Sounds of Silence, the 1966 Simon & Garfunkel album, has been selected for preservation in the 2012 National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. The classic album includes hits and favorites such as “The Sound of Silence”, “Homeward Bound”, “I Am A Rock”, “Kathy’s Song” and “April Come She Will”. Among this year’s selections also are The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) by Pink Floyd and the popular movie soundtrack Saturday Night Fever (1973).
The United States Congress was “created the National Recording Registry to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio heritage and to underscore [the nation’s] responsibility for long-term preservation, to assure that legacy can be appreciated and studied for generations,” notes The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington.
"Sound" bytes from the AP story (emphasis added):
[Art] Garfunkel, 71, told The Associated Press he’s thrilled and flattered to have his work preserved in the Library of Congress. He said the hit album was a life changer for him and Simon. “Da da dee, da dee, da dee,” he sang in an interview.
"There’s something fundamentally appealing about the simplicity of those lines," Garfunkel said.
"When you look at the little mesh, wire microphone … and you address people on the other side of the mic, you hope that your performance will be special, and you hope that it will have lasting power," Garfunkel said. He said he remembers thinking in the 60s that “if we do really good and give a very special performance to these great Paul Simon songs, we might last right into the next century and be appreciated.”
Their words and their tune have taken on special significance in American culture. Hearing Simon sing “The Sound of Silence” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, NBC newsman Tom Brokaw briefly struggled for composure. The music, he said, evokes memories.
This is the kind of impact the library was looking to preserve, “to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio heritage,” said Librarian of Congress James Billington in announcing the selections.
Video credit: WABCRADIO77