And The Rockets' Red Glare...

My take on the ongoing controversy on singing the national anthem.

Another day, another big-name singer, another controversy regarding a performance of the national anthem at a sporting event.

A couple of weeks ago, it was Steven Tyler. Before that Christina Aguilerra forgot the words (practice, Christina, practice). And who can forget when Roseanne did it (I refuse to use the word sing in that context.)

It seems that, almost every time some celebrity performs it at a major venue, someone has something negative to say about a modern singer's performance about the Star Spangled Banner.

And Roseanne isn't the only non-singer (at least by trade) to butcher it.  Someone apparently thought Olympic athlete Carl Lewis could sing, and had him perform it at a sporting event.  Let me just say it's a good thing he didn't appear on The Gong Show in the 1970's.

Here's what people DON'T say about their performances. Most of these pop/rock singers do the song the way they perform their hit singles.  I heard Steven Tyler's performance (with great interest, as some of you may know), and I can't say it was any different than how he's done Walk This Way, for instance, in the past 35-plus years.  People tend to agree Whitney Houston's version at the Super Bowl in 1991, at the height of the Gulf War, was the best. But Houston didn't sing it any differently than she's done any of her torch-ballad hit songs. Even Roseanne did it like...well, like Roseanne.

Which brings me to the point. People who criticize many of these performances believe, with justification, that the national anthem should be sung in the traditional way it was intended to be sung. Then get someone who can do it that way.  Not a rock singer or an athlete or, heaven forbid, a comedian.

Musical experts agree The Star Spangled Banner is difficult to sing to begin with. That means not anyone, particularly someone used to performing songs a certain way, can do it.


And speaking of music...

Christmas, as of this writing, has been over for more than six weeks. Most people, thanks to the mild weather so far this year, have put away the decorations.  The kids have become bored with the toys they got, including the ones they anticipated.

So why is a Parkersburg radio station still running anouncements like this one:

"We're your holiday/Christmas music station".


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