‘Stand by Me’ Among Hits Now Preserved at U.S. Library To Represent the Nation’s Rich Audio Legacy
Before the legendary Ben E. King utters a single word on the soulful track, “Stand By Me” is immediately recognizable and instantly celebrated as an unforgettable classic. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could ever forget it after it has been embraced by several generations of soulful music lovers.
Just in case such an inconceivable instance of forgetfulness is possible, King’s hit record will now be preserved at the Library of Congress.
This officially marks the record as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” work of art, according to the National Recording Registry’s mission.
“Stand By Me” is one of the 25 sound recordings that the National Recording Registry believes “highlights the richness of the nation’s audio legacy.”
It would be incredibly difficult to argue that “Stand By Me” doesn’t meet such criteria as it has, in many ways, played a significant role in musical history as well as pop culture.
The song became such an instant classic that countless musicians started recording their own versions of the song until there was an astounding 400 different versions available for America’s listening pleasure.
His version also still holds the title of being one of the most broadcast songs of the 20th century, according to the Associated Press.
With all its widespread, timeless success it’s easy to forget that King almost didn’t record the song the way many people remember it today.
The solo track was originally written to be for his former group, The Drifters.
The group decided to turn down the song idea, leaving King some extra time to record the song himself after a recording session for “Spanish Harlem.”
Other iconic audio sounds being added to the National Recording Registry this year include Johnny Mercer’s 1944 tune “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and Steve Martin’s entire A Wild and Crazy Guy comedy album.
Another notable addition in this year’s group includes a collection of songs from Sesame Street, a show still considered to be an innovative approach to children’s programming and adding entertainment to education.