skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE: Memphis Soul

Airs Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Queen Latifah performs in this celebration of Memphis Soul.

This series of performance specials at the White House presents the best of American performing arts. From the Broadway musical to opera, country and western, gospel, ballet, jazz and more, the series has featured the extraordinary richness of American music and dance.

Courtesy of Mavis Staples for PBS

Mavis Staples performs in this celebration of Memphis Soul.

Courtesy of Ginette Callaway

William Bell performs in this celebration of Memphis Soul.

Courtesy of Piper Ferguson

Booker T. Jones, music director and band leader for this celebration of Memphis Soul.

President and Mrs. Obama host a celebration of the timeless classics of “Memphis Soul” in this PBS music special taped in the East Room of the White House.

The all-star concert honors the memorable soul sounds from the mid- to late-1960s that came from Memphis, Tennessee, and legendary labels like Stax-Volt Records, which featured artists such as Al Green, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Otis Redding and many more.

The evening pays homage to Memphis, a segregated city in the 1960s, where many whites and blacks nonetheless came together to make soulful music, a mix of gospel and potent rhythmic grooves — known as Memphis Soul.

The all-star concert will include performances by Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake, with Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.

IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter's. The series began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

Since then, IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, theatre and dance among them. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home.

Video

Preview: In Performance At The White House: Memphis Soul

Above: IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE "Memphis Soul" will honor the memorable soul sounds from the mid- to late-1960s that came from Memphis, Tennessee and legendary labels like Stax-Volt Records, that featured artists such as Al Green, Mavis Staples, Ben Harper, Alabama Shakes and many more.

Video

What is Memphis Soul?

Above: Musicians who are included IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE "Memphis Soul," including Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, Ben Harper and Mavis Staples, talk about what "Memphis soul" means to them.

Video

In Performance At The White House: Justin Timberlake: "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"

Video

In Performance At The White House: Sam Moore & Joshua Ledet "Soul Man"

Video

Queen Latifah Performs "I Can't Stand the Rain"