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7 Memorable Inauguration Performances From Years Past

7 Memorable Inauguration Performances From Years Past

Aretha Franklin performs at pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, Jan. 1993. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

By    |   Friday, 20 January 2017 09:00 AM

Though inauguration performer drama has been in the news leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's induction Friday, such fanfare accompanying a president's swearing-in is relatively new.

Performances over the years have evolved from orchestras playing soft music to a few celebrity singing acts to an entire week of rock 'n' roll.

Here are seven of the best inauguration performers from recent years past.

1. Frank Sinatra – He not only performed during, but organized a pre-inaugural ball on the eve of John F. Kennedy's inauguration. It was one the first pre-inaugural balls, a tradition started by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2. Jessye Norman – The opera singer first performed “Simple Gifts" from Aaron Copland’s "Old American Songs” at the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1985. She then returned for Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997.

3. Aretha Franklin– The First Lady of Soul lent her remarkable voice first to Bill Clinton during his inauguration week in 1993. More recently, she sang “My Country, 'Tis of Thee” on the west front of the Capitol in 2009.

4. The Radio City Rockettes – The precision dance company performed both in 2001 and in 2005 for George W. Bush. Their signature eye-high leg kicks in unison will also be a part of this year’s inaugural celebrations.

5. James Taylor – During President Barack Obama’s inaugural concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, James Taylor gave a stunning rendition of “Shower the People.” He was joined for the performance by artists John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Arnold McCuller, and Kim Taylor.

6. Yo-Yo Ma – Accompanied by Itzhak Perlman on the violin and Anthony McGill on the clarinet, the world’s greatest living cellist performed during the 2009 presidential inauguration. He has given many concerts at the White House since the Reagan era and also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

7. Mormon Tabernacle Choir – The hundreds of members of the choir and scores of musicians in the Orchestra at Temple Square first performed at President Johnson’s inauguration in 1965. They have been invited back five times with their sixth performance expected Friday.

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Though inauguration performer drama has been in the news leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's induction Friday, such fanfare accompanying a president's swearing-in is relatively new.
inauguration, performances, president
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2017-00-20
Friday, 20 January 2017 09:00 AM
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