ASCAP Writers Give Members of Congress a Musical Night to Remember

By Erik Philbrook, ASCAP Editor in Chief  •  May 23, 2019

The Go-Go’s, Don Felder, Felix Cavaliere, Andrea Martin, Kany Garcia and Sidd Khosla Perform at The Library Of Congress

On Tuesday, May 21, Members of Congress and their staff “got the beat” when The ASCAP Foundation and The Library of Congress presented their 11th annual We Write the Songs event at the historic Coolidge Auditorium in The Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

An exciting and eclectic group of ASCAP members performed and shared stories behind the creation of their work. Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s rocked out on “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got The Beat;” Hit R&B songwriter Andrea Martin performed her En Vogue hit “Don’t Let Go (Love)” and her Blu Cantrell hit “Breathe;” Latin singer-songwriter Kany Garcia sang in Spanish and performed her hit “Hoy Ya Me Voy;” Rock legend Felix Cavaliere from The Rascals performed “Beautiful Morning” and “People Gotta Be Free;” Sidd Khosla, composer of TV’s This is Us, demonstrated how he scored an emotional scene from the series as well as his own songs and dedicated one song to his parents who were in the room; and the great former Eagles guitarist and singer-songwriter Don Felder brought the house down with “Victim of Love” and a scorching “Hotel California.”

The evening was hosted by Chief of the Library of Congress Music Division Susan H. Vita and ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams. Celebrating its eleventh year, We Write the Songs has become a Washington tradition and an exclusive invitation-only event for legislative and cultural dignitaries where dozens of Members of Congress crowd Coolidge Auditorium for an evening of classic songs and stories.

The ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress was established to preserve the history and create a repository for video and audio materials, photos, scores, documents and artifacts. Each is relevant to the rich history of ASCAP and its members as contributors to American culture. Some archival materials record the day-to-day workings of ASCAP; others provide insights into the life and music of individual ASCAP members. The ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress gives historians, students and the public access to this valuable trove of musical history.

With a packed house attended by a great number of U.S. Senators and Representatives and numerous standing ovations throughout the evening, this year’s We Write the Songs was a night of unforgettable music and stories, and a great reminder of music’s universal value.

We Write the Songs took place the evening before ASCAP’s “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, May 22, all of the We Write the Songs music creators met with Members of Congress to discuss the challenges facing songwriters in the digital music age and urged them to protect songwriters from further regulation.