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Stand By Your Man, Tumbling Tumbleweeds make history

Wednesday, April 6, 2011Tumbling Tumbleweeds by Sons of the Pioneers and Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette were the 2 country songs to make the Library of Congress list Wednesday of 25 songs named to the National Recording Registry.

Other songs included Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Edward Meeker, Al Green's Let's Stay Together and The Music From 'Peter Gunn by Henry Macini.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named 25 new additions to the 9th annual National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, ensuring that these cultural, artistic and historical recordings always will be available to the American public. The selections named to the registry feature a diverse array of spoken-word and musical recordings - representing nearly every musical category - spanning the years 1853-1994.

Wynette recorded the song in 1968, and it has been controversial ever since. In a press release, the Library of Congress said, "Of the many popular recordings made by country-music vocalist Tammy Wynette, none elicited the reactions - pro and con-of Stand By Your Man. The song, written by Wynette and her producer Billy Sherrill, is an ode to the weakness of men, the strength of their women, love, loyalty and support. When it was released in 1968, the women's movement in the U.S. was on the ascendancy and interpretation of the song created dissent. Must a woman stand by her man and forgive his transgressions because "after all, he's just a man" or do such attitudes signify subservience? However interpreted, Wynette's artistry transcends any literal message in the song. Her performance ranges from quiet, pensive reflection to a soaring, full-voiced chorus of affirmation, contributing to a song that remains one of the most beloved in country music."

As for Tumbling Tumbleweeds, the LOC said, "The cowboy vocal group The Sons of the Pioneers was formed in 1933 by Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer and Bob Nolan. The group became America's premier western singing group and remained so for decades. They still perform today with different singers. The Sons of the Pioneers are widely admired for their smooth and adventurous harmonies. Their songs serve as the foundation of non-traditional, popular cowboy music. Tumbling Tumbleweeds was one of the songs cut at the Sons' first recording session, and it became the group's theme song, beautifully evoking the cowboy's love of the land."

Other songs on the list were:

1. Take Me Out to the Ballgame - Edward Meeker, accompanied by the Edison Orchestra (1908)

2. Cylinder Recordings of Ishi (1911-14)

3. Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground - Blind Willie Johnson (1927)

4. It's the Girl - The Boswell Sisters with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (1931)

5. Mal Hombre - Lydia Mendoza (1934)

6. Tumbling Tumbleweeds - The Sons of the Pioneers (1934)

7. Talking Union - The Almanac Singers (1941)

8. Jazz at the Philharmonic (July 2, 1944)

9. Pope Marcellus Mass (Palestrina) -The Roger Wagner Chorale (1951)

10. The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest - Rev. C. L. Franklin (1953)

11. Tipitina - Professor Longhair (1953)

12. At Sunset - Mort Sahl (1955)

13. Interviews with Jazz Musicians for the Voice of America, Willis Conover (1956)

14. The Music From Peter Gunn' - Henry Mancini (1959)

15. United Sacred Harp Musical Convention in Fyffe, Alabama - field recordings by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins (1959)

16. Blind Joe Death - John Fahey (1959, 1964, 1967)

17. Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette (1968)

18. Trout Mask Replica - Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band (1969)

19. Songs of the Humpback Whale (1970)

20. Let's Stay Together - Al Green (1971)

21. Black Angels (Thirteen Images from the Dark Land) -George Crumb, CRI Recordings, (1972)

22. Aja - Steely Dan (1977)

23. 3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul (1989)

24. GOPAC Strategy and Instructional Tapes (1986-1994)

25. Phonautograms - Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville (ca. 1853-1861)

"America's recorded-sound heritage has in many ways transformed the soundscape of the modern world, resonating and flowing through our cultural memory," said Billington. "Audio recordings have documented our lives and allowed us to share artistic expressions and entertainment. Songs, words and the natural sounds of the world that we live in have been captured on one of the most perishable of all of our art media. The salient question is not whether we should preserve these artifacts, but how best collectively to save this indispensable part of our history."

Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the librarian, with advice from the Library's National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), is tasked with selecting every year 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old. The selections for the 2010 registry bring the total number of recordings to 325.

More news for Tammy Wynette

CD reviews for Tammy Wynette

Take Me to Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House
"Take Me to Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House," originally released 30 years ago and rather awkwardly named after its two biggest hits, was Tammy Wynette's second album. If not quite on a par with her achievements in her subsequent two releases "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "Stand By Your Man," this is no slouch for all that. "Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town," "Broadminded" and the two title tracks all show producer Billy Sherrill already finding appropriate vehicles for the lyrical subjects and the vocals »»»
Stand By Your Man
No one had a bigger voice or a more tragic catch to their voice than Tammy Wynette - and in that open-throated heartbreak, the collective psyches and traumas of the post-feminist non-feminist woman rose and fell. "Stand By Your Man," from a sociologist's perspective, is certainly the song and, in turn, the album that galvanized Wynette's place as the anti-Steinem; a fact that's both important and misleading. Wynette was never about subservience or being done wrong. She was about compassion and »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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