President Obama said hed been looking forward to a White House celebration of Memphis soul music for one reason.
Lets face it, who does not love this music? he asked Tuesday, opening the nights concert.
Memphis, Tenn., was segregated in the 1960s, but blacks and whites came together despite the racism to create a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic blues music that sought to bridge those divides, to create a little harmony with harmony, Obama said.
He noted that two of the nights guests, Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper, helped form one of the citys first integrated bands.
They werent allowed to go to school together, the president said. But no one could stop them from playing music together.
The show opened with Sam Moore, half of the duo Sam & Dave, and American Idol finalist and gospel singer Joshua Ledet belting out Moores Soul Man, followed minutes later by Justin Timberlake and his rendition of Otis Reddings Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.