If you’re looking for something to do Wednesday evening after our next expected round of snow, you might want to check out www.whitehouse.gov beginning at 5:15 p.m. Bob Dylan will be one of at least a dozen musical acts performing that night in the East Room to honor the Civil Rights Movement, and the White House will stream the whole thing live on their Web site.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, Joan Baez, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Smokey Robinson and John Mellencamp are among the other musicians to be featured at “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.” President Obama will deliver the opening remarks, and guest speakers will include actors Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Queen Latifah. If you miss it online, it will be aired on Washington’s PBS station WETA Thursday at 8 p.m.
Footage of Dylan and Baez singing “When the Ship Comes In” at the 1963 March on Washington is after the jump, as is the Blind Boys of Alabama’s spine-tingling mashup of “Amazing Grace” and “House of the Rising Sun.”
While I’m at it, here’s the Blind Boys playing Tom Waits’ “Way Down In The Hole,” also known as the theme from the awesome show The Wire. Although something tells me this one won’t make the White House set list either.
EDIT: On second thought, it may not be that much of a stretch. Barack Obama is a hardcore Wire fan and told the Las Vegas Sun in 2008 that his favorite character is the cunning stickup man Omar Little. (It remains unclear, however, whether Obama owns an “Omar Comin'” t-shirt.) I could see Obama putting in a special request to the band.