The President Sings Again
I had only heard the audio. However, I saw his expression in the video—lord, look what I done started here. The President with the golden tones allowed himself to be coaxed onto the stage by Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger.
Buddy Guy prodded the president, saying he’d heard that the president sang part of an Al Green tune recently, and adding, “You gotta keep it up.”
Then [Mick] Jagger handed over the mic, and Obama seemed compelled to comply.
“Come on, baby don’t you want to go,” the president sang out twice, handing off the mic to B.B. King momentarily, and then taking it back to tack on “Sweet Home Chicago” at the end.
That was how Obama ended the night.
This was how he began it: Obama said sometimes there are downsides to being the president. You can’t just go for a walk, for example.
And then there are the times that more than make up for all those frustrations, he said, like Tuesday night, when Jagger, [B.B.] King, Jeff Beck and other musical giants came by the house to sing the blues.
“I guess things even out a little bit,” Obama joked at the start of a rollicking East Room concert that was electrified by Jagger and the rest.
“This music speaks to something universal,” Obama declared. “No one goes through life without both joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. The blues gets all of that, sometimes with just one lyric or one note. “
Some people may ask why Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones was asked to this blues summit at The White House, which will be televised in full next Monday. The fact is that Mick, the late Brian Jones, and the rest at the beginning were steeped with American blues as youth. Blues touched Jagger, Jones, and Ian Stewart and Keith Richards like nothing else, and they imitated all the masters who are no longer with us, particularly the Chicago bluesmen and Muddy Waters. In short, The Rolling Stones really started out as a blues and early rock (Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry-influenced) band.
New Orleans’ own Trombone Shorty was there, as well as Shemekia Copeland.
I still say that Obama shouldn’t quit his day job. But his short, melodic rendition of Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love With You” was said to have made a bundle for the reverend over 40 years after it was a hit. I think the President should stick with soul music, though, don’t you think?
Locally, in Wisconsin, In Performance at The White House will not be seen for at least two weeks on the flagship station, WPT, in Madison. (This delay is annoying, I think. They never ran a segment of a British mystery series set in World War II Britain that featured a black GI with a white British woman.) However, all you others might click on this link to find out when it will air in your area.
- Obama ‘relaxed and happy,’ Mick Jagger says (whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com)
- Obama joins Jagger, B.B. King, to belt out blues (sfgate.com)
- Watch The White House’s Black History Month Blues Celebration Here (B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Etc) (mediaite.com)
- Preisdent Obama sings ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ with B.B. King (VIDEO) (thegrio.com)
- Mick Jagger meets the president (politico.com)