President Barack Obama gave the opening speech Tuesday for a star-studded concert, “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul.” The President put on his campaign-trail southern drawl, giving a shout-out to pop star Justin Timberlake to congratulate him for his marriage to actress Jessica Biel, before telling the audience about the importance of Memphis Soul music during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Tonight I am speaking not just as President but as one of America’s best-known Rep. Al Green (D-TX) impersonators,” he joked. “I have a new appreciation for what Al once said about the Memphis Soul sound that he helped create: ‘We don’t even know ourselves how that music has endured for so long.'”
Obama told the story of the genre’s pioneers “kept playing music that everybody could get into. They created a whole new sound, and as they did, they broke down barriers.”
He concluded by introducing Sam Moore of Same & Dave to play their hit “Soul Man” with former American Idol contestant Joshua Ledet.