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The Sounds Of America: ‘The Harder They Come’

Jimmy Cliff, plus a mix of songs from artists now recognized as icons of the genre, including Toots and the Maytals and Desmond Dekker.

The Sounds of America profiles the soundtrack to that movie. Jimmy Cliff reflects on his starring role, Island Records’ Chris Blackwell remembers Toots Hibbert, the director’s daughter, Justine Henzell, shares her father’s story, while reggae poet and professor Kwame Dawes helps create the context for the music.

The soundtrack album for The Harder They Come is being inducted into the National Recording Registry. Every year, the U.S. Library of Congress selects 25 recordings to preserve for all time in the National Recording Registry. These recordings include any kind of audio that’s important to our American culture and heritage.

The Sounds of America is BMP Audio’s Peabody award-winning series showcasing some of the works selected for the National Recording Registry.

Find Jimmy Cliff’s performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk here.

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Rupert Allman