May 05, 2009

Walking the Halls

ASCAP Board members bring their message and music to Capitol Hill


Paul Williams with Patrick Leahy

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams with Senator Patrick Leahy

On May 5, ASCAP and the Library of Congress jointly celebrated a new addition to the Washington institution's vast archive – the gift by The ASCAP Foundation of documents, photos, sheet music and other artifacts, now known as The ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress.

Appropriately, the event took the form of a musical concert at the Library's Coolidge Auditorium entitled "We Write the Songs." Participating in the show were ASCAP writer Board members Hal David, Johnny Mandel (with vocalist Karrin Allyson), Valerie Simpson (with her husband, Nick Ashford), Jimmy Webb and ASCAP President & Chairman Paul Williams (who also served as Master of Ceremonies). Also on the bill were ASCAP members Alan Bergman, Felix Cavaliere and Don Schlitz, as well as singer Monica Mancini, who performed songs by her late father, Henry Mancini. A number of Senators and Congressional Representatives joined in to introduce the performers from the stage: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R–TN), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. "We Write the Songs" successfully showed the packed audience of Washington legislative and cultural dignitaries the very human side of musical creativity.

The following day, May 6, ASCAP Board members and other members who traveled to Washington, expressed their concerns to elected officials on several pending legislative matters, including proper compensation for audio-visual downloads and copyright protections in emerging global economies. In addition to walking the halls of Congress for scheduled meetings with a number of legislators, the ASCAP group also heard remarks on music-related matters from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Stan McCoy. More coverage available at