I know that I have blogged before about how much I love Paul Simon. With so many Paul Simon songs and albums, I have particular happy memories associated. Appropriate for the sentimental mood that I have been in as of late, last night I was treated to a fantastic television event. My favorite governmental institution, the Library of Congress, recently gave Paul Simon their first installment of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music. Last night, the whole event was telecast on PBS, complete with some pretty spectacular performances. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing with Paul Simon again?
I frequently think that I was born in the wrong generation, because seeing all of those baby-boomers packed into that auditorium, wiping away tears, I couldn’t help but feel like I was a part of the generation that first put a man on the moon. I wasn’t. Nope, for the most part, my generation fails to recognize truly gifted songwriters whose vocabularies consist of more than four letter words. But that is also why few songs today can conjure up anything close to the degree of emotion that classic songs like “Graceland”, “The Only Living Boy in New York”, “The Boxer”, “Under African Skies”, or even “At the Zoo” can invoke in me.
I also have to say this, my new Most-Coveted Job prize is the job currently held by Dr. James H. Billington, the “Librarian of Congress.” It is something to aspire to.