On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual event “We Write the Songs,” a night of songwriters performing their own tunes and telling the stories behind their creations. And, some of the performers were a throwback to my fondest memories growing up in the 1980s.
While “Riding on a Metro” will always remain my favorite song by Berlin, singer Terri Nunn didn’t disappoint with the group’s other hit song, “Take My Breath Away” – perhaps even doing just that to the audience as she left the stage to sing among them. The song was a classic one for the decade, from the soundtrack of one of the ultimate 80s movies – “Top Gun.”
Speaking of 80s movies, Ray Parker Jr. didn’t disappoint singing his hit – the theme song to “Ghostbusters.” Who you gonna call?
Although popularized by Harry Belafonte, Irving Burgie’s “Day-O (Banana Boat Song)” was really given the star treatment in the 1988 film “Beetlejuice,” which is one of my all-time favorites as well. Burgie also performed “Jamaica Farewell.”
Others performing were Stephen Bishop, Melanie, Dan Foliart, Dino Fekaris, Chris Stapleton, Stephen Schwartz, Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson fame) and ASCAP president Paul Williams.
The Library is home to the ASCAP collection, which includes music manuscripts, printed music, lyrics (both published and unpublished), scrapbooks, correspondence and other personal, business, legal and financial documents, scrapbooks, and film, video and sound recordings.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first United States Performing Rights Organization (PRO), representing the world’s largest repertory of more than 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 350,000 songwriter, composer and music-publisher members.