This was an amazing moment to be part of! To stand among swaying and singing Republicans and Democrats…local citizens and faraway visitors, honoring the creativity and inspiration of the honoree, Smokey Robinson, and all the talent that went into his career. To hear the fact that he was so inspired by the music of Gershwin as a child. It’s a hard crowd to get on their feet. Solemnly-expressioned politicians in Washington, D.C., not likely to jump up and sing along, suddenly took to their feet and did!
Thanks everyone, and especially to Susan Vita, Chief of the Library of Congress Music Division, who organized the event! You always do it every year!
link to read more of article below:
Smokey Robinson Receives Gershwin Prize as ‘Bipartisan Karaoke’ Takes Over Washington, D.C.
Leave it to the legendary Smokey Robinson to provide a much-needed salve in the contentious wake of the presidential election. A humble and hopeful Robinson graced Washington D.C. to receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday night (Nov. 16) at a soul-stirring concert at DAR Constitution Hall packed with politicos.
“If we’re going to bring the country together… we can start with the music of Smokey Robinson,” host Samuel L. Jackson quipped midway through the show. “It’s like bipartisan karaoke over here.”
It was hard not to sing along, as artists spanning generations and genres took the stage to celebrate Robinson, whose songbook includes more than 4,000 songs. On hand were Aloe Blacc, Gallant, Berry Gordy, CeeLo Green, JoJo, Ledisi, Tegan Marie, Kip Moore, Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, The Tenors and BeBe Winans. The concert will air on PBS stations on Friday, Feb. 10.
The prestige of the occasion was not lost on 76-year-old Robinson. Speaking with Billboard before the show, he was still beaming from his previous day’s visit to the Library, which houses among its collections the sheet music to the first song, co-written with Motown founder Gordy, Robinson ever submitted for copyright in 1958.
“Gershwin music was always on in our house. So for me to be even mentioned in the same breath as the Gershwins is just unbelievable,” Robinson said. “They have the sheet music to ‘I Cry’ right next to some sheet music from Beethoven. Can you imagine that? It’s so incredible to think that they have people who actually collect that stuff, and have the wherewithal to save it for our future generations.”