Big night last night, big night tonight.
Paul Simon was in the Great Hall last night to receive the first Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. His acceptance remarks were funny and humble.
He touched on the moment when he was first inspired to write music: He was listening to the radio as a 12-year-old, waiting for the Yankees game to come on, and filling out his line-up sheet like always. He normally had to endure the last few minutes of what he thought was on awful music program before the game would start.
One day, the announcer played a song that was a departure from the music Paul didn?t like ? even though the announcer himself professed to hating it ? and Paul has been hooked on writing ever since.
?Saturday Night Live? creator Lorne Michaels was also funny in his introductory remarks, gently ribbing his long-time friend and across-the-hall neighbor for the last 30 years. He told a story in which Paul had sent an architect to Lorne’s summer house because Paul wanted a pool exactly like Lorne’s ? except one inch longer.
Also in attendance were Paul’s friend and former singing partner, Art Garfunkel, and music legend James Taylor. Both men and many other performers will honor Paul in concert tonight, May 23, at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.
The show will be broadcast nationwide in high definition June 27 on PBS.
(Photos by Tony Brown)