May was a musical month with the Library of Congress recognizing song and sounds in a major way. The Library honored Burt Bacharach and Hal David with the 2012 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. You can read more about it here. The two were celebrated with concerts at both the Library and the White House.
“Music can take you a lot of places you’d never imagine, and I try to never forget the power of what musicians, songwriters and singers do – and how it changes the way people look at their lives,” country crooner Lee Ann Womack, featured performer at the White House event, told AOL Music .
Chris Richards of The Washington Post spoke with Bacharach and David prior to their receiving the award.
“David, 90, is recovering from a stroke and will not be able to travel to Washington, but he calls the recognition ‘the pinnacle’ of his career.”
“Stunning, stunning,” said Bacharach of the honor. “Winning three Academy Awards was pretty spectacular, but I think this might be the absolute peak.”
Other major outlets running stories about the award included The Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Associated Press, Playbill and Huffington Post.
Closing out the month was one of the Library’s biggest annual announcements, the inductees into the National Recording Registry. You can see the list here.
The Post’s Richards wrote about the registry, saying:
“The registry, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, focuses on preservation, but recognition plays a huge role too.”
The list not only includes rarities such as an Edison Talking Doll cylinder and a series of interviews with former slaves but also popular, recognizable recordings like Prince’s “Purple Rain” and “I Feel Love,” by Donna Summer.
Major broadcast news outlets NBC and CBS ran stories, as well as entertainment outlets like E!, CMT and BET. In addition to the Post, print coverage included USA Today, Associated Press, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Receiving accolades of a different kind was Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, who received the Library’s 2012 John W. Kluge Prize.
Larry Rohter interviewed Cardoso for a piece in The New York Times.
“I was always preparing myself to understand society and macroeconomics, so of course when I had the chance to become president, I tried to apply that knowledge,” Cardoso said. “I didn’t plan it that way, but the concern, the preoccupation with how to construct a decent society was always there.”
The Washington Post and Associated Press also ran stories.
And speaking of politics, the Library has published a book featuring presidential campaign posters about politicians from Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama.
“While the names and faces may have changed and artistic styles evolved, the nature of American politicking, issues and mudslinging have remained constant throughout our country’s history,” wrote Liesl Bradner of the Los Angeles Times.
“One of the beauties of this book is that it doesn’t restrict itself to posters of the winners,” said Tish Wells for the Miami Herald.
Brooke Gladstone, who wrote the introduction to the book, wrote in a blog post for the huffingtonpost.com:
“The most effective campaign posters of every era leave as much as possible to the voter’s imagination. What perhaps is so striking about this collection of posters from the Library of Congress is what it reveals about the unchanging nature of American politicking.”