(Reuters) - Donna Summer's 1977 hit "I Feel Love" was added to the United States' archives on Wednesday, six days after the disco queen's death, along with Prince's "Purple Rain" album and 23 other recordings deemed cultural or historical treasures.
The National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in Washington DC also added the album "A Charlie Brown Christmas", the voice of late journalist Edward R. Murrow, and Dolly Parton's 1971 autobiographical song "Coat of Many Colors" to its collection.
"America's sound heritage is an important part of the nation's history and culture, and this year's selections reflect the diversity and creativity of the American experience," Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement.
The selections range from Leonard Bernstein's conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1943 to the 1979 hip-hop record "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang and a 1977 concert at Cornell University by the Grateful Dead.
The registry said Summer's "I Feel Love", which took nightclubs in the U.S. and Europe by storm in 1977, had a "thunderous sound (that) combined Summer's breathy and ethereal vocal" and became an anthem of the gay and lesbian community.
Summer, 63, died in Florida on May 17 from cancer.
Nominations for the 2011 list were gathered from the public and the National Recording Preservation Board and bring the total number of recordings preserved for posterity to 350. Recordings must be at least 10-years-old to be eligible for consideration.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)