Paul Named Recipient of Congress Gershwin Prize
Music Legend Paul McCartney Named Recipient of Third Library of
Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named music legend
Paul McCartney as the recipient of the third Library of Congress
Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. An all-star tribute concert is
planned for spring 2010.
As a great admirer of the Gershwins songs, I am highly honored to
be given the Gershwin Prize by such a great institution as the Library
of Congress, McCartney said.
The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary
American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections
reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians
whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify
the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. The Gershwin
Prize is also meant to draw attention to the musical collections in
the Library of Congress, especially the vast popular-music collection,
and to encourage students, teachers, scholars and researchers to use
this free public resource in their scholarly investigations.
The first Gershwin Prize was awarded in May 2007 to Paul Simon, and
the second to Stevie Wonder in February 2009. The two concerts were
broadcast nationally on PBS and featured musical performances by Tony
Bennett, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Marc Anthony, Martina McBride,
Diana Krall, Will.i.am, and Art Garfunkel among others. Stevie
Wonder's prize festivities also included the performance of a special
commission, Sketches of a Life in the Librarys Coolidge Auditorium.
It is hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a
more indelible and transformative effect on popular song and music of
several different genres than Paul McCartney said Librarian of
Congress James H. Billington, who made the selection.