Sunday, January 17, 2021

Music History Today: January 18, 2021

January 18, 2009: Top musicians perform at a Washington, DC concert to celebrate the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

The 2009 concert "Obama's We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial" had a list of star-studded performers. 

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As a brief overview, U2 belted out their massive hits "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" and "City of Blinding Lights." Hancock,, and Crowe joined forces for a cover of Bob Marley's "One Love." Obama got Springsteen's stamp of approval instead of needing an E Street cover band. And of course, Beyoncé shut the whole thing down with her performance of "America The Beautiful."

Read more: Bustle

January 18, 1941: Country/pop singer Bobby Goldsboro is born in Marianna, Florida.

Bobby Goldsboro is best remembered for his 1968 chart-topper, "Honey." A maudlin tale about the tragic death of a young bride, the song remained at number one for five weeks in the spring of 1968.

Bobby Goldsboro
Bobby Goldsboro

After returning to the Top 40 twice more in 1968 with "Autumn of My Life" and "The Straight Life," he was absent from the charts for over two years. He made an unexpected comeback in early 1971 when "Watching Scotty Grow" nearly reached the Top Ten, but outside of the follow-up, "Summer (The First Time)," his commercial heyday was over. 

Read more: Allmusic

January 18, 1965:  Barbra Streisand and Bobby Darin sang at the presidential inauguration of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson.

Nan Robertson of the New York Times, under the headline “Inaugural Gaiety Get Under Way,” reported: 

“Tonight, a galaxy of celebrities from Dame Margot Fonteyn to Alfred Hitchcock and Harry Belefonte performed before the President and Vice-President elect and 10,000 others at the Inaugural Gala-a super variety show staged at the National Guard Armory. 
The event, sponsored by the Democratic National Committee for the party faithful, who came free, featured Carol Channing, who sang a new version of “Hello, Lyndon!”. 
Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett joined in a medley of musical hits spanning decades and Barbra Streisand who began with a slow-tempoed version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s campaign song “Happy Days Are Here Again.” 
Read more: Streisand Lifestyle Files

January 18, 1977: President Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Concert takes place the night before the swearing-in, featuring performances by Linda Ronstadt and Aretha Franklin.

In 1977, Linda Ronstadt sang the Willie Nelson ballad "Crazy" at Jimmy Carter's inaugural concert. 

If it seems like an odd choice for such an occasion, consider the fact that 15 years later, Ross Perot would adopt the Patsy Cline version as his campaign theme song.
Read more: Rolling Stone

January 18, 1980: Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager are sentenced to 3 ½ years in jail on tax evasion charges.

In the 1970s, Studio 54 was the epicenter of New York nightlife. 

With wildly theatrical sets, a guest list of celebs, and jet-setters that included everyone from Andy Warhol to Grace Jones, and a pulsating disco beat, the nightclub helped define the Me Decade. But its reign was short lived. In 1980, founders Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were convicted of tax evasion after skimming nearly $2.5 million in unreported income. 
Read more: Variety

We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration
Beyonce: America the Beautiful 

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