You would be hard-pressed to find many playlists that include Judy Garland’s single “Over the Rainbow” and N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton.”
But they share a place among the 25 albums and broadcasts added this week to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry, which collects titles because of their “cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society.”
Ms. Garland’s single, from the 1939 classic movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” was a breakout hit for her and one of the most enduring ballads by the composer Harold Arlen.
If that song shares anything with “Straight Outta Compton,” it is their status as landmark works in their genres. The 1988 album, a definitive West Coast rap declaration with a powerful sociopolitical message, counts Dr. Dre among its producers, with collaborators including Ice Cube, Eazy-E and DJ Yella. (The audio clip below contains explicit language.)
The diverse list of inductees also includes the original cast recording of the 1975 musical “The Wiz”; David Bowie’s 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”; and Harry Richman’s 1929 single of the Irving Berlin earworm “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
One of Barbra Streisand’s signature songs — the 1964 hit “People,” from Jule Styne and the lyricist Bob Merrill’s musical “Funny Girl” — is also among the registry’s new additions.
“This is the prestigious treasure house in which American art is archived and acknowledged as part of the flow of our nation’s culture,” Ms….