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Library of Congress’ National Registry Selects Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel” For Recording Registry Preservation

Via The Washington Post:

This year’s inductees for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry include a speech from Sen. Robert Kennedy, the educational music of “Schoolhouse Rock!,” Jay-Z’s seminal album “The Blueprint,” soul, pop and disco songs that became anthems for underrepresented groups, and a number of other unique recordings. Every year, the registry preserves 25 “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” American recordings that are at least 10 years old.

Some of the recordings, such as Sylvester’s 1978 disco hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 debut album “She’s So Unusual,” signaled a more mainstream acceptance of the LGBT community. Sylvester’s song, which according to the Library of Congress “reflected his childhood background in both African-American gospel music and his work as a drag performer in San Francisco,” has become an enduring LGBT anthem.


Here’s the full list of this year’s inductees:

  • Yiddish Cylinders  (c. 1901-1905)
  • “Memphis Blues” (single), Victor Military Band (1914)
  • Melville Jacobs Collection of Native Americans (1929-1939)
  • “Minnie the Moocher” (single), Cab Calloway (1931)
  • “Bach Six Cello Suites” (album), Pablo Casals (c. 1939)
  • “They Look Like Men of War” (single), Deep River Boys (1941)
  • “Gunsmoke” — Episode: “The Cabin” (Dec. 27, 1952)
  • Ruth Draper: Complete monologues, Ruth Draper (1954-1956)
  • “La Bamba” (single), Ritchie Valens (1958)
  • “Long Black Veil” (single), Lefty Frizzell (1959)
  • “Stan Freberg: The Early Years” (album), Stan Freberg (1961)
  • “GO” (album), Dexter Gordon (1962)
  • “War Requiem” (album), Benjamin Britten (1963)
  • “Mississippi Goddam” (single), Nina Simone (1964)
  • “Soul Man” (single), Sam & Dave (1967)
  • “Hair” (original Broadway cast recording) (1968)
  • Speech on the Death of MLK, Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)
  • “Sweet Caroline” (single), Neil Diamond (1969)
  • “Superfly” (album), Curtis Mayfield (1972)
  • “Ola Belle Reed” (album), Ola Belle Reed (1973)
  • “September” (single), Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
  • “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (single), Sylvester (1978)
  • “She’s So Unusual” (album), Cyndi Lauper (1983)
  • “Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set” (1996)
  • “The Blueprint” (album), Jay-Z (2001)
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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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