Last Tuesday night (5/21/19), in celebration of American songwriting, The ASCAP Foundation and The Library of Congress jointly held the eleventh annual “We Write the Songs” event at the historic Coolidge Auditorium in The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
As part of the event, which was hosted by Susan H. Vita, Chief of the Library of Congress Music Division, and ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams, ASCAP songwriters donated manuscripts, lead sheets, lyrics sheets, photos and letters to the library.
To kick off the performance part of the evening, ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams said, “Music has tremendous power to unite people. The unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act proved that the power of song is a bipartisan issue. Everyone knows how vital the arts are to the nourishment of our souls.”
ASCAP songwriters Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s (“Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got The Beat”), Don Felder (“Hotel California”, ”Victim of Love”), Felix Cavaliere (“Beautiful Morning,” “People Gotta Be Free”), Andrea Martin (“Breathe”), Kany Garcia (“Hoy Ya Me Voy”) and composer Siddhartha Khosla (NBC’s This Is Us), performed some of their most beloved songs, introduced by members of Congress, including: Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Martha Roby (R-AL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
In addition to the presenters, the event was attended by many other legislators, including: Senators Lamar Alexander, Marsha Blackburn, John Cornyn, Mike Enzi, Shelley Moore Capito and Rand Paul and Representatives Brett Guthrie, Hank Johnson, Ro Khanna, Billy Long, Jim McGovern, Mark Meadows, Jan Schakowsky, Darren Soto, Fred Upton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
ASCAP’s “We Write the Songs” event was followed by the Foundation’s “Stand with Songwriters Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill the following day, when many of the music creators met with Senators to discuss the challenges facing songwriters in the digital music age.