Blessed with “Sunshine on a Cloudy Day”

When I learned that Smokey Robinson would be the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, I was thrilled.

The Gershwin Prize honors a living musical artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences; and inspiring new generations.

Five Questions with Jennifer Cutting, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center

Folklife – songs, stories, jokes, crafts, and dances which have been handed down from generation to generation – are the unwritten history of the American people, and they help us understand what it is like to belong to a group, whether that group is a family, an ethnic group, a regional group, or a group of workers in the same occupation.

Five Questions with James Wintle, Reference Librarian, Performing Arts Reading Room

One of the biggest reasons I love working at the Library of Congress is that my curiosity is sparked on a daily basis. Most recently, I have been fascinated by the music manuscripts of the early American composer Anthony Philip Heinrich (1781-1861). He was one of the first professional composers in the United States and was known as the “Beethoven of America.”

Know Your Candidate: Analyzing Sheet Music to Explore Presidential Nominee Identity

It is difficult to miss talk of the upcoming presidential election. Speeches, debates, and soundbites fill television screens, newspapers, and websites. But unless you attend a live event for a presidential nominee, you may not hear his or her campaign song, typically a familiar, popular song selected to shape how voters perceive the candidate. Campaign songs from long ago, original scores or popular songs with rewritten lyrics, did the same.