There was a swanky White House concert last night given by Paul McCartney and other entertainers, the occasion being the awarding of a Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to McCartney. With Barack Oabama presenting the award at night’s end, and with Michelle Obama and their kids sitting front-row center, and with everyone singing along to “Hey Jude” during the finale.
“McCartney brought down the house by belting out ‘Michelle,’ aiming his words straight at a first lady named Michelle,” says an AP report.
“He said he’d been ‘itching’ to perform it at the White House, and asked the president’s forgiveness in advance. The first lady was soon mouthing the words along with McCartney and the president was swaying in his seat.
After serenading the first lady with the lyrics ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ McCartney joked that he just might be the ‘first guy ever to be punched out by a president.’
“The whole night was built around Obama’s presentation to McCartney of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, awarded by the Library of Congress.
“McCartney said it was a moment like no other. “‘I don’t think there could be anything more special than to play here,’ the Englishman said. And then he volunteered to make it a regular gig. ‘Lunchtimes, we could come around,’ he offered. ‘We’re cheap.’
“McCartney, 67, left no question about how he felt about Obama, telling the president that in tough times, ‘You have billions of us who are rooting for you and we know you are going to come through.’
“Later, after the TV cameras had left, he expressed appreciation for the Library of Congress and added a zinger: ‘After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.'”
The Gershwin prize is named for the songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin, whose collections are housed at the library. Previous recipients of the Gershwin award are Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
The concert will air on PBS’s “In Performance at the White House” on July 28 at 8 pm.
There will be an encore presentation at 9:30 p.m.