The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame celebrates lyricists, composers, and performers who helped to create “the soundtrack of our lives” with their contribution to American Popular song. Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on factors including musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique; over all, musical excellence is the essential qualification of induction. Billy Strayhorn will be inducted into the Great American Songbook Foundation Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class. This is a great honor. 

There will be several events that will be part of the celebration. One of the event activities is described below:

Songbook 101 with Michael Feinstein and special guests – Back for the second year by popular demand, this hour-long live-streamed Songbook special will feature Michael Feinstein; family members and connections of legendary Songbook artists including Billy Strayhorn, Harry Warren, Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, Louis Armstrong, Jerry Vale and Sammy Nestico; and Songbook Foundation staff members in an exploration of the history and continued relevance of the Great American Songbook. 

If you’ve followed Barack Obama’s career at all, you know that when it comes to music, books, art, and all things pop culture, he is something of a Tastemaker-in-Chief. As President, he and Mrs. Obama welcomed dancers, artists, and musicians into the halls of the White House for special performances and ceremonies—including a few where President Obama grabbed the mic himself! An extension of his appreciation for a snappy lyric and an undeniable bass line, he put out his first-ever Spotify playlist in 2015. It quickly turned into a groovy tradition that’s still going strong. 

We are honored that his 2021 summer playlist includes the Strayhorn classic “Lush Life” (sung by the great Ella Fitzgerald) as a must have for your IPod!. Check out more of the Presidents music and reading list for 2021 at