Event basics: Sir Paul McCartney was awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during a star-studded ceremony in the White House East Room. President Obama and his family sat in the first row, surrounded by politicians and big names in music.News, sort of: Obama mentioned “difficult time” for the Gulf Coast, saying that his thoughts are with friends in an area “so rich in musical heritage.” He said it is “herartbreaking” but said the group in the room is committed to help and see the community “made whole again.” He said “Part of what gets us through tough times is music” and that there’s always a kernel of ourselves “that sings even when times are hard.”Another bit: At the very close of the event after Obama had left the room, McCartney took the mic again and thanked the Library of Congress again for the award. He then said, “After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.”Other than that as all color, with highlights being of course the music, McCartney’s choice of song “Michelle” and some POTUS-FLOTUS hand-holding. Another highlight, during “Hey Jude” at the finale and for the “Na, na, na, na, na, na, na” chorus, McCartney got everyone, including the entire First Family on the stage. They clapped and everyone sang along as he sat himself at the piano.I’ve got most of the songs and performers in the report below, but it was hard to see many of the guests since most of the viewing was done on the screen in the briefing room. Pool was led into East Room about 2/3 into the event for Obama’s remarks and one song.At 7:38 p.m., the president and first lady joined the Obama daughters to sit in the front row. Michelle Obama sat to the president’s left, and they frequently whispered to one another.McCartney entered the room after the president, grabbed a guitar and took the stage, declaring, “Welcome to the White House,” and then performing “Got To Get You Into My Life.” He wore a blue jacket with no tie. When he finished, he joined the president in the front row and sat to his right. They also chatted back and forth most of the evening.WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel also was in the front row, toward the right near Stevie Wonder. Also spotted: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Marian Robinson, Sen. Dick Durbin. Will send list of attendees as provided by the White House in second report.FLOTUS wore a short frock that is a color called “blush” and appeared to be made of satin. The designer is Byron Lars, a male designer who bills himself as making “twisted American classics.” The dress had a cowl-necked collar and her belt was adorned with large jewels. As she sat, you could see a little pink petticoat peeking out over her knee.