SHOF Inductees and Awardees Honored by Library of Congress in National Registry Class of 2024

Top row (left to right): Dave Bartholomew | Burt Bacharach | Bill Withers | Gordon Lightfoot
Middle row (left to right): J.D. Souther | Gene Autry
Bottom row (left to right): Hal David | Al Stillman | Johnny Marks | Fats Domino

Works by Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees and honorees once again highlighted the elite list of recordings selected by the Library of Congress for what has been called “America’s Playlist,” an exclusive catalog of recordings destined for special preservation and scholarship attention due to their "cultural, historic and aesthetic significance to American society and the nation's audio heritage." Known formally as the National Recording Registry, the new selections for the list were announced this week by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden.
Heading this year’s list are Perry Como’s chart topper “Magic Moments” by legendary songwriting team Hal David and Burt Bacharach, “Ain’t No Sunshine” the first of many hits by Bill Withers, “Chances Are” one of dozens of hits by 1982 SHOF inductee Al Stillman, and the perennial holiday favorite “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” written by SHOF inductees Gene Autry and Johnny Marks.

Six albums and singles featuring the work of 10 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees and honorees were included in this years’ Library of Congress list. In chronological order they are:

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Gene Autry (1949)

Written by SHOF inductees Gene Autry (1991) and Johnny Marks (1981), the record 
was a hit in the holiday season for 1949, and went on to sell over 12.5 million copies. It has become a perennial holiday standard, and it continues to chart in the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 every Christmas season. Marks based the lyrics on an original story that Robert L. May wrote for Montgomery Ward. Marks was a virtual one-man Christmas song factory in the 1940s and 1950s, also writing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (#2 on the BB Top Holiday list), “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (#5 on that list) and “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day”, among others.

Catch a Falling Star/Magic Moments – Perry Como (1957)

Magic Moments, written by the legendary team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach, was part of a very rare two-sided hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart, and became the first record to achieve the RIAA’s newly-unveiled Gold Record status. It won Como the 1959 Grammy for Best Vocal Performance, Male. David and Bacharach were both inducted into the SHOF in 1972, and were jointly honored with the SHOF’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, in 1996. David went on to become SHOF Chairman from 2000-2010, and be honored with its Visionary Leadership Award in 2011.

Chances Are – Johnny Mathis (1959)

Written by 1982 SHOF Inductee Al Stillman and co-writer Robert Allen. They sent a demo recording to Mathis, who was immediately drawn to the song’s romantic and poignant lyrics that spoke of love, heartbreak, and hope. The record was an instant hit and garnered Mathis a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, It went on to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and has become a perennial top choice for couple’s first dances at weddings. Stillman wrote multiple top hits in the 1950s including Mathis’ “It’s Not For Me To Say”, and Como’s “Home for the Holidays”.

Ain’t No Sunshine Bill Withers (1971)

Written and performed by 2005 SHOF inductee Bill Withers, backed by an all-star band featuring guitars by 2005 SHOF inductee Stephen Stills, and produced by Booker T. Jones. It won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972, was awarded an RIAA Gold Record, the first of three for Withers, and is listed on Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

J.D. Crowe & the New South (Album) (1975)

J.D. Crowe & the New South’s debut album is regarded one of the most influential and pioneering records in the history of bluegrass. Critics credit its success to a mix of traditional bluegrass and more recent compositions by 2012 SHOF inductee Gordon Lightfoot ("Ten Degrees And Getting Colder" and "You Are What I Am") and 1998 SHOF inductees Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew (“I’m Walking”). The album was so popular and influential among Bluegrass musicians that it became Rounder Record’s best-selling album at the time of its release, and was often referred to simply by its catalog number, “Rounder 44.” 

Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks (Album) (1998)

The album became the breakthrough commercial success for the group, and the debut of lead vocalist Natalie Maines. Critics credited the album’s success in part to savvy song selection which propelled this major-label debut into the Top 10. It includes the track “I’ll Take Care of You” by 2013 SHOF inductee J.D. Souther, as well as tracks written by Bonnie Riatt and Radney Foster. It achieved diamond status by the RIAA, and became an international hit, shipping more than 13 million units worldwide.

SHOF President and CEO Linda Moran said: "Once again we are thrilled to see SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David, along with co-writer Burt Bacharach, honored by the Library of Congress as one of their most popular compositions joins this elite archive of music. This year’s selections for the National Recording Registry features creative contribution from SHOF inductees spanning more five decades, and a wide spectrum of genres from holiday standards, to pop megahits, pioneering bluegrass, and a massive country crossover. This diversity and global success are once again reminders of the long synchronicity between this elite archive and the songwriters who have been voted in to the Songwriters Hall of Fame by our membership over the years.”

Moran serves as a member of the federally-chartered National Recording Preservation Board, which assists the Librarian in selecting the recordings each year. SHOF President's Advisory Council member Robbin Ahrold has chaired the National Recording Preservation Board for the past six years. Current SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers has been twice honored as his works “We Are Family” recorded by Sister Sledge, was inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2016, and Chic's inescapable disco hit “Le Freak,” was inducted in 2017. 
Librarian of Congress Dr. Hayden added, “The Library of Congress is proud to preserve the sounds of American history and our diverse culture through the National Recording Registry,” Hayden said. “We have selected audio treasures worthy of preservation with our partners this year, including a wide range of music from the past 100 years, as well as comedy. We were thrilled to receive a record number of public nominations, and we welcome the public’s input on what we should preserve next.”

The Registry was established in 2002. The recordings selected for the newly announced “Class of 2024” bring the total number of titles on the registry to 650, a small part of the Library's vast recorded-sound collection of nearly 3 million items. Each year, the National Recording Preservation Board recommends works to be added to the collection, and the Librarian of Congress makes a final selection of 25 works. The Board also advises on significant strategies in preservation of rare and endangered recordings, in collaboration with the nation's leading academic institutions. 

Listen to many of the recordings on your favorite streaming service. The Digital Media Association, a member of the National Recording Preservation Board, compiled a list of some streaming services with National Recording Registry playlists, available here:
The full list of this year's Registry selections is available in the official Library of Congress newsroom at:
Watch the National Recording Registry's announcement of the 2024 class on YouTube here: 
NPR’s “1A” will feature selections in the series, “The Sounds of America,” about this year’s National Recording Registry, including interviews with Hayden and several featured artists in the weeks ahead.
Follow the conversation about the registry on Instagram, Threads and X/Twitter @librarycongress and #NatRecRegistry.