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The President and First Lady Host: In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by: Audiegrl

February 9, 2010 marked the beginning of the 2010 White House music series with “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” – a concert celebrating Black History month.

Earlier that day, the White House also hosted a “Music that Inspired the Movement” workshop. High school students from across the country participate in a workshop to learn about how music influenced the Civil Rights Movement.

Robert Santelli, the executive director of The GRAMMY Museum, and Smokey Robinson, the legendary Motown singer, will facilitate the workshop with performances by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, one of the original Freedom Singers in the 1960s who traveled around the country carrying stories in song of local Civil Rights Movement campaigns to national audiences. Other artists participated as well, including: John Legend, John Mellencamp, and Toshi Reagon.

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In the evening, the President and First Lady hosted the “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” concert, featuring songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and writings with participants including Yolanda Adams, Joan Baez, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Howard University Choir and The Freedom Singers, featuring Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Rutha Harris, Charles Neblett, Toshi Reagon and more. Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Queen Latifah and Joanne Woodward will be guest speakers.

“The civil rights movement was a movement sustained by music,” Obama said as he welcomed his audience.

He said activists from coast to coast were inspired by spirituals, felt their will sharpened by protest songs and base broadened by artists of hope. He said their work paved the way toward a more just America that allowed him to make history in 2008 with his election.

“Tonight, we celebrate the music of the movement,” Obama said.

Singer Yolanda Adams’ moving rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” was an early highlight of a night filled with amazing performances.

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The celebration was supposed to come on Wednesday, but faced with another major winter storm the White House decided to move the concert ahead by a day to beat what could be a second crippling snowfall in a week. As guests packed the first floor of the executive mansion, heavy snow landed on the South Lawn and blanketed the rest of Washington.

Morgan Freeman

Actor and activist Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman, who read excerpts from historical works throughout the night, harkened back to the song lyrics Obama invoked during his election-night victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park.

“A long time coming,” Freeman said.

He later deadpanned: “I wish I could sing.”

Obama said the music helped the movement’s faith as their leaders were jailed and their churches bombed.

“It’s hard to sing when times are rough,” Obama said. “The hymns helped … advance the cause of the nation.”

The concert was to be televised at 8 p.m. Thursday on public broadcasting stations nationwide as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series. National Public Radio also planned a one-hour concert special from the event to be broadcast nationwide on NPR stations beginning Friday.

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Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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VH1 Docs Premieres: ‘Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America’

Posted by: BuellBoy

Soul TrainFew television series were as innovative and influential to pop culture as “Soul Train.” Set first in Chicago, “Soul Train” launched on WCIU-TV with local radio and television personality, Don Cornelius on August 17, 1970. After moving the dance show to Los Angeles, “Soul Train” skyrocketed nationally and firmly secured its place in television by becoming the longest running, first-run syndicated series in history. To commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary, VH1 Rock Docs and Soul Train present “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America,” a monumental 90-minute documentary celebrating the show’s impact on pop culture, music, dance and fashion. The film will also feature a rare interview with Don Cornelius in which he reveals exclusive details regarding the launch and early days of the legendary series.

Host, Don Cornelius

Host, Don Cornelius

From 1970-2006, “Soul Train” offered a window into African American music and culture, and its charismatic host, Don Cornelius, was the man responsible for a new era in African American expression. A trained journalist, Don created a media empire that provided an outlet for record labels and advertisers to reach a new generation of music fans. He was and still is one of the first African Americans to own his own show. As the epitome of cool, many of his expressions entered the popular American lexicon: “A groove that will make you move real smooth,” and “Wishing you Love, Peace, and Soul!”

Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard

“Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America” is narrated by Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard and features an original score by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots. The documentary includes memorable performances and moments from the show, as well as behind-the-scene stories from the people who lived the “Soul Train” movement, including the cast, crew, and dancers. In addition, popular musicians (Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Snoop Dogg, Aretha Franklin), Sly Stone’s first exclusive documentary interview in years, comics (Cedric “The Entertainer,” Nick Cannon), music industry executives (L.A. Reid, Clive Davis, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff) and actors of yesterday and today will comment on growing up with the show and will share their stories of how “Soul Train” affected their own lives.

“Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America” is the newest documentary in the Emmy Award-winning VH1 Rock Doc franchise. Coinciding with the start of Black History Month, the documentary airs Saturday, February 6 (9:30 p.m. ET) on VH1.

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In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by: Audiegrl

A concert celebrating Black History month

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Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

So On February 10th, President Obama and First Lady Michelle will host In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. The concert will be held in the State Dining Room, and is timed to celebrate Black History Month.

So far participants include Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Howard University Choir and others. It will be hosted by Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah, and will feature songs associated with the civil rights movement as well as readings from famous civil rights speeches.

The President will make opening remarks and the concert will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 5:15 p.m. ET. The concert will be televised on Feb. 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations. In addition, NPR will produce a one-hour special from the event to air on its stations throughout February.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host “Music that Inspired the Movement,” a workshop that several of the event’s performers will lead for 120 high school students from across the country on Wednesday, February 10th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET. The students will come to learn about the continuing relevance of music from the Civil Rights Movement to today’s generation and its original impact in the 1960s. This event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and students all over the country will be invited to watch and engage in the workshop.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the White House Music Series last year with a Jazz Studio, and since then has hosted a celebration of Country Music, a Fiesta Latina and a celebration of Classical Music. Many of these events included evening performances as well as daytime educational workshops designed to educate and inspire talented young people to use their gifts to develop a future for themselves in the arts community whether as a hobby or as a profession.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at World Series

Posted by Audiegrl

obamabidenws

Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Yogi Berra and Capt. Tony Odierno

There are two additions to the lineup for tonight’s opening game of the World Series at Yankees Stadium: Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

The first wives will participate in ceremonies honoring Welcome Back Veterans, accompanied by Yankees legend Yogi Berra, and West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran Tony Odierno.

Odierno, who lost his left arm in the Iraq War, is an operations employee at Yankees Stadium. Berra served in the Navy during World War II.

world-series-live-stream-schedule2009We are looking forward to welcoming the First Lady and Dr. Biden to Yankee Stadium and Game One of the 2009 World Series,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, “We hope their presence at both the game and the hospital visit will be an inspiration to the veterans, who proudly served our country.”

Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, along with several members of the Yankees, will visit patients at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx.

Long before their husbands became President and Vice President, the two women have made veterans and military families a central priority. Mrs. Obama has visited Fort Bragg to talk to military families twice since the President took office. Dr. Biden is a Blue Star Mom – the Vice President’s son Beau Biden recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Tonight’s game in New York highlighted the work of welcomebackveterans.org, an organization that has awarded $5.8 million in grants to non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement.

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Michelle Obama and Jill Biden Support Our Veterans

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden express their support for our returning heroes, and ask all Americans to get involved.

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Celebracion! In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina (Full PBS Video)

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Previous Story with Slideshow of Photos at the Event

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The Ad CNN Refuses to Air: Drop Dobbs

DOBBS-AD-CNN-largeHuffington Post reports the progressive media watchdog group Media Matters, along with the organization America’s Voice announced a new ad attacking Dobbs and CNN for airing “60 minutes of anti-immigrant hate.” And in a deft touch of political messaging, the groups announced that they had their ad buyer place the spot on CNN itself, during the network’s “Latino in America” series. CNN has refused to air the ad.

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Celebracion! White House Holds In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina

Posted by Audiegrl

Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Tuesday night the President and First Lady hosted the third installment of the White House Music Series, this one celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Fiesta Latina brought some of the country’s best Latin music performers to the White House, including: Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Pete Escovedo, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino,” Aventura, Los Lobos and Sheila E., with hosts Jimmy Smits, Eva Longoria and George Lopez.

In his remarks at the event, President Barack Obama said of the genre: “In the end, what makes Latin music great is the same thing that’s always made America great — the unique ability to celebrate our differences while creating something new.”

Enjoy some snapshots from “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” and in case you missed the livestream, you can still catch the program on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check your local listings).

Videoclip de la Casa Blanca Fiesta Latina

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