Monday, January 19, 2009

Concert for Obama at Lincoln Memorial: Highlights

As good as Obama's speech was at the Lincoln Memorial Concert for him this afternoon, for once it was perhaps not the most inspiring part of the event.

Here are some contenders -

.Pete Seeger, 89, leading a performance of "This Land is Your Land," belted out by his grandson Tao (powerful voice, sounding just like Seeger in his prime), and Bruce Springsteen.

.The Boss's "The Rising," which started the concert, was also exceptional.

.There were some great clips from the past - FDR and JFK's inaugurals were inspiring to see. But most inspiring of all was Marian Anderson's 1939 performance at the Lincoln Memorial, after being banned from another Washington concert by the racist, regressive Daughters of the American Revolution. Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady, arranged for Anderson's performance.

.James Taylor's "Shower the People" with John Legend and Jennifer Nettles was just outstanding.

.So was John Mellencammp's "Pink Houses".

.And Beyonce's "America the Beautiful".

.And Herbie Hancock, Will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow's "One Love" would have made Bob Marley proud.

It was hard not to have a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye during this extraordinary event, and I did. We're close to completing what Abraham Lincoln started and Martin Luther King, Jr. furthered, and that feels good and right indeed.
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