From ‘Conga’ to ‘Feliz Navidad’, Latino Songs make Texas Lawmaker’s List

Catherine A. Jones
 | October 9, 2023

Illustration By Nuestro Stories

Congressman Joaquin Castro has done it again.

He’s showing his Latino pride, during Hispanic Heritage Month, no less, by leading the march to get more Latino representation in one of the nation’s most notable institutions: The Library of Congress.

Every year, the Librarian of Congress adds new music to the National Recording Registry after accepting titles nominated by the public. The Congressman and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus made a public plea for their Latino music suggestions for their yearly nomination list.

Last week, Congressman Castro (TX-20),  nominated 35 songs and albums by Latino musicians for inclusion in the National Recording Registry at the United States Library of Congress. 

To the delight of music lovers everywhere, this year, songs by Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, and Jose Feliciano have made the coveted list. (Bad Bunny’s music didn’t make the cut, the lawmaker’s communications director explained, because songs must be at least a decade old to be considered by the Library of Congress.)

As part of his ongoing collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to enhance Latino representation in American media, as Rolling Stone magazine and other outlets reported, these selections were made from a pool of nearly 700 submissions received from the public via various channels, including social media.

This all comes just a couple of months after Castro nominated 27 Latino-driven films for inclusion to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry – the nation’s official archive of films with cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance to life in the U.S.

“The National Recording Registry’s very existence speaks to the important role that music plays in American culture and society. The scarceness of Latino artists in our country’s recording legacy has wide-reaching implications on how Latinos are perceived in American society, Congressman Castro wrote in his nomination letter. “Latino music and its influence can be found across languages, geographical boundaries, and genres. Latino artists, through their musical contributions, have marked all aspects of American life and are worth celebrating and preserving.”

Annually, the Librarian of Congress, in consultation with Library curators and the National Recording Preservation Board, reviews public nominations and selects 25 recordings to be added to the registry for preservation at the Library of Congress. 

Yet, as of 2023, Latino musicians have contributed to less than five percent of the approximately 600 titles currently on the registry, making efforts to diversify and expand representation all the more crucial. This is a stat the congressman and his colleagues are striving to improve.

Last year, Congressman Castro and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had luck when they submitted 33 nominations to the National Recording Registry. Because, in early 2023, the Library of Congress inducted two of their nominations – Irene Cara’s “Flashdance…What A Feeling” (1983) and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” (2004) into the registry – along with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” (1994) and the first recordings of mariachi music. 

Here’s the full list of 2023 nominations to the National Recording Registry is below:

  1. “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez (album) (1975)
  2. “Como la Flor” by Selena (song) (1992)
  3. “How Will the Wolf Survive?” by Los Lobos (album) (1984)
  4. “Juancito Trucupey” by Celia Cruz (song) (1956)
  5. “Las Nubes” by Little Joe y La Familia (song) (1972)
  6. “Rinconcito en el Cielo” by Ramón Ayala (song) (1985)
  7. “El Rey” by Vicente Fernández (song) (1991)
  8. “Oye Mi Amor” by Maná (song) (1992)
  9. “Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel (song) (1984)
  10. “Ahora Te Puedes Marchar” by Luis Miguel (song) (1987)
  11. “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender (song) (1974)
  12. “Whenever, Wherever” by Shakira (song) (2001)
  13. “(Hey Baby) Que Paso” by Texas Tornados (song) (1990)
  14. “Oye Cómo Va” by Tito Puente (song) (1962)
  15. “Talk to Me” by Sunny and the Sunliners (song) (2012)
  16. “She’s All I Ever Had” by Ricky Martin (song) (1999)
  17. “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera (song) (1999)
  18. “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine (song) (1985)
  19. “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez (song) (1999)
  20. “Oye Mi Canto” by N.O.R.E. ft. Tego Calderón, Nina Sky, Gemstar & Big Mato (song) (2006)
  21. “Come and Get It” by Selena Gomez (song) (2013)
  22. “Rica y Apretadita” by El General ft. Anayka (song) (1995)
  23. “Yo Voy” by Zion and Lennox ft. Daddy Yankee (song) (2004)
  24. “Eco de Sombras” by Susana Baca (album) (1989)
  25. “Propuesta Indecente” by Romeo Santos (song) (2013)
  26. “Juana La Cubana” by Fito Olivares (song) (1996)
  27. “Mi Gente” by Héctor Lavoe (song) (1975)
  28. “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano (song) (1970)
  29. “Eres” by Café Tacvba (song) (2003)
  30. “El Coco Rayado” by Ruben Vela (song) (1994)
  31. “El Abayarde” by Tego Calderón (album) (2002)
  32. “The Glamorous Life” by Sheila E. (song) (1984)
  33. “Basta Ya” by Jenni Rivera (song) (2011)
  34. “Lost in Emotion” by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam (song) (1987)
  35. “It Must Be Him” by Vikki Carr (song) (1967)

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