Library of Congress Adds “Buena Vista Social Club” Documentary to National Film Registry

The story of the Buena Vista Social Club’s effort to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba is being celebrated.

The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 movies to make the cut for the National Film Registry, with the documentary named after the ensemble of Cuban musicians, Buena Vista Social Club, making the cut.

Buena Vista Social Club

The Buena Vista Social Club project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members’ club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as sonbolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for many years.

Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. The film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.

Lourdes Portillo’s The Devil Never Sleeps is part of a record number of films directed by women that make the list this year.

The 76-year-old Mexican film director’s mystery/documentary centers on Oscar, who is found dead from a gunshot wound. His wife believes he committed suicide. But his nephew, Portillo, suspects that it was murder and investigates the death with no help from the authorities.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles.”

This year’s list brings the number of films selected for preservation in the registry to 800.

Turner Classic Movies will host a television special from 8:00 pm ET on December. 15 to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry. Among the films to air are The Battle of the Century, Lilies of the Field, Illusions, The Joy Luck Club, Cabin in the Sky and The Man with the Golden Arm.

Here’s the full rundown of this year’s additions:

The Battle Of The Century (1927)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Bread (1918)
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Cabin In The Sky (1943)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
Freedom Riders (2010)
Grease (1978)
The Ground (1993-2001)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Illusions (1982)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
Lilies Of The Field (1963)
Losing Ground (1982)
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
Outrage (1950)
Shrek (2001)
Suspense (1913)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
Wattstax (1973)
With Car And Camera Around The World (1929)

Amazon Studios Orders Priscilla Delgado’s “A League of Their Own” Series

Priscilla Delgado is ready to play ball…

Amazon Studios has picked up to series to A League of Their Own, a reimagining of Penny Marshall’s 1992 film, starring the 18-year-old Puerto Rican actress.

Priscilla Delgado

Hailing from co-creators Abbi Jacobson — who also stars —Will Graham and Sony Pictures Television, the hourlong series is described as a fresh approach to Marshall’s classic about the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

The series will follow new characters who embody the spirit of a generation of women who dreamed to play professional baseball. 

“The show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the league and outside of it,” according to the streamer.

“28 years ago, Penny Marshall told us a story about women playing professional baseball that up until then had been largely overlooked. We grew up obsessed with the film, like everyone else. Three years ago, we approached Sony with the idea of telling a new, still overlooked set of those stories. With the help of an enormously talented team of collaborators, an amazing cast, and the devoted support of Amazon to this project, we feel beyond lucky and excited to get to bring these characters to life.” said Graham and Jacobson. “It took grit, fire, authenticity, wild imagination and a crackling sense of humor for these players to achieve their dreams. We’re hoping to bring audiences a story with all of those qualities.”

In addition to Delgado and Jacobson, A League Of Their Own also stars Chanté AdamsD’Arcy CardenGbemisola IkumeloKelly McCormack, and 34-year-old Argentine-Honduran actress from Mexico Roberta Colindrez, with recurring guest stars Molly EphraimKate Berlant and Melanie Field.

“There’s no crying in baseball, or at Prime Video,” said Vernon Sanders, Co-Head of Television at Amazon Studios. “Will and Abbi have taken a classic movie, reimagining it for a new generation with new characters and their own fresh, modern vision on a timeless story of big dreams, friendship, love, and, of course, baseball. We’re so excited to partner with Sony to bring this emotional, exciting new series to our Prime Video customers around the world.”

A League of Their Own
 hails from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television in association with Field Trip Productions

The feature, directed by Marshall and scripted by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kelly Candaele and Kim Wilson, grossed $132 million worldwide. In 2012, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry.

“Abbi and Will have done a masterful job of reimagining this timeless classic. We are very thankful to our partners at Amazon for bringing this incredibly relevant and important story to audiences around the globe,” said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television.

Delgado’s previous credits include Justo antes de Cristo and Desaparecidos, as well as Pedro Almodovar’s drama Julieta.

Colindrez’s previous credits include appearances on Starz’s Vida, Hulu’s Mrs. America, and Amazon’s I Love Dick.

Library of Congress Adds Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” to National Film Registry

One of Patricia Cardoso’s most iconic films is being celebrated in a special way… 

The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual selection of 25 films added to the National Film Registry, with the Colombian filmmaker’s Humanitas Prize-winning film Real Women Have Curves—a landmark of Latinx cinema—among the chosen.

Patricia Cardoso

Real Women Have Curves is one of an unprecedented seven titles directed by women, the most in a single year since the inaugural registry in 1989. 

Real Women Have Curves

The comedy-drama—released in 2002—starred America FerreraLupe Ontiveros and George Lopez. It’s the story of a first generation Mexican-American girl (Ferrera) and her passage to womanhood. Although she wants to go away to college, she must battle against the views of her parents, who think she should stay at home and provide for the family. As a compromise, she works with her mother (Ontiveros) in a sewing factory over the summer and learns some important lessons about life, helping her make a decision about her future.

It’s based on the play of the same name by Josefina López, who co-authored the screenplay for the film with George LaVoo. The film gained fame after winning the Audience Award for best dramatic film, and the Special Jury Prizefor acting at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. According to the Sundance Institute, the film gives a voice to young women who are struggling to love themselves and find respect in the United States.

But it’s not the only LatinX film selected this year…

Zoot Suit, directed by Luis Valdez, made the list. 

Starring Daniel Valdez and Edward James Olmos, Zoot Suitis the1981 film adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. It weaves a story involving the real-life events of the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial — when a group of young Mexican-Americans were charged with murder — resulting in the racially fueled Zoot Suit Riotsthroughout Los Angeles.

The film was nominated for the 1982 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Meanwhile, some of the selected films feature Hispanic artists…

Purple Rainstars Mexican American actress/singer Apollonia Kotero; and Platoonstars part-Spanish American actor Charlie Sheen,  

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the annual selections, which were chosen based on cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage and guarantees the film will be preserved under the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least 10 years old.

“The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity,” said Hayden. “Unlike many other honors, the registry is not restricted to a time, place or genre. It encompasses 130 years of the full American cinematic experience — a virtual Olympiad of motion pictures. With the support of Congress, the studios and other archives, we are ensuring that the nation’s cinematic history will be around for generations to come.” 

The 2019 selection brings the number of films in the registry to 775 and spans a century of filmmaking, from 1903 to 2003. 

Jacqueline Stewart, chair of the National Film Preservation Board’s task force on diversity, equity and inclusion, commented, “With this year’s National Film Registry selections, Dr, Hayden recognizes the importance of amplifying cinematic voices and stories that have been marginalized for far too long. I look forward to continuing research and dialogue with the Librarian, board members, film communities and the American public to ensure that the registry reflects the full spectrum of our society.”

Here’s the full list of this year’s selections:

Amadeus (1984)
Becky Sharp (1935)      
Before Stonewall (1984)
BodyAnd Soul (1925)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Clerks (1994)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island (1903)
Employees Entrance (1933)    
Fog Of War (2003)         
Gaslight (1944)  
George Washington Carver At Tuskegee Institute (1937)
Girlfriends (1978)
I Am Somebody (1970)
The Last Waltz (1978)
My Name Is Oona (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)        
Old Yeller (1957)
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Platoon (1986)   
Purple Rain (1984)        
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)      
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Zoot Suit (1981)

Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” Inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry

Ritchie Valenshas earned a special place in U.S. recording history…

The late Mexican American singer/songwriter’s groundbreaking 1958 sensation “La Bamba”is one of the newest recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress

Ritchie Valens

Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), is tasked with annually selecting 25 titles that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” and are at least 10 years old.

Valens, who was born Richard Valenzuelain Los Angeles in 1941, spoke English as his first language. Though he never mastered Spanish, he learned Spanish songs from his Mexican-American family, including “La Bamba,” a song from the Mexican state of Veracruz that was a favorite dance piece at weddings. 

Valens’ amplified guitar and power chords were a long way from the acoustic string band sounds of Mexico, but he successfully transposed the feeling and rhythm of the song to the back beat of early rock and roll. It was released as the b-side of his second single “Donna” in late 1958, and had become a hit on its own when he died at the age of 17 on February 3, 1959, in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Hollyand J.P. Richardson, “The Big Bopper.” In spite of his brief life and a recording career that only lasted eight months, Valens’ success brought a new sound to the mainstream and inspired generations of Chicano musicians.

Los Lobos released its version of the song in 1987. “As a young boy growing up in East Los Angeles, I was curious and ultimately impressed by a rock song sung in Spanish — that song was ‘La Bamba’ by Ritchie Valens,” said Louie Pérez, one of the founding members and guitarist for Los Lobos. “It continues to be a hallmark in American music and an influence on all Latino music that followed.”

Spanish cellist, composer, and conductor Pablo Casals’ 1939 reimagining of the Bach cello suites was selected in the classical category. Raphaël Merlin, cellist of the acclaimed Ébène Quartet External, said: “There is a prophetic aspect to Pablo Casals’s work—he revealed his recording of the six Bach Cello Suites, and they instantly became our bible, and continue to offer revelations to cellists even to this day. At the same time, he also made a practical case for these works as an ideal way for a musician to exercise his or her mind, cultivate healthy playing technique, study counterpoint, and more. However you look at them, his recording of the suites still sounds like the opening of a new era.”

The new recordings to the National Recording Registry bring the total number of titles on the registry to 525, a small part of the Library’s vast recorded-sound collection of nearly 3 million items.

Here’s a look at the 25 recordings that were selected for inclusion in the registry in 2018:

2018 National Recording Registry

  1. Yiddish Cylinders from the Standard Phonograph Company of New York and the Thomas Lambert Company (c. 1901-1905)
  2. “Memphis Blues” (single), Victor Military Band (1914)
  3. Melville Jacobs Collection of Native Americans of the American Northwest (1929-1939)
  4. “Minnie the Moocher” (single), Cab Calloway (1931)
  5. “Bach Six Cello Suites” (album), Pablo Casals (c. 1939)
  6. “They Look Like Men of War” (single), Deep River Boys (1941)
  7. “Gunsmoke” — Episode: “The Cabin” (Dec. 27, 1952)
  8. Ruth Draper: Complete recorded monologues, Ruth Draper (1954-1956)
  9. “La Bamba” (single), Ritchie Valens (1958)
  10. “Long Black Veil” (single), Lefty Frizzell (1959)
  11. “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Vol. 1: The Early Years” (album), Stan Freberg (1961)
  12. “GO” (album), Dexter Gordon (1962)
  13. “War Requiem” (album), Benjamin Britten (1963)
  14. “Mississippi Goddam” (single), Nina Simone (1964)
  15. “Soul Man” (single), Sam & Dave (1967)
  16. “Hair” (original Broadway cast recording) (1968)
  17. Speech on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)
  18. “Sweet Caroline” (single), Neil Diamond (1969)
  19. “Superfly” (album), Curtis Mayfield (1972)
  20. “Ola Belle Reed” (album), Ola Belle Reed (1973)
  21. “September” (single), Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
  22. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (single), Sylvester (1978)
  23. “She’s So Unusual” (album), Cyndi Lauper (1983)
  24. “Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set” (1996)
  25. “The Blueprint” (album), Jay-Z (2001)

Gloria & Emilio Estefan: First Hispanic Musicians to Receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize

Gloria and Emilio Estefan have earned an extra special prize…

The 61-year-old Cuban singer and her 65-year-old Cuban producer husband will receive this year’s Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Gloria & Emilio Estefan

The Estefans usher in two firsts for the prize: This year marks the first time it has been awarded to a married couple and the first time it’s awarded to musicians/songwriters of Hispanic descent.

“Emilio and Gloria Estefan… are the creative force behind the popularity of music steeped in the Latino culture,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “This dynamic couple’s professional and personal journey truly mirrors the American dream and we are so pleased to honor their musical legacy.”

Married since 1978, the Estefans catapulted to global fame in 1985 with Miami Sound Machine, creating a unique sound that blended Latin and pop rhythms that pulsed through hits including “Conga,” “Turn the Beat Around,” “Get on Your Feet” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You.”

The Estefans were each named BMI’s songwriter of the year and between them have garnered 26 Grammys. Their life story and music were showcased in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical On Your Feet!, which they executive produced. In addition to their musical talents, they are also successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists and humanitarians.

Gloria is having a banner year of acknowledgment by the vaunted cultural institutions of the nation’s capital. This past December, Gloria was inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors. She also was part of the ensemble who last year feted 2017’s Gershwin Prize tribute to Tony Bennett.

The Estefans will receive the prize at an all-star tribute concert in March in Washington, D.C., that will later be aired on PBS.

Moreno Among the Recipients of This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors

Rita Moreno continues to rack up the honors…

The 83-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s SAG Awards, has been announced as one of recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.

Rita Moreno

Each year, the Kennedy Center recognizes a select group for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts with the primary criterion in the selection process being excellence. Honorees are chosen by the center’s board of trustees.

Moreno, a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner, will be honored along side Star Wars patriarch George Lucas, actress Cicely Tyson, songwriter Carole King, conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Eagles.

Moreno, who recently guest-starred on the CW’s Jane the Virgin, has previously received the Library of Congress Living Legends Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a National Medal of Arts and the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event, a fundraiser for the Washington, D.C. arts center, will take place on December 6. CBS will broadcast the star-studded event on December 29.

Miranda’s “Down Argentine Way” and “The Gang’s All Here” Added to the National Film Registry

Carmen Miranda is a national (registry) treasure…

The late half-Brazilian actress, singer and dancer’s work will now be preserved for all time.

Carmen Miranda

The Library of Congress has added 25 films to the National Film Registry, including two of Miranda’s most memorable projects.

The annual selection helps to ensure that the movies will be preserved for all time. This year’s list brings the number of films in the registry to 650.

Down Argentine Way (1940), which established Betty Grable’s as the pinup queen, features the actress’ character traveling to South America and falling in love with Don Ameche.

Miranda, who was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s, made her Hollywood debut in the film, and her exotic clothing and Latin accent became her trademark.

The Gang’s All Here (1943), featured showgirl Alice Faye being romanced by a soldier who uses an assumed name and then turns out to be a rich playboy.

Miranda, nicknamed the “Brazilian Bombshell” is noted for her outrageous costume and signature fruit hat, which was highlighted in the legendary musical number “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat.”

But Miranda isn’t the only one being immortalized in the National Film Registry…

Efraín Gutiérrez’s Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! (1976)
has also made the cut.

He wrote, directed and starred in the independent film, which is set in the San Antonio barrio in the early 1970s and tells the story of a young Chicano man questioning his and his people’s place in society as thousands of his Latino brethren return from the war in coffins during the turbulent days near the end of the Vietnam War.

Meantime, Felicia (1965), a 13-minute short subject, marketed as an educational film, has been included in the National Film Registry this year.

It centers on an unassuming-yet-articulate teenager Felicia Bragg, a high-school student of African-American and Hispanic descent. Felicia’s first-person narrative reflects her hopes and frustrations as she annotates footage of her family, school and neighborhood, creating a time capsule that’s both historically and culturally significant.

Here’s a look at the films featuring Latino talent that made the final cut:

2014 National Film Registry

Down Argentine Way (1940)
  Betty Grable’s first starring role in a Technicolor musical happened only because Alice Faye had an attack of appendicitis, but Grable took advantage of the situation and quickly made herself as important to 20th Century-Fox as Faye. Released just over a year before America entered World War II, this film and others starring Grable established her as the pinup queen. The title explains much, with Grable traveling to South America and falling in love with Don Ameche. Carmen Miranda makes her American film debut, and the Nicolas Brothers’ unparalleled dance routines dazzle.

The Gang’s All Here (1943)
 Although not remembered as well today as those put out by MGM, 20th Century-Fox’s big Technicolor musicals stand up well in comparison. Showgirl Alice Faye, Fox’s No. 1 musical star, is romanced by a soldier who uses an assumed name and then turns out to be a rich playboy. Carmen Miranda is also featured and her outrageous costume is highlighted in the legendary musical number “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat.” Busby Berkeley, who had just finished a long stint directing musicals at MGM and an earlier one at Warner Bros., directs and choreographs the film.

Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! (1976)
 The San Antonio barrio in the early 1970s is the setting for writer, director and star Efraín Gutiérrez’s independent piece, considered by historians to be the first Chicano feature film. A self-taught filmmaker, Gutiérrez not only created the film from top to bottom on a shoestring, he also acted as its initial distributor and chief promoter, negotiating bookings throughout the Southwest where it filled theaters in Chicano neighborhoods. He tells his story in the turbulent days near the end of the Vietnam War, as a young Chicano man questioning his and his people’s place in society as thousands of his Latino brethren return from the war in coffins. Chon Noriega, director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, wrote, “The film is important as an instance of regional filmmaking, as a bicultural and bilingual narrative, and as a precedent that expanded the way that films got made. …” Cultural historians often compare Gutiérrez to Oscar Micheaux, the pioneering African-American filmmaker who came to prominence in the 1920s.

Felicia (1965)
This 13-minute short subject, marketed as an educational film, records a slice of life in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles prior to the rebellions of 1965. Filmmakers Trevor Greenwood, Robert Dickson and Alan Gorg were UCLA film students when they crafted a documentary from the perspective of the unassuming-yet-articulate teenager Felicia Bragg, a high-school student of African-American and Hispanic descent. Felicia’s first-person narrative reflects her hopes and frustrations as she annotates footage of her family, school and neighborhood, creating a time capsule that’s both historically and culturally significant. Its provenance as an educational film continues today as university courses use “Felicia” to teach documentary filmmaking techniques and cite it as an example of how non-traditional sources, as well as mainstream television news, reflect and influence public opinion.

Ronstadt Receives the National Medal of Arts

It’s turning out to be an extra special year for Linda Ronstadt

President Barack Obama awarded the 68-year-old Mexican American singer-songwriter the National Medal of Arts at a special ceremony on Monday at the White House.

Linda Ronstadt

During the ceremony, Obama, who hung the medal around Ronstadt’s neck, revealed, “I had a little crush on her back in the day.”

The honor was a particularly special moment for Ronstadt, who didn’t make it to her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April since Parkinson’s disease limits her ability to travel. The same month her album Heart Like a Wheel was inducted into the Library of CongressNational Recording Registry.

A military aide brought her into the East Room by wheelchair, but she walked to the stage to receive her award as a citation was read honoring her “one-of-a-kind voice” that paved the way for generations of women artists.

Eleven other recipients were awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts, as the nation’s highest award given to artists and their patrons, including DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dominican-American writer Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies.

Ten were awarded the National Humanities Medal, which honors those in fields including history, literature, languages and philosophy.

During her illustrious career, Ronstadt has earned 11 Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award. She’s also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award.

Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” Added to the National Recording Registry

One of Linda Ronstadt’s most acclaimed recordings will live on in the archives of American history…

The 67-year-old Mexican American singer’s Grammy-winning fifth solo album Heart Like a Wheel has been inducted into the Library of CongressNational Recording Registry.

Linda Ronstadt Heart Like a Wheel

The album, released in 1974, is considered to be Ronstadt’s masterpiece recording and a pioneering blueprint of country rock.

In the 1970s, a decade that saw the rise of singer-songwriters, Ronstadt – who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month – was a bit of an anomaly. Primarily an interpreter, she was blessed with excellent taste in song selection and the talent to put her own stamp on each of her covers.

Heart Like a Wheel continued her tradition of eclecticism and featured covers of songs by Hank Williams, Paul Anka and Little Feat’s Lowell GeorgeIt also shows a keen ear for new material, like the achingly beautiful title track by Anna McGarrigle.

What made this album different from Ronstadt’s previous efforts was the additions of producer Peter Asher, who had been crucial to the career of James Taylor, and Andrew Gold, who arranged the music and played several instruments on the album sessions.

Ronstadt told the Library of Congress that the title track on the album “became an iconic song for me. That was the first chance I got to record a little bit more complex, emotionally, pieces instead of just trying to sing rock ’n’ roll. I never thought of myself as a rock ’n’ roll singer. I sang rock ’n’ roll because I liked to eat.”

Heart Like a Wheel was the first of Ronstadt’s three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, reaching the summit for the week ending February 15, 1975, alongside the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, “You’re No Good.”

But Ronstadt’s prized work isn’t the only Latin album among the latest batch of 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” recordings to be preserved this year.

Celia & Johnny, the album released in 1974 by the late Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco, is also being inducted into the National Recording Registry.

Cuba’s Cruz was a dominant artist in the Afro-Cuban scene of the 1950s, when she sang with the great Sonora Matancera band. She came to America in 1962 and did well initially, but by the early 1970s, her career entered a slump as Latin styles nurtured in the U.S. became dominant.

For this album, rather than re-create the large orchestras that Cruz usually fronted, Pacheco – a New York-based bandleader and co-founder of the Fania Records label — assembled a small group that included pianist Papo Lucca, tres player Charlie Martinez and several percussionists, including himself.

This proved to be the perfect setting for Cruz to reach a newer and younger audience while remaining true to her roots. And she responded with some of the most inspired singing of her career, especially in the album’s many improvised passages. The album’s opening rumba, “Quimbara,” was a huge dance-floor hit, and Cruz soon was acclaimed as the Queen of Salsa.

This year’s 25 selections raise the number of recordings in the registry to 400, a fraction of the Library’s vast recorded sound collection of more than 3.5 million items.

Every year, the Librarian of Congress, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board, selects 25 recordings that are at least 10 years old; the best existing versions of each are housed in the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.

“These recordings represent an important part of America’s culture and history,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said. “As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation’s aural legacy is protected. The National Recording Registry is at the core of this effort.”

Nominations were gathered through online submissions from the public and the NRPB.

Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi” to Be Made Into a Spanish-Language Series

Robert Rodriguez’s debut film is getting a brand new life…

Sony Pictures Television has announced plans to produce 70 episodes of El Mariachi, an original series based on the 45-year-old Mexican American director’s 1992 cult film of the same name.

El Mariachi

In 2011, El Mariachi was selected as an addition to the National Film Registry of films for preservation by the Library of Congress for it’s “enduring significance to American Culture.”

The Spanish-language drama marks the first time Sony and its Colombian partner Teleset will produce a series entirely in Mexico.

Soy tu Fan star Ivan Arana takes on the role of the lovestruck, revenge-seeking mariachi who wages war against fearsome drug cartels.

El Mariachi also features Mexican actors Martha Higareda and Julio Bracho.

“Staying true to the story, we are producing the series in Mexico, shooting in magnificent locations and utilizing some of the country’s best talent,” said Angelica Guerra, Sony senior vice president of production in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market.

The series will air on Sony Entertainment Television in Latin America and on a yet-to-be-announced U.S. network.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez’s latest film, Machete Kills, will have its world premiere on September 19 at the Fantastic Fest in Austin.