Motown founder Berry Gordy had a revolutionary idea: preview his records on the same equipment on which his audience would first hear them. In the ’60s, that meant a transistor radio. Those long-obsolete AM radios have now evolved into the boomboxes, Walkmen, and Discmen we all take for granted. The tiny solid-state amplifier that made them all possible will be celebrated tonight in the latest installment of the Virtual LIVE! Music Project. National Musical Arts, the ensemble in residence at the National Academy of Sciences, will play ’60s pop tunes “made possible by the transistor radio” and employ transistorized technology (in the form of microphones, synthesizers, and an electric guitar) to perform pieces by Paul Dresher—who will be on hand for his own Chorale Times Two—and Claude Bolling. There will also be a panel discussion and an awards presentation honoring the inventors of the transistor, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. At 3 p.m. at the National Academy of Sciences Auditorium, 2100 C St. NW. Free. (202) 334-2436. (Mark W. Sullivan)