What does Sligo Master Michael Coleman have in common with 60s psychedelic rockers The Doors, indie masters Radiohead, comedy king Steve Martin or Sesame Street?
Well the answer is recordings from all of these artists feature in the latest induction into the US Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
The Library of Congress each year selects 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and at least 10 years old. They then find the best existing versions of each selected record and preserve them for future generations.
And, in 2015 the Library chose, among others, a recording of two tunes – “The Boys of the Lough” and “The Humours of Ennistymon” – made by Michael Coleman.
The songs were released as a single by Michael in 1922, eight years after he first arrived in New York. In their description of Coleman, the Library of Congress said:
“Despite Coleman’s rural traditional style, the fiddler achieved unprecedented commercial success and had a long-lasting impact on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Today, he remains a vital figure in Irish music. His brisk, highly ornamented playing set standards and brought traditional Irish music a level of respect it had never had before, even in Ireland.
“This 1922 coupling of two older tunes that he made distinctively his own was not his first commercial disc but proved to be his breakthrough.”
Joining Coleman in the class of 2015 is the self-title debut album from The Doors, Radiohead’s ground-breaking 1997 album “OK Computer”, Steve Martin’s Grammy Award-winning album “A Wild and Crazy Guy” as well as hit singles “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by the Righteous Brothers, “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King and “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Oh, and the album “Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favourites”.