Willie Nelson to Receive Library of Congress Prize on PBS
Willie Nelson's name might not come to mind when you think about the Gershwin Brothers but that will soon change upon the release of his new album. Country music's original outlaw was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last November, and to honor the occasion Nelson is releasing, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin -- proving that he too has long admired Ira and George Gershwin's contribution to modern music. PBS will be broadcasting the Library of Congress ceremony from last year which included performances by everyone to Edie Brickell to Neil Young, this Friday night at 9 p.m.
It is not every day that one wins the prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, as Willie Nelson did last November, so the legendary Texas troubadour apparently decided to mark the occasion with an album dedicated to the award's namesakes.
During the event to honor his contribution to modern music, Nelson announced that he planned to do the same for the Gershwins (via Rolling Stone):
"It is a great honor.
"I have been a fan of Ira and George Gershwin's music since I was a little guy. In appreciation for the award, I've just recorded a complete Gershwin album."
Fortunately for those that were unable to make the historic ceremony last fall, WETA has announced that it plans to show the entire event this Friday, January 15:
"This performance special, co-produced by WETA and taped at DAR Constitution Hall, honors Willie Nelson as the musical icon receives the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song amid tributes from an all-star lineup of guest artists.
"Performers include Nelson himself, as well as Edie Brickell, Roseanne Cash, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alison Kruass, Cyndi Lauper, Neil Young, and more."
Willie's album to commemorate the event and the Gershwin's contribution to music, Summertime, is due to be released by Sony Legacy recordings February 26, with the title track already made available on iTunes.