Collo Qu Y briAN bAroNe in January 2012, during a fund- raising event for his reelection campaign held at the Apollo theater in New York, President barack obama decided to croon. Somehow picking up in the key of Al Green’s 1972 recording, the president lent his agile falsetto to the opening phrase of “let’s Stay t ogether”: “i, i’m so in love with you.” the audience, who had earlier heard Green himself perform, roared with approval. in a later interview with Rolling Stone, obama would explain that the idea for the a cappella performance was hatched as he bantered backstage with the Apollo’s sound engineers. After mentioning his regret at having missed Green’s appearance, obama slipped a few notes of “let’s Stay t ogether” into the conversation, sparking a surprised and delighted response from the Apollo crew. they urged the president to include the song in his speech. Despite the skepticism of advisor Valerie Jarrett, obama obliged them. “i can sing,” he told Rolling Stone. “i wasn’t worried about being able to hit those notes.” Footage of the event was soon featured on television news broadcasts and quickly ricocheted across social media platforms. From a music- historical perspective, this
American Music – University of Illinois Press
Published: May 1, 2018
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