Ain't Misbehavin'," 1929
- Coleman Hawkins, "Body and Soul," 1939
- Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, "In the Mood," 1939
- Dizzy Gillespie Big Band with Chano Pozo, "Manteca," 1947
- John Coltrane, Giant Steps, 1959
- Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, "The Girl from Ipanema," 1963
- Kid Ory, "Ory's Creole Trombone," June 1922
- Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke, "Singin' the Blues," 1927
- Count Basie and His Orchestra, "One O'Clock Jump," 1937
- Nat "King" Cole, "Straighten Up and Fly Right," 1943
- The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out, 1959
- Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers, "Black Bottom Stomp," 1926
- Eubie Blake, The Eighty-Six Years of Eubie Blake, 1929
- Sarah Vaughan, Live in Japan, 1973
- Art Tatum, "Sweet Lorraine," 1940
- Various artists, produced by Norman Granz, The Jazz Scene, 1949
- Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters, 1973
- Mary Lou Williams, "Nite Life"/"Night Life," 1930
- Oran "Hot Lips" Page, "Uncle Sam Blues" (V-Disc) accompanied by Eddie Condon's Jazz Band, 1944
- King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, "Canal Street Blues", April 5, 1923
- Bill Evans Trio (Scott LaFaro, Paul Motion), "The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings", June 25, 1961
- Eddie Palmieri, Azucar Pa' Ti (Sugar for You), 1965
- Nat "King" Cole, Les Paul, Buddy Rich and others, Jazz at the Philharmonic, July 2, 1944
- Willis Conover, Interviews with jazz musicians for the Voice of America, 1956
- Henry Mancini, The Music from Peter Gunn, 1958
- Stan Kenton, "Artistry In Rhythm," 1943
- International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Hottest Women's Band of the 1940s, 1944–1946 (released 1984)
- Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
- Marion Harris, "After You've Gone," 1918
- Artie Shaw, "Begin the Beguine," 1938
- Cachao, Descargas: Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature, 1957
- Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come, 1959
- Betty Carter, The Audience With Betty Carter, 1980
- Johnny Mercer, "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," 1944
- The Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker, "My Funny Valentine," 1953
- Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Orleans’s Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 1964
- Clarence Williams's Blue Five, “Wild Cat Blues,” 1923
- Julie London, “Cry Me a River,” 1955
- Louis Armstrong;Bobby Darin, "Mack the Knife" (singles), 1956
- John Coltrane, "A Love Supreme," 1964
- Harry Richman, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” 1929
- Walter Theodore "Sonny" Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, 1956
- John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, 1960
- Scott Joplin (arranged by Gunther Schuller), Scott Joplin's Treemonisha, 1976
- No jazz entries
- No entries yet
Percentage of jazz from RIAA Top 365 songs of the 20th century in the United States
This number of around 11-12% for jazz material listed in the U.S. National Recording Registry is interesting because just about the same number percentage (11% +/- .6) is found by taking the number of jazz performances out of the RIAA Top 365 Songs of the 20th Century at 10.684931506% (See below the 39 out of 365).
“The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world, investing in great artists to help them reach their potential and connect to their fans. Nearly 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States is created, manufactured or distributed by RIAA members.”
As with any ranking system, it depends upon numerous factors, many are subjective (e.g., "Who played more beautifully?") and some questions are meaningless (e.g., "Who is better Miles Davis or John Coltrane?") with no way to provide an answer until actual criteria for judging and evaluating are proposed.
Also, people unfamiliar with entire musical genres will leave out any stellar examples from those areas and this is almost an unavoidable problem, as likely happened in the RIAA list as criticized by Bob George:
“Bob George, director of the Archive of Contemporary Music, a nonprofit popular-music library in New York, said more recent pop-music genres such as electronic dance music, punk rock, and rap were given short shrift. "These are songs a lot of people would recognize if they were white, middle-class and old," George said. "It's a great list for people who go to baseball games." (bold not in original)
Jazz is 0% included in "Greatest Songs of All Time" lists
In Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" the songs were chosen by 172 musicians in 2004, including Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell. The easiest way to see the most updated list as of 2010 with additions and deletions (and ordinal reordering in rankings) is by clicking here, or click on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs" from 2004 if you want to scroll through backwards from 500 down to 1 with brief descriptions by Rolling Stone editors of each song, or if you would like to see the 2010 updated list with album covers and the 25 songs removed from the 2004 list click on List Challenge's "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
There are no songs from the jazz genre included in any of the 500. The closest any song gets is a composition from 18 year old pianist/composer Rod Argent and his number 297 hit "She's Not There" by The Zombies because it is said that Argent unconsciously included influences from jazz trumpeter Miles Davis (1926-1991).
Ranker.com has the internet public move the ranking of song's ordinal positions through continuous interactive voting. They claim the songs in the list are “independent of genre.” It hardly seems true that their list could be independent of genre for several, not to say many, reasons. Here are reasons why no lists are going to be independent of genre.
- Someone, or a committee, at Ranker.com first wrote up or edited a (possibly prior) list. Regardless of the origins of the original list it could come from only two realistic scenarios: human's or computers. The computers are programmed by humans. Therefore any prejudgment human software or hardware developer/programmers have will also end up embedding into the contents of these lists, especially given something so subjective as music. See next point about exposure.
- There are zero humans who have heard all songs. Not any size collective group of humans either have ever heard all songs. Even if every human alive now could vote on a list of best songs none of them have heard all songs. Not the songs and music before recording existed, nor any unrecorded music prior to that human's birth. So, the judges, or computer developer/programmers are ignorant of a lot of the music over which they are purporting to judge the best. Being ignorant means that the evaluators could easily miss some unknown great song, since they are unaware and unexposed to these songs as to how great they are or are not.
➢ Can we get around these objections by just claiming to rank the most famous, well known, and already established and heard and familiar to millions of people songs and then just have people rank those so we are limiting the domain of referents to only well established recorded music found in the last century? Will this help to resolve these problems of ignorance?
This does seem like progress in clarifying exactly what the evaluators of American music are ranking. They are in effect ranking the songs that many people in mostly North America, probably 95% are Americans 🇺🇸, of which they are familiar.
Domain reduction size (or having fewer members in the relevant class) is good because there are now fewer actual objects that need to be considered. Nevertheless, similar problems remain regarding the evaluators. Each evaluator is incompetent to correctly judge the best songs because of his or her ignorance of other candidates for inclusion and where they rank in relationship to each other. Any one person's judgment is bound to be wrong relative to some ideal. Any one person's top ten songs will not be identical generally speaking with anyone else because of the very factors we have been considering influencing and skewing their evaluations and rankings. However, over time and with multiple evaluators, it is hoped that the "cream shall rise to the top" and it is at least discovered the majority's opinion about where any particular song should rank in relationship to the others.
Aggregate voting may provide insight into how individual songs are ranked by large groups of evaluators. It may seem that these ranking lists compiled by many will achieve a superior result, i.e., increased accuracy of correctness, by virtue of the phenomena known as "wisdom of the crowd." Wisdom of the crowd effective overall responses works best when there is already an established 'correct' answer such as things involving quantitative measurements and numerical quantities. However, notice in the case of ranking songs for 'greatness' there is no objectively 'correct' answer because these sorts of evaluations carry so much subjectivity and possible multiple cognitive biases.
Another problem that aggregate voting does not immediately resolve is failure of genre inclusion from individual's ignorance and lack of exposure to song material and choices. How many non-United Kingdom music fans know how wildly successful the songs are of Robbie Williams of whom it is said was “often regarded as the greatest and most popular British singer of the past decade.”? (Click on any green font to see the source of this quotation at Wikiquote).
It is likely that hip hop or country music fans have not listened to much jazz and vice-versa. Still, each is aware that the other fan's music exists; they just are not interested in it at this time. This results however in hip hop evaluators never including any jazz songs in the list of greatest songs of all time, and vice-versa, too!
Candidate Jazz Songs for inclusion in 500 Greatest Songs of all time
➢ Are there any great jazz songs that can at least be considered candidates for possible inclusion in the top 500 songs of all time?
Most assuredly there are many. Here's an unranked list.
|Song Title||Composer||Performer(s)||Year(s) Composed|
|🔴 "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"||🔴 Duke Ellington (1899-1974) with lyrics by Irving Mills||🔴 Duke Ellington Orchestra||🔴 1931|
|"Lush Life"||Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967)||Duke Ellington Orchestra||1933-1936|
|"Satin Doll"|| Duke Ellington (1899-1974) & Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967)
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer (1909-1976)
|Duke Ellington Orchestra||1936|
|🔴 "So What"||🔴 Miles Davis (1926-1991)||🔴 Miles Davis Quintet||🔴 1959|
|"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"||Josef Zawinul (1932-2007)||Cannonball Adderly Quintet||1966|