On May 15th, The ASCAP Foundation and the Library of Congress jointly celebrated the third 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 fourth straight year, a concert at the Library's Coolidge Auditorium called "We Write the Songs" illustrated beautifully what the ASCAP Collection represents - the creative efforts of the men and women who write American popular music.
Participating in the show, introduced by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and hosted by ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams, was a highly diverse group of ASCAP members: Stephen Bishop, Irving Burgie, Dino Fekaris, ASCAP Board member Dan Foliart, Melanie, Ray Parker, Jr., Stephen Schwartz, ASCAP Board member Valerie Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Tom Whitlock (with vocalist Terri Nunn).
As in years past, a number of senators and congressional representatives joined in to introduce the performers from the stage: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA); Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (DMI), Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). "We Write the Songs" has become a Washington tradition and a "hot ticket" for legislative and cultural dignitaries who crowd the historic Coolidge Auditorium for an evening of classic songs and stories. More than 30 Members of Congress were in attendance.
On the day after the Library of Congress event, ASCAP Board members, along with some of the performers on the Library of Congress show, met for breakfast with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) for a discussion on copyright issues. Rep. Smith is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.