British-Israeli Composer Whose ‘Gonna Keep America Singing’ Was Performed at Presidential Inauguration Parade Set to Meet Trump Family in the Spring
A British-Israeli composer is set to meet the Trump family in the spring, and learn how it came to be that the US president sent her a text message in January, requesting permission to use one of her songs at his inauguration parade, the innovation news site Israel21c reported.
Ra’anana resident Loretta Weinberger, originally from London, told the publication that because she was unable to attend the January 20 event — at which the United States Marine Band performed “Gonna Keep America Singing” — she will have to wait to ask the president in person how he came to hear of her composition.
The composer, whose pen name is Loretta Kay-Feld, told Israel21c that when she received the message from then-President-elect Donald Trump while on her way home from a music festival in Eilat, she initially thought it was a joke.
“It was rather a surprise,” said Weinberger, who composed many songs for “Sesame Street” and other children’s television shows when she lived in the US during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The impetus for “Gonna Keep America Singing,” she said, was that she “really just wanted to unite the country with song. I’ve written hymns for Israel, too. My purpose in life is to make people smile with music, whether children or adults.”
This is not the first time Weinberger has communicated with a president about this particular song. After “Gonna Keep America Singing” was performed at the 2013 Fourth of July party at the US ambassador’s residence in Israel, which Weinberger attended, the United States Marine Band asked her for the song’s copyrighted music sheet.
Shortly after complying, she said, she received a “lovely letter” from President Barack Obama saying, “The lyrics and melody are obviously heartfelt and without a doubt, it will give many people across the United States and those serving our country overseas much pleasure to listen to it and to sing it.”