On May 11, the ASCAP Foundation and the Library of Congress jointly celebrated the first anniversary of the ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress, the gift by the ASCAP Foundation of documents, photos, sheet music and other artifacts.
For the second straight year, a musical concert at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium called We Write the Songs served as a living illustration of what the ASCAP Collection represents – the creative efforts of the men and women behind American popular music.
Participating in the show, introduced by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, was a diverse group of ASCAP songwriter members including Jessi Alexander, Alan Bergman, Tracy Chapman, Dion DiMucci, Albert Hammond, J.D. Souther and Bill Withers (joined by his daughter, Kori, and Broadway star Elisabeth Withers); and ASCAP Foundation Board members Hal David and Wayland Holyfield. ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams served as Master of Ceremonies.
A number of Senators and Congressional Representatives joined in to introduce the performers from the stage, including Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) were also present to offer special remarks. We Write the Songs treated the capacity crowd of Washington legislative and cultural dignitaries to an evening of classic songs and the stories behind their creation.