First Gershwin Prize Honoree: Paul Simon
During his distinguished career Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards including 12 Grammy Awards, three of which ("Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland") were albums of the year. In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. He is an inductee of The Songwriters Hall of Fame and is in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist. His song "Mrs. Robinson" from the motion picture "The Graduate" was named in the top ten of The American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Songs. He was a recipient of The Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named as one of Time Magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.
Of his many concert appearances, he is most fond of the two concerts in Central Park in New York (with his partner and childhood friend Art Garfunkel in 1981 and as a solo artist in 1991) and the series of shows he did at the invitation of Nelson Mandela in South Africa: the first American artist to perform in post-apartheid South Africa.
Simon's philanthropic work includes the co-founding of The Children's Health Fund with Dr. Irwin Redlener. The CHF donates and staffs mobile medical vans that bring health care to poor and indigent children in urban and rural locations around the United States. In the twenty years since its inception it has provided over 1,200,000
doctor/patient visits. In the wake of Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina it was the primary health care source for those communities decimated by the storms. Simon has also raised millions of dollars for worthy causes as varied as AMFAR, The Nature Conservancy, The Fund for Imprisoned Children In South Africa and Autism Speaks. In 1989 The United Negro College Fund honored him with its Frederick D. Patterson Award.
- Paul Simon To Be Awarded First Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by Library of Congress, March 1, 2007
- "Sounds of Simon: Paul Simon Named First Recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song"
Library of Congress Information Bulletin, June 2007
- Gershwin Prize Gala Dinner
The richness of the Library's sheet music collection is to a large degree the result of Copyright Deposit. For years, composers and songwriters were required to deposit sheet music, lead sheets, or other written transcripts of their music when registering their works. The Copyright law changed in 1978 to allow claimants to submit recordings instead of written material. These images are just a sample of the materials - manuscripts and sheet music - that previous Gershwin Prize winner Paul Simon submitted for Copyright registration over the years.