That Beyonce apparently lip-synched her beautiful rendition of the national anthem is a triviality. It's cold on the steps of the Capitol and even the greatest singer might have trouble sounding good in those conditions. Kelly Clarkson apparently sang live (and perhaps paid a price in quality). Four years ago, at Obama's first inauguration, a quartet consisting of Yo-Yo Ma, Yitzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill (it sounds...
"Also, high culture belongs to the wealthy." In the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's,Hollywood turned opera stars into movie stars. Big Bands used classical melodies as the basis of popular hits. In the 1950's, Ebbets Field featured "Bring Your Instrument Day" and the stands were packed with kids and their instruments. It's not the culture, it's the people.
In the days since the second Obama inauguration, I've been thinking about Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce. No, not the great lip-synching controversy, but the choice of popular entertainment for a solemn national rite.
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