Paul Simon to Receive 1st Annual Gershwin Award

ETA (July 14, 2007).  I just received this response from PBS.

Unfortunately, this program will not be released for purchase. According to the program’s Web site “Television and audio recordings of the 2007 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song performance are not available for sale.” We apologize for the disappointment.

ETA – A clip from the PBS show – Homeward Bound – Paul Simon and George Harrison from Saturday Night Live.

Paul Simon will be awarded the First Annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (Graceland) by the Library of Congress on May 23. The gala will be televised on PBS on June 27.

I’m not sure what to make of this. I think I missed the part in the Constitution that covers Popular Songs. I guess its right next to Poet Laureate. I just don’t like government telling us which is the best song (or best poem).

And why Paul Simon and why Graceland? Is this really just an homage to the King? If they wanted to give it to Paul, how could it not be for You Can Call Me Al?

or maybe 50 Ways to leave Your Lover.

or Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.

or the way most of us came to know Paul (with Artie).

What song writer and song do you think should have won?

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18 responses to “Paul Simon to Receive 1st Annual Gershwin Award

  1. Hi
    The award is not song specific, but a lifetime achievement award that recognizes musical achievement in popular culture worldwide. He is indeed deserving of this award and it will be interesting to see who else is selected in the future.

  2. I am a bit confused about this new award. The “Gershwin Award” that I had been familiar with was at UCLA (See Site
    http://www.uclalumni.net/CalendarEvents/springsing/Gershwin/home.cfm). I suppose this one is a ‘Prize”. Paul Simon writes great love songs, but without Art Garfunkel, his great love songs would have just been great love songs. Garfunkel made them everlasting ethereal compositions without whom Paul Simon would be a Neil Young without CSN. Simon and Garfunkel were my idols growing up, but the first Gershwin award for this kind of American music, music that changed things in American music, could have just as easily gone to Bob Dylan………..I am however proud for Paul Simon, he is a wonderful ambassador for American Popular music………

    Corrected

  3. I believe that Paul Simon was the perfect candiate for this award.

    His music always evokes some form of emotion from people of any age. My seven year old smiles and dances every time we listen to ‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’.

    I can’t wait to see who wins the 2nd annual award!

  4. I agree with Greg. I think he was a perfect recipient for the award. It’s hard to tell the kind of thing they’re looking for in this award because there is no precedent. So i guess we just kind of have to accept it. I’m a little confused by Dennis’ post in 2 ways. a) The fact that UCLA already has a Gershwin award is confusing, and b) to ignore the rest of Paul Simon’s career after Art is ignoring well over half of his career.

    I wonder if it only goes to living musicians, thus ignoring Bob Dylan etc.? hmmm…. we’ll have to see who it goes to in the future.

    I saw the program last night and I want a copy of it on DVD! The covers were really good. Paul was really good. The whole thing was very enjoyable.

  5. By chance I came across the broadcast last night. WOW, what an impressive line up of songs and performers. I too would love to have a DVD, but I’ll bet PBS keeps this one back to “sell” during their fund-raisers. I was blown away by Alison Krauss’ rendition of Graceland, but that was just one highlight among many.

  6. Also looking for a DVD of the program.
    Didn’t anyone record it?;-)

    I’d buy a copy…

  7. DVD please? I really need one. A fantastic program, and of course Paul Simon deserves this award. I can think of no better candidate for the first one bestowed by the Library of Congress.
    Future possibilities: Bob Dylan, Neil Young

  8. I think I saw this and lots of people/ artists were covering graceland….I want a recording so bad.
    Does anyone l=know what to do?,please inform.

  9. I just happened upon the award show. I enjoyed watching every minute of it. Yes, he is very deserving of this award. I was wondering if they will be releasing a cd?

  10. Does anyone know where I can get a copy
    of the Library of congress Gershwin award
    to Paul Simon that aired on PBS recently???

  11. The songs and performances from this show are still going around in my head! Lets hope there’s a dvd sooner rather than later. Love that Lyle Lovett and Marc Anthony – who knew!!!

  12. Anybody have a DVD of the show at this point I could buy?
    thank you, Mick

  13. We would like a DVD please. Whomever is in charge of making DVD’s of this great performance at PBS or Library of Congress, please consider releasing this performance on DVD.

    Paul Simon is a very well-deserving premiere recipient of this award. I have loved Paulie alone and Ladysmith Black Mambazo ever since my grandmother showed me the “Graceland” video in when I was 12 years old. At about 15 I happened upon “The Graduate” on HBO and fell in love with the angelic harmony of Paulie and Artie (as I affectionately call them). My 11 year old son loves Paul’s work and LBM. He has been a gift to the ears of the world. Congratulations Paul Simon!!

    On a side-note we had the priviledge of seeing Ladysmith Black Mambazo last year in California, we would never have known of LBM without Paul. Thank you Paulie!! From Amber, Sal and Eric (11 yrs. old)

  14. What was the name of the last song he sung on that PBS special? I’m trying to find it for a gift. Help! Did anyone ever find a DVD of the program?

  15. I to, would love to get a copy of the DVD. I had it recorded on my Dish 500 but the damn receiver went to hell and I had to send it back to Dish with no way of getting my recordings off! Marc Anthony and Alison Krauss did great justice to their version of those songs. Outstanding performance!

  16. I agree with Dennis. The world music Paul is immense. But why forget almost half of his career? The period S & G contains the seeds that have flowered in the years thereafter.Paul Simon writes great love songs, but without Art Garfunkel, his great love songs would have just been great love songs. Garfunkel made them everlasting ethereal compositions without whom Paul Simon would be a Neil Young without CSN. Simon and Garfunkel were my idols growing up, but the first Gershwin award for this kind of American music, music that changed things in American music.I am however proud for Paul Simon, he is a wonderful ambassador for American Popular music………

  17. Does anyone have a copy of this? Please, please, please.. I deleted my husband’s only copy which was taped that night. Please e-mail me at jsehling@shaw.ca.
    Thank you!

  18. I also would like to get a copy of thie my boss dvr this burnt it to a disk and deleted the dvr recording because he had the dvd but he lost the dvd. If any one could help me He would be so greatfull. My email is mandmnut@yahoo.com

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