May 12, The ASCAP Foundation and The Library of Congress will jointly present the seventh annual “We Write the Songs” event at the historic Coolidge Auditorium in The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The evening celebrates the gift by The ascap Foundation to the Library of Congress of the original manuscripts, lead sheets, lyrics sheets, photos and letters of some of America’s greatest creators of words and music.
The evening will be introduced by ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams, and will include performances by several of ASCAP’s leading songwriter and composer members who are donating original materials to The ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress. Performers at the event will include Alan Bergman (“The Way We Were”), John Bettis (“Top of the World”); Donald Fagen (“Reelin’ in the Years”); Rupert Holmes “Escape” (The Piña Colada Song); Natalie Merchant (“Wonder”); NE-YO (“Miss Independent”); Crystal Nicole (“The Only Girl in the World”); Allen Shamblin (“The House That Built Me”); and Che “Rhymefest” Smith (“Glory”); along with guest vocalists Deborah Cox and Lari White.
“We Write the Songs,” which is not open to the public, has become a Washington tradition and a “hot ticket” for legislative and cultural dignitaries who crowd Coolidge Auditorium for an evening of classic songs and stories. More than 40 Members of Congress were in attendance at the 2014 event.
The ascap Collection at the Library of Congress has been 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 the institution 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. By placing The ascap Collection at the Library of Congress, historians, students and members of the public have access to this valuable trove of musical history.
The event takes place the evening before ASCAP’s “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, May 13, many of the “We Write the Songs” songwriters and composers will meet personally with legislators to urge them to reform music licensing regulations to reflect the realities of today’s music marketplace.