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With 33 nominations to make, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are pushing the Library of Congress to increase the number of songs written and sung by Latinos in its national registry.
Each year, the National Recording Preservation Board selects 25 recordings to add to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. In a Monday letter to the Library of Congress, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus noted that the registry currently contains about 600 works, only 23 of which — 3.8% — were recorded by Latino musicians. CHC Chair Raul Ruiz, CHC Vice Chair Adriano Espaillat and Rep. Joaquin Castro, signed the letter and suggested 33 songs and albums for consideration.
Every year since 2002 the Librarian of Congress, with help from the National Recording Preservation Board, picks 25 titles that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old, according to the Library.
Latino artists have long contributed to the soundtrack of our lives.
The @librarycongress needs recommendations for songs/albums (+10 years old) by your favorite Latino artists or groups to preserve in the National Recording Registry. Leave a comment on who should be included??
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) November 21, 2022
Latinos have been historically and presently underrepresented in all media, from movies to literature and journalism. Yet, their generation-spanning musical influence will finally be recognized with artists of all genres.
“The National Recording Registry’s very existence speaks to the importance of music and broadcast in American culture and society,” Hispanic Caucus members wrote. “Music brings people from all different backgrounds together, and Latino music has had an indelible influence across the American music spectrum on every genre from jazz, rhythm and blues, country, pop, and hip-hop. Yet, Latino contributions in music have been insufficiently recognized. As an art, the diversity of the Latino sound can be heard in every measure and resonates with every beat.”
The members noted that the songs were “selected with feedback from the public,” and “reflect the diversity of Latino identities, histories and geographies.”
Their nominations include “Lean Back by Terror Squad, Fat Joe, and Remy Ma, “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira, “El Rey” by Vicente Fernandez, “Rinconcito en el Cielo” by Raymon Ayala, and “I Know You Want Me” by Pitbull, among many others.
Axios reports The National Recording Preservation Board will meet next week to discuss the submissions, and the 2023 registry will be announced in late March or April.
Though the submission deadline has passed for 2023, users can now submit recommendations in anticipation of the 2024 nominations to the Library of Congress.