Every year, the Library of Congress chooses 25 sound recordings to preserve. This year's haul includes underwater recordings of humpback whales, which could easily be mistaken for some kind of avant-garde electronica. The rest of the list, however, is dominated by actual songs — and it's a diverse bunch.
The list includes "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," a collaboration by Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer and Bob Nolan (they called themselves The Sons of the Pioneers), recorded in 1934. Around the same time, in the Spanish-speaking Southwest, the song "Mal Hombre" by Houston-born Lydia Mendoza was quite popular; the library has picked that, too. Steely Dan made the cut for its 1977 album Aja, singled out as a stellar example of jazz, blues and pop fusion.
The hip-hop trio De La Soul sampled that Steely Dan album on its 1989 hit "Eye Know." That song, in turn, appeared on De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, which is also being added to the collection this year. All Things Considered's favorite from that album? "Me, Myself, and I," of course.