IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE: Memphis Soul
Airs Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
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.
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.