"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. 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 today as "Memphis Soul." Airs on your local PBS station Tuesday, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
In Performance at the White House
"In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul" will be the tenth "In Performance at the White House" program during President Barack Obama's administration. From February 2009 to the most recent broadcast in May 2012, these latest "In Performance at the White House" events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring music from the Civil Rights Movement, Motown and the Blues; explored the rich roots and resiliency of Country music; and spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical. The star-studded line-ups have included Marc Anthony, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Mick Jagger, Jonas Brothers, B.B. King, Alison Krauss, Nathan Lane, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Lyle Lovett, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Mike Myers, Smokey Robinson, Darius Rucker, Seal, Jerry Seinfeld, Esperanza Spalding, Elaine Stritch, James Taylor and Jack White.
"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, 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. Past programs have showcased such talent as cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, popular music singers Linda Ronstadt and Alison Krauss, the United States Marine Band, soul and jazz singers Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin, leading Broadway performers, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
"In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul" is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with AEG Ehrlich Ventures, The GRAMMY Museum and the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). The executive producers are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson for WETA; and Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of The GRAMMY Awards, and Robert Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum, for AEG Ehrlich Ventures. The producer is Renato Basile. The music director is Booker T. Jones. The "In Performance at the White House" series was created by WETA Washington, D.C. The series producer is Jackson Frost. Corporate funding for the program is provided by Pepsi-Cola. Foundation support is provided by The Annenberg Foundation and the Anne Ray Charitable Trust. Major funding is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.