The brand of soul music that originated from a segregated Memphis, Tenn., in the 1960s sought to “create a little harmony with harmony,” President Obama observed.
The music is an important part of American history, he said, and it was celebrated Tuesday night at the White House.
Obama spoke at a taping of the latest “In Performance at the White House” series, this one honoring Memphis soul. Whites and blacks came together in Memphis in the 1960s to create a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic blues despite the segregation that was in place.
Sam Moore, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite were among those performing.
The program is set to be broadcast next Tuesday by PBS stations nationwide.
Thatcher subject of exhibition
The alliance between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan was one of the most enduring political friendships of the last 50 years. The former British prime minister and the decades-long relationship between the two families is the subject of a new exhibition that the Reagan Library and Museum will present starting Tuesday at its location in Simi Valley.
A spokeswoman for the organization said the small exhibition will include photographs as well as an assortment of Thatcher-related objects, including a portrait painting by artist Richard Stone, and various gifts exchanged by the Thatcher and Reagan families.
The exhibition is scheduled to stay up for four to six weeks, the spokeswoman said.
Thatcher, who died Monday at 87, served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990, a period that encompassed Reagan’s two terms in the White House. The two leaders saw eye to eye in their determination to fight communism, champion the free market and promote conservative values.
Stars line up for AFI movie night
Sidney Poitier, Cher, Harrison Ford and Sally Field are among the actors who will participate in the American Film Institute’s “AFI Night at the Movies” program April 24 at the ArcLight Hollywood.
Initiated in 2007, the evening allows fans a chance to see classic films presented by some of the stars who made them so memorable.
“‘AFI Night at the Movies’ is a tradition grand in scale, but simple in message — to bring artists and audiences together to celebrate their common bond at the movies,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and chief executive.
Poitier will be on hand for “In the Heat of the Night,” Cher for “Moonstruck,” Ford for “Blade Runner” and Field for “Norma Rae.”
Other participants announced Tuesday by the AFI included Shirley MacLaine, Samuel L. Jackson, Demi Moore, Peter Fonda, Kathy Bates, Kevin Spacey, Kurt Russell and Mike Myers.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Art exhibits on the big screen
From the people who brought live Metropolitan Opera performances to a movie theater near you comes the next big-screen cultural attraction: museum art exhibits from around the world.
It begins Thursday with a retrospective devoted to the portraits by Edouard Manet from the Royal Academy of Arts in London, screened to 450 theaters across the U.S. and about 600 around the globe, with many locations scheduling encore broadcasts.
Two more exhibits are already lined up: a June retrospective on the art of Edvard Munch from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, and an October showing of works by Johannes Vermeer from the National Gallery in London.
Unlike the live opera broadcasts, the art presentations are slickly produced documentaries giving viewers a VIP guided tour of current or recently ended exhibitions from noted art historian Tim Marlow, who lingers on each of the displayed works and explains why they are special. Curator interviews, artist profiles and backstage tours fill out the 90-minute, high-definition shows broadcast to U.S. theaters by NCM Fathom Events — for an average price of $12.50.
To find the nearest participating theater, go to www.fathomevents.com.
Sportscaster to host show
KNBC Channel 4 sportscaster Fred Roggin will host a new sports commentary show, “Going Roggin,” starting Sunday at midnight.
The 30-minute show will offer Roggin’s perspective on what he calls “hot topics in sports in a dynamic crossfire discussion format, integrating a wide range of viewpoints from throughout the region.”
Dating show going to church
The GSN television network is looking to build on the success of “The American Bible Challenge” with a church-based dating show.
“The American Bible Challenge,” which just began its second season, is a runaway hit for the game show-focused cable network. Jeff Foxworthy is host of the show, which quizzes contestants on their biblical knowledge.
The show draws more than twice as many viewers as anything else on the network.
GSN is developing “It Takes a Church,” in which church parishioners compete to find a love interest for a single member of the congregation.
No air date has been set for the new show.
Musicians lobby for arts funding
Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers Tuesday to increase funding for the arts in a year of deep federal budget cuts.
The rocker and classical musician played a jam session briefly together for a gathering of legislators and arts advocates from across the country who planned to visit congressional offices. They performed with bagpiper Cristina Pato and dancing star Lil Buck.
Sorum said that his high school classes in orchestra, jazz and marching band were critical in launching his career.
The group Americans for the Arts is pushing for funding to be restored to $155 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last year both agencies received about $146 million and lost about $7 million of that because of Congress’ automatic budget cuts.
House Republican budget leaders have called for eliminating the two agencies altogether.