On Tuesday night the Library of Congress hosted the annual ASCAP “We Write the Songs” concert that celebrates the Library’s partnership with The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, a non-profit organization that handles licensing and royalties for songwriters. In 2010 the first “We Write the Songs” concert was produced as a celebration of the Music Division’s acquisition of the ASCAP archives and the tradition has continued on an annual basis since that first show. Songwriters come and perform their own hits after providing some insight and anecdotes that reveal something about their own songwriting process.
The ASCAP concert is always a fun evening at the Library of Congress, so I considered myself lucky to work at the event last night and see the show. ASCAP President Paul Williams kicked off the evening as Master of Ceremonies by singing “You and Me Against the World” and warming the crowd up with his infectious humor. Performances ranged from a touching rendition of “The Way We Were” by the song’s award-winning lyricist Alan Bergman to rousing music from the Carolina Chocolate Drops and everything in between. Jim Weatherly entertained us with the story of how a phone conversation with Farrah Fawcett about her taking the “midnight plane to Houston” sparked what would become his smash hit “Midnight Train to Georgia” recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips. And of course, we were all uplifted by Siedah Garrett’s performance of “Man in the Mirror.” Countless other stories and performances made up what turned out to be a lovely and fun-filled night in Coolidge Auditorium.
The concert was recorded and will be accessible as a video on the Library of Congress YouTube channel in the coming months; until then, enjoy videos of the ASCAP “We Write the Songs” concerts from 2010, 2011, and 2012, and check out a few photos from this week’s event!