In Washington this week for ceremonies regarding his selection earlier this year as the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Willie Nelson will be the subject of a star-studded tribute concert Wednesday night at DAR Constitution Hall.
The show is being documented for a Jan. 15 telecast on PBS stations. Performers will include Paul Simon (a previous Gershwin Prize recipient), Alison Krauss, Neil Young, Rosanne Cash, Leon Bridges, Edie Brickell, Jamey Johnson, Ana Gabriel, Raul Malo, Cyndi Lauper, Buckwheat Zydeco and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. Nelson also will perform.
“It is a great honor to be receiving the Gershwin award,” Nelson said at a Tuesday event in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, adding that “I have been a fan of Ira and George Gershwins’ music since I was a little guy.” He also revealed that he has recorded an album of Gershwin songs to be titled “Summertime”; a release date has not yet been announced.
Other past Gershwin Prize honorees include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Billy Joel, and the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.