We’re delighted, but not surprised, that several fixtures of Louisiana’s rich musical culture have been singled out for recognition by the Library of Congress.
The song “You Are My Sunshine,” popularized by former Gov. Jimmie Davis, and the 1976 album by the Wild Tchoupitoulas group of Mardi Gras Indians were among 25 annual entries for the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as culturally and historically significant recordings.
Also added to the registry were “Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1,” performed by the recently departed Shreveport native Van Cliburn, and the 1959 album “The Shape of Jazz to Come,” by Odette Coleman, who lived in New Orleans during the 1940s.
Each year, the registry recognizes recorded treasures that deserve to be preserved as part of America’s national heritage.
Davis, who died in 2000, became synonymous with “You Are My Sunshine,” strumming his guitar and singing the song on the campaign trail. Davis was governor from 1944 to 1948 and again from 1960 to 1964.
The Wild Tchoupitoulas was originally a group of Mardi Gras Indian performers. Their 1976 album included several other notable performers, among them Art, Cyril and Aaron Neville. The album was produced by New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint.
We’re glad that the Library of Congress is recognizing Louisiana’s contribution to America’s musical variety. We hope the addition of these items to the registry will encourage more listeners to given them a listen.