- White House
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From the White House, June 3rd 2010:
Last night, President Obama presented America’s highest award for popular music − the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song − to Sir Paul McCartney in the East Room of the White House. […]
Artists from all genres and backgrounds joined the President and First Lady to honor Paul McCartney, including Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Lang Lang, Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Jack White, Corinne Bailey Rae, David Grohl, and Jerry Seinfeld. As they gathered to present the annual award for extraordinary contributions to American music and culture, in his remarks, the President took a moment to address the challenges Americans face and the value of music in tough times:
We’ve gone through a difficult year and a half, and right now our thoughts and our prayers are with friends in another part of the country that is so rich in musical heritage — the people of the Gulf Coast who are dealing with something that we simply had not seen before. And it’s heartbreaking. And we reaffirm, I think together, our commitment to see to it that their lives and their communities are made whole again.
But part of what gets us through tough times is music, the arts, the ability to capture that essential kernel of ourselves, that part of us that sings even when times are hard. And it’s fitting that the Library has chosen to present this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to a man whose father played Gershwin compositions for him on the piano; a man who grew up to become the most successful songwriter in history -– Sir Paul McCartney.
[…] The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.
Of course I played [Ebony And Ivory] with Stevie, when we got asked to play at the White House, because this idea of blacks and whites living in harmony had resonated with me. We now had an African-American president, for the first time ever.Paul McCartney, from Tug Of War Archive Collection, 2015
From RollingStone, June 3rd 2010:
[…] there were somber moments, too, including remarks from Obama about the BP oil disaster, and some overtly political comments from McCartney, who praised Obama and took some digs at George W. Bush. “Getting this prize would just be good enough, but getting it from this president …,” McCartney said. Later, he noted, “After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.” But the evening, after all, was about McCartney, and Obama praised the timelessness and the universal appeal of McCartney’s music — and also geeked out with some Beatles statistics: 200 of McCartney’s songs have charted, Obama said, and they’ve stayed there for “a cumulative total of 32 years. […]
[…] As the evening wound down, McCartney paid sly tribute to the first lady with an accordion-backed “Michelle” and ended the concert with three of his most enduring songs: “Eleanor Rigby,” “Let It Be,” and “Hey Jude.” For “Jude,” he invited his fellow performers and the first family onstage to help lead the room along in its famous na-na-na coda. “I don’t think there could be anything more special than playing here,” McCartney said. “We’re thinking of making it a regular thing.“
Last updated on May 9, 2020
This was the 1st and only concert played at White House.
Setlist for the concert