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The Sounds of America: 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'

“The Sounds of America” profiles some of the audio recordings recently added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

Today, some deep joy and a song that’s been called the feel-good song of the century: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” 

The song was first released in 1988 as part of Bobby McFerrin’s “Simple Pleasures” album. It was also included on the soundtrack for the film “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise

Its infectious melodies and rhythm carried it to the top of the charts, making it the first acapella song to reach number one

Helping ustell the story of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” are producer Linda Goldstein, performance artist Joshua Silverstein, musician Gene Shinozaki, and Bobby McFerrin himself.

Want to add a recording you think should be added to the National Recording Registry? Your nomination must meet three conditions; there needs to be an existing physical copy of the recording, it has to be at least 10 years old, and it has to have had some significant impact on American culture. Just send the library an email The Sounds of America is produced by Jennie Cataldo for Accompany Studios.


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Rupert Allman