Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner


| 71 Comments | No TrackBacks


Whenever I'm asked to speak to high school or college journalism classes about my position as the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times--quite simply, the greatest job in the world--I always make the point that I am not only covering music for the paper.

My beat actually touches upon every aspect of life today: politics, religion, sex, the environment, the economy, technology and the law, to name a few. Music is simply the connective thread, because there is absolutely no aspect of life that doesn't involve music.

If there was one disappointing element to the historic spectacle of Election Night in Chicago from the perspective of the pop music desk, it was that music was almost non-existent. With the problematic Austin, TX-based promoters of Lollpalooza, C3 Presents, staging the festivities in Grant Park, and with the local and national music communities having played such a large and enthusiastic role in the election of Barack Obama, it seemed inevitable that music would be part of his victory celebration. But the city and the campaign said that wouldn't be the case, and, sure enough, it wasn't.

The only memorable music in Hutchinson Field on Tuesday night was the poetry of President Elect Obama's words.

Sure, there were some canned party tunes piped into the field not long before Obama spoke, including--dreaded cliche of Windy City cliches!--"Sweet Home Chicago." Somewhere on the new President's agenda, there really should be a proposed law banning that song within the confines of Chicago from here through eternity... though even that was better than the angry redneck country acts that played at the McCain wake in Arizona.

The lack of a live soundtrack to this historic moment seems to have been both an aesthetic and a practical decision by the Obama campaign, and in the end, it may have been a wise one: There was no reason for him to share the stage; no need for any distraction from a speech echoing Lincoln, F.D.R. and Kennedy; no star power that could top his own at that moment--not even Oprah's. Plus, who needed a couple of thousand more Springsteen fans flooding the streets already overflowing with Obama supporters?

In the end, Grant Park was all about Obama and the people who elected him. And that was as it should have been.

That having been said, let's hope that the new president delivers on the promise of a truly festive and musical Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, because nothing unites people like great music--and uniting people is, after all, the central goal that has brought Obama to he highest office in the land.

Who should perform at the inauguration? This will be a fun game that music fans will play non-stop until late January. But for my money, the list absolutely should include:

* Chicago soul legend Mavis Staples, one of the great unsung heroines of American music, and the voice of the civil rights movement.

* Wilco, the Chicago band that tirelessly criticized the current administration and worked hard in support of Obama, and a group that is as dedicated to breaking down boundaries as the next president.

* Chicago rapper Kanye West, with his mentor Common (who hosted his own private Obama victory party Tuesday night) and their proteges Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest and Kid Sister. Together, these diverse voices constitute one of the most inspiring movements in popular culture, steering hip-hop away from the limiting and often nihilistic constrictions of the gangsta movement toward something much more powerful, open-minded and positive--a force that is, in the music world, not unlike what the Obama campaign has been in politics.

All due respect to the Boss, but Springsteen is very much a hero of a different time and another generation, and a bit too reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac at the Clinton inauguration. If the political pundits on Wednesday morning agreed on anything, it was that we have entered a new era. And it deserves a new soundtrack.

Obama told my friend and colleague Abdon Pallasch, the Sun-Times' man on the campaign, that his favorite artists while attending Columbia University in the early '80s were Van Morrison, the Ohio Players and Bob Dylan. Great choices, one and all, but not exactly cutting-edge or resonant of the place and time that gave birth to hip-hop and the full flowering of punk via New Wave. But no one can be an expert in every area.

With that in mind, Mr. President Elect, if your administration is in need of any pro bono advice for sorting out any and all issues musical, there are plenty of experts standing ready and willing to lend an ear in the Chicago music scene.

Who do you think should perform at the Obama inauguration? Post your thoughts here.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


I agree that Springsteen might be too obvious, but he's still the guy I'd want to see. Maybe he could play with Pearl Jam, and not just do the same songs he'll do 2 weeks later at the Super Bowl. If Clarence is busy, they could get Bill Clinton to play sax. There was a U2/REM combo at the last Dem inauguration (Clinton's in '92) and I wouldn't mind another.

But it doesn't matter much anyhow, since on Inauguration Night I've already opted to catch The Killers in Chicago.

I think you could see the suddenly-serious perform with John Legend, the way they did at the Democratic National Convention. I second the call for Wilco and Common, though (Common moreso than Kanye West). Mavis Staples is a good call, too, and one that might be less controversial than, say, hip-hop all-stars (well, controversial in, like, West Virgina).

Frankly, I think the whole theme of hope and unabashed joy would be perfect for a short set from the Polyphonic Spree (maybe "Together We're Heavy" and "The Championship"), but then, I'm always and relentlessly hyping them, and I'm obviously quite biased. But it WOULD be pretty cool, nonetheless. I also think TV on the Radio would be an inspired choice, with their blending of shoegaze and soul kind of being like a blacks-and-whites-holding-hands thing that was a theme throughout Barack's campaign. Plus, maybe more people would finally start listening to them.

As far as safe choices, I'd say R.E.M. would be a good "old" band to go with over, say, Springsteen, since they're at their most vital in years. If it came down to picking R.E.M. or Wilco, though, obviously Wilco would be the choice, since Tweedy & Co. were out there stumping for him all summer.

Back to the hip-hop thing, though... Now that I'm thinking about it, it would be admittedly really, really cool to hear Lupe up there with his, "I'm from the city in the midwest / Best city in the whole wide-wide world," or to get Kanye and Common trading hits on "Southside."

Okay, yeah, I'm sold. If he can get some Chicago MCs up there, it'll be the best inaugural ball ever. I'm pulling for Lupe, but that's only 'cause I'm nuts about that li'l guy.

No doubt- it should be Chicago's own musical icon Mr. Buddy Guy.

The country has the blues and the blues are a healing form of music- Buddy Guy is an internationally reknown music luminary that would represent President elect Obama and the country in the best possible manner

Alan Lomax, Chicago

Don't forget about the Allman Brothers Band or the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. Both bands played an Obama fund-raising concert during the campaign.

I'd die to see Kelly Hogan & Neko Case sing America the Beautiful.

Yeah I gotta agree with Mr. Lomax. Mr. Buddy Guy at the Inauguration Ball.

After that maybe Jimmy DeRogatis could introduce one of the top Performer's to come out of Chicago.

Mr. R. Kelly.

Well, Jennifer Hudson of course!! NO RAP!!

I think that Robin Thicke would do a great job. Please no Jennifer Hudson - while I think she's a good performer, I truly don't think she's the one for this event. Robin has so much emotion when he's singing - he would be great!

Another choice would be BB King.

BB King is a worldwide ambassador that has always brought people closer together- and he grew up picking cotton in another era and another world. Change... BB King has lived it and seen it like no other.

Alan Lomax

I would like to see Jennifer Hudson sing, if she is able to after her most recent family tragedy. Also, it would be good to have one of the well-known gospel choirs or the Soul Children perform.

Bands that played fundraisers for him during the campagain - Andrew Bird, Wilco, Arcade Fire, maybe even Jim James and MMJ. The man loves indie rock, or maybe indie rockers love him.

The Chicago Public School Alumni website, has a list of musicians who were not only Chicagoans but attended CPS. The list includes Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Styx, Kanye West, Ricky Lee Jones, and on and on. You can see the full list of musicians at

The only thing problematic about C3 Presents is that they put up with all the crap that you write about them.

Lollapalooza has been the best thing to happen to Chicago musically in the past 30 years

Obamapalooza was a perfectly executed event that will go down in history as one of Chicago's proudest moments.

What's the problem Jim??? Here's to C3 completely pulling your media credentials in 2009.

It should be Cadillac Dave and His Chicago Redhots. Funky Chicago Blues!!!

It is my feeling that Jennifer Hudson should perform at the Inaguration ceremony since she is a true Chicagoan.

Buddy Guy, the patriarch of Chicago blues, would be a fine choice. Also, Vance Kelly, an underappreciated southside artist whose talents eclipse the blues, delving into R&B, soul, and other related forms, would be an exciting choice. Both of these men personify the spirit of the Chicago musical landscape.

I wish it were me! I am a native of the South Side of Chicago, retired Army veteran, daughter of a blues singer who has sang for royality and backed for Mavis, Patti and many more. I am so proud of this moment in history, wishing I could give back by singing the National Anthem or any patriotic song. I am a little singing church girl, not on a gospel label and nor do I have those aspirations, that wants to use my God given talent to express my gratitude. No, unfortunately one knows me and that's the beauty in it, not many knew President-elect Obama, but his dream came true.


Staple singers,Buddy Guy,KoKo Taylor,Smashing Pumpkins,Bo Diddley,Chaka Khan,Deniece Williams,Earth Wind & Fire,Art Porter,lala Hathaway,Art Porter,R Kelly. Jennifer Hudson would be the perfect candidate but due to her personal tragedy it may be too emotional.
I definitely agree the person is/should be from Chicago

Man you got so much Chicago sound. The true one's are all gone like Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls and Muddy Waters. Old school to consider are The Emotions, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy. New school has to be Common or Kanye West. But for obvious reasons Jennifer Hudson should do it so she can feel good again.

I'd vote for Chaka Khan, Common, Lupe. And an alternative vote for the great and under-heralded Syleena Johnson. In addition, the Obama administration's first act should be toallow the stoning of any person or device--mechanical or digital--that plays "Sweet Home Chicago" not only within the confines of the city, but the entire 7th Judicial Circuit.

I think without a doubt Jennifer Hudson should be one of those who participates. Both she and the President Elect are in the spotlight now but for different reasons. One a very sad reason and the other a joyous reason. I think it would be good for her soul to be asked and I don't think she would turn him down as they are from the same neighborhood. It would also be an uplifting sight for all who have followed her tragic story to see her get back on track. By January she might be able to step back into the public eye. I am pulling for Jennifer to perform.

You gotta represent Chicago's House Music genre! Other than a recent Obama victory, there is no other Chicago phenomena that has impacted the world other than Chiago's house music pioneers and their "descendents".

Bring in Steve "Silk" Hurley, Farley, Mr. A.L.I., Superjane, Green Velvet, The Chosen Few Folks (Wayne Williams, Alan King, Andre and Tony Hatchett, etc.), Lego and Frankie Knuckles!

I like a lot of the ideas and would encourage that the inauguration reach across the cultures of the world that are found in the microcosm of Chicago. With that in mind I suggest that the Irish-American culture be in the mix, with none other than Chicago's own Liz Carroll, who among other things, won the National Endowment for the Arts National Fellowship Award in 1994.

Without a doubt, Survivor.

Otherwise, Bobby Vinton.

When it comes to a international group, that truly represents Chicago the choice is simple.THE CHI-LITES!!!Their timeless masterpiece GIVE MORE POWER TO THE PEOPLE acknowledges the struggle for the last 40 years,and is an appropriate representation of today.

I think CHICAGO'S VERY OWN LALAH HATHAWAY should perform along with Mavis Staples.

I would also love to see Dianne Reeves who sang at the DNC. Also lets not forget Nancy Wilson.

the 8th Wonder of the World (STEVIE)

I think that the Chicago Mass Choir should represent Chicago at the Innaguration

Sundowner/lawrence arms

All or any the great singers of Chicago will do just fine, my choice would be B B KING because he has lived to see the change, and Jenifer Hudson because she benefited from the change.

Jerry "the Iceman" Butler. Absolutely.

My name is Julian Smith b.k.a. RKSTRJ. I am from chicago's inglewood community and i have been a barrack obama supporter since he started running for president. It would be an honor to play and celebrate his first term. I attend Curie Metro High School, i'm in the jazz band and have played in front of crowds before. I Played at the chicago jazz fest and gospel fest at millinium park. Just wanted to show my support...

ca be reached at 773 436 3678 for audition.

I agree that there are a lot of wonderful artists in Chicago, but I think that Chantay Savage would be great. I heard her perform the anthem at an NBA game and she brought me to tears.

I was thinking many of the same thoughts that you mentioned in your article about the non-existence of music on election night. I felt there could have been some but you're right, there was no reason for any distraction. I agree about the ban on "Sweet Home Chicago" and think Bruce is a legend from another time that not everyone can relate to.

I too hope Obama keeps his promise of a festive activity with great
music that unites people. I think there are many great Chicago acts that should be considered but there is one that many haven't seen yet but should be on the list....."Big Hit Buda"

Here's a music video we shot that is soooo Chicago!!! It was filmed
by a Columbia-grad student, performed by artists who have been on Chicago radio stations, shot all throughout Chicago, features The Bucket Boys, etc. Much like Obama, this video crosses musical,
age, racial and gender lines. We invite you to check out the comments that have been left and who they were left by. When viewing, please click "watch in high quality"

Yes we are entering a new era that deserves a new soundtrack and along with most who have heard this, we feel this is something worth considering. This hasn't reached the masses but due to the scenery and the current hype, this might be of interest to fellow
Chicagoans. We thank you and appreciate your time. Hope you enjoy!

Peace and prosperity,

Brad "Big Hit Buda" Turner

Springsteen's latest music on the Iraqi war, politics and the economy from "The Rising" to "Magic" continue to inspire millions of people in the US and around the world from every socio-economic group. Springsteen and Dylan's work is universal, timeless and classic. Like any great piece of art or cultural artifact, their work is always in "fashion." I am sure Barack would be honored to welcome Bruce to DC on Jan. 20, and at any time thereafter.

Brian J. Berg

The Only Endorsed Visual/Musical Tribute to James Brown, is performed by Chicago's own Tony Wilson with "The Godfather of Soul Band," which includes Original and Former Members of the "JB's" (The James Brown Band,) & Tomi Rae Brown, who was James Brown's Widow and Lead Female Back Up Singer. All were on stage and backed JB, at his last live performance, in his home town of Augusta, Georgia,

Besides being a Musical Icon, James Brown, was also a Cultural Icon. Alot of people do not know, that 40 yrs ago, "The Godfather of Soul," saved the city of Boston. He was scedueled to perform at the Boston Garden, right after Dr. King was assasinated, most of city council wanted to cancel the concert, because of all the rioting. looting and set fires, in major cities throughout our country. There was one black councilman on the committee, who along with Mr. Brown, convinced them not to cancel. What the city of Boston did, was to televise live, James Brown's performance. Instead of taking to the streets, all werew gathered around their t.v. sets to watch, The Godfather of Soul," instead of rioting, looting and setting fires in Boston.

James Brown was Tony Wilson's "Mentor," for over 20yrs. and hand picked Tony, from 1,500 candidates, to portray "The Young James Brown," in two films; "Funk Blast," Co-Produced by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and "Beat the Devil," Co-Produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, directed by Tony Scott.

When you have a chance, you can see, hear and learn more about Tony Wilson at the following sites; www. and on Google just plug in Tony Wilson's Tribute to James Brown.

Even though he was a Republican, I am sure James Brown would have crossed party lines, and would have been one of President Obama's biggest supporters, from the Entertainment Industry. I have already sent in my application, with DVD to the Joint Congressional Presidential Inuaguration Committee, of coarse if you like what you see and hear, and have a contact within President elect Obama's inner circle, please let me know.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Kramer


Not to be too critical of your piece I just read, and in fairness it was probably the first piece from you that I've read but your comments on Robert Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago are so juvenile.

Comments from my Mother like, "Just talking to hear his head roar" come to mind. We have all known people that will say anything just to be saying something to get attention. Your comments put you in that category for me, and that is unfortunate. Upon seeing the page even before it was loaded It looked like a place I would like to return to and I bookmarked it to my news page. That is one of the reasons I am writing to you.

I enjoy reading insightful pieces on music and culture and cringe at vacuous comments. Now you may have had great response to that comment among your friends and others that have listened to you in small groups. Your opinion did not seem to be shared by the people at Grant's Park and my assumption is that many of them were residents of the Windy City. Windy City would be cliche as well, were it not for the wind. So it is with the song, sung around the world because it enfolds so much of what the world likes about Chicago.

Certain I am that people will be singing the song centuries after the comment "Jim who?, Never heard of him." is made. Unless you can come up with something to equal or surpass the song Sweet Home Chicago.

From your writing you sound like you are young and have many more years available to you, so get busy. Start writing something of substance. Robert Johnson did his whole body of work and never reached twenty eight, but don't let that worry you, each man at his own pace.

To grow it is time to recognize the limits of a young persons loud mouth. Certainly a baby's cry can pierce the din of voices and be heard above all else. However, most realize that it is a baby's cry and will soon quiet down when the diaper has been changed or the bottle inserted.

But thanks for taking on a difficult job and I look forward to reading you again.

Michael Hurst
Joshua Tree, California

Barack Obama's election is one of the positive results of the struggles of many who came before him. People who struggled and suffered during more overt racist circumstances. In this context, Mavis Staples should lead the list of performers at the inaugaration. She and her family have a long history of being part of the fight for equlity since the 1950's. Their work, effort, commitment, music and message -- then and now -- makes her a perfect candidate.

I gotta agree...Buddy Guy would be a most excellent choice.

Dear Mr. DeRogatis:

I'm not one to constantly text, blog or send e-mails, but today I will. I read your article on the music that could be performed at Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration, and I found that very interesting. Music always makes a difference in a mood, an event or on the world. I thought about this and made up a list of who could possibly perform at the inauguration. If you have a celebration of this magnitude, then you must have nothing less than the best there is in music.

Aretha Franklin and Paul McCartney have historic and relevant resumes from their careers in music, and they would bring prestige to the ceremony. They are two of some of the most influential performers in recent history. As far as youthful performers, and I feel that would be needed also, Usher and Beyonce would top the list. If it could be done, the Harlem Boys Choir would have a significant appearance since the choir has existed for a long time. Personally, I feel any musical event with the best voices in the world would be a memorable occasion. I think of two. Enya has one of the most famous voices in the world that is beautiful to listen to. And the other is Sarah Brightman, a strong, powerful voice by any standard.

And if it was accommodated, wouldn't it be great if the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was integrated into the entire performance to support all the singers who would perform? A Chicago influence having something to contribute into a Presidential Inauguration would be meaningful.

And finally, I wonder if it could be done to somehow invite Ladysmith Black Mambazo to perform for the President-Elect. A perfectly performed acapella performance.

I guess this would be a wish list for me, but I wanted to tell you that an occasion like the inauguration of Barack Obama into the White House is not just another party. This is an event for the ages, a new incoming President, but it must be accomplished with richness, style, celebration and with nothing less than first-class talent.

Henry J. Klepczynski, Chicago

"Plus, who needed a couple of thousand more Bruce Springsteen fans flooding streets already overflowing with Obama supporters?"

"Springsteen is...a bit too reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac at the Clinton inauguration."

- Jim Derogatis in The Chicago Sun Times (11/10/08)

You're a broken record, Jim!

Bruce Springsteen could single-handedly cure cancer, capture Osama Bin Laden, and/or revive the global economy, and you'd still find something lousy to say about him. Your inability to display even the smallest level of objectivity when it comes to anything remotely related to this genuine and authentic American musical hero is well documented, and, thus, your credibility as a supposed music critic is, naturally, called into question.

In fact, your obvious distaste for all things Springsteen has, over the years, and on more than one occasion, I bet, caused your readers to speculate as to its origin(s). Did you maybe once (or twice) receive a deserved public "wedgie" in the schoolyard while the administrator hummed the opening strains of "Badlands"? Was there a teenage girl(s) in your past who perhaps laughingly rejected your awkward romantic advances as "Thunder Road" or "I'm Going Down" played on a boombox somewhere in the background? Come on, Jimmy, spill the beans! The truth might set you free, but, even if it doesn't, some of us deserve to know anyway to confirm our own suspicions. If, as I suspect will be the case, you do refuse to disclose publicly, then, please, at the very least and for your own good, consult a mental health professional soon about your debilitating hang-up. For everybody else's sake, however, how 'bout, going forward, you just make it a point to simply recuse yourself from everything having to do with Bruce Springsteen since your opinion when it comes to him and his work is clearly irrelevant? That would be the professional thing to do, champ, and without the burden of always feeling so compelled to unfairly attack The Boss at every turn, just think how much more free time you'll have to lick the private areas of all of the other far-less significant musical acts you seem to have such an affinity for?

Could it be that any rational, informed fan of music + follower of current politics really wonders why President-elect Obama chose Bruce Springsteen over every single one of your suggested acts to perform at numerous crucial campaign rallies and fund-raisers there at the end? I don't think so. (Note: I certainly mean no disrespect to any of your listed choices. I definitely dig me some Wilco, Kanye West, and Staples family music from time to time. Common, Rhymefest, Lupe Fiasco, and Kid Sister I, admittedly, have no knowledge of, but probably also won't be checking out any time soon based on your flavor-of-the-month tendencies.)

With all due...ahem...respect,

Scott Benjaminson

I would like to see Kenwood Academy High School Jazz band and concert choir perform.

Hey DeRo, why not have the Chicago Bulls Matadors entertain before or after the inaguration of President Elect Obama, they would be a hoot with the people and the pundits in Washington. I'd pay to see that

Jim DeRogatis. You say Mavis Staple is a good person to sing at
Barack Obama's Inauguration Ceremony? See. This is why a white man
should not be a critic of black music; critic of a culture he is not a part of. The attitude of most black folks is Mavis Staples
is washed up. She must be close to 80 years old. Her music is so
outdated and nobody listens anymore. When was her last big hit, Jim?
......Yes, my point exactly. She's from the civil rights movement?
So what??? You don't know nothing about black culture so, stop
commenting on it. Besides, we don't need anyone critiqing our music
who is going to be a hater based on race...yes, I said it. I remember
your role in the R. Kelly trial and how you tried to harm him. "God
don't like ugly, Jim.

Why not the CSO? It doesn't have to be all pop/contemporary. What about some House music though? Byron Stingly, Frankie Knuckles, Ralphie Rosario, etc...

Naked Raygun would be awesome, though.

And please, please, keep Jim Belushi and anything "Blues Brother" related AWAY from the White House.

I think it should be Alicia Keys

Have to put my two-cents in on a couple of things:

>>With that in mind I suggest that the Irish-American culture be in the mix, with none other than Chicago's own Liz Carroll

Holy crap, Dakota, that would be amazing. When I first started playing fiddle when I was four, Liz was my first competition judge. I've seen her tons in the years since, and she always reminds me of how I was wearing a kilt and a little pin-on tie. And plus, her Lost in the Loop record was simply spectacular. That's not a bad idea at all.

>>your comments on Robert Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago are so juvenile.

Michael, being that you're from Joshua Tree, you may not get just how overplayed this song is. Yes, the original is a fine piece of songcraft, even if it does rip off the "Kokomo Blues" riff. But that's hardly the point. Robert Johnson's version is one thing. We have to deal with the (fake) Blues Brothers, the lame jam outfits, and all the downright awful Joe the Plumber-type bands at every single summer festival and church carnival singing various reinterpretations of that song. Every. Single. Year. It's gotten to the point that it doesn't matter whether or not Robert Johnson recorded it; I've been hearing that damned song for every one of my twenty-four years, and if I never heard it again, I'd be very contented.

>>This is why a white man should not be a critic of black music; critic of a culture he is not a part of.

Glen, I find this statement, and many of yours, both degrading to non-blacks and degrading to those black artists who make music. Music is universal; it is made with that in mind. Are you trying to tell me that I, as a white (Irish-American) man, shouldn't be allowed to say that Q-Tip is amazing and Scarface is awful? And should you further be banned from saying that, say, the Flaming Lips rule while Nickelback sucks?

I have never based the music I listen to (and oftentimes critique) on race. Neither should anyone else, I feel. There may be a sound that is more native to certain elements of black culture than certain elements of white, but even that is a vicious stereotype. How do you then explain TV on the Radio? Or Van Morrison? To break down a particular musical style solely on the basis of race is simply bad form. It is not your music or my music, dude. It's music, plain and simple. To call it anything else is unfair to all music fans out there.

I suggest that local singer Koko Taylor entertain at the inaugural
ball and sing her standard " We're Gonna Pitch A Wang-Dang Doodle All Night Long. "

I don’t know if you have heard or seen of this Chicago based world music group Funkadesi but in many humble fan’s minds, this is the group that should be part of the festivities marking and commemorating our newest president elect. It is a group not only with great energy, rhythm and lyrics but they are the faces that represent today’s America. They are an eclectic mixture of people and sounds of varied cultures and brought together, they create beautiful music and put on great entertaining shows. They have been strong supporters of Barack for a long time. You can view some of their clips on You Tube as well as a clip of Barack himself paying complements to Funkadesi at an event not too long ago. Please see for yourself how great this band is and how much spirit, color and energy they would add to the inaugural festivities of our new president:


A. Wysinski J


No doubt it should be Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisland accompanied by Chris Botti.

I am very surprised that know one has mentioned the best selling band to come out of our fair city!Our very own CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!! Why them? Ok they are 2nd to only the beach boys in billboards best selling american bands with over 40 million albums sold!If any one saw there performance with earth wind and fire 3 years ago you would know what i'm talking about!I can hear it now "only the begining, only the begining"

I feel that Acme Missionary Baptist Church choir should be there seeing as how our new president is from Chicago and they have just won the title of the BEST Choir in Chicago and America

Buddy Guy!!!!! He IS Chicago

Jazz singer Kimberly Gordon...A product of the Chicago Public Schools music program and All-City Chorus Alumni.

Buddy Guy, but...... only if he will finish the song he startz. Not asking too much for a change huh? ;-)
Andre' Williams must be a shoo in don't you think, nothting beats a little bacon fat.

One thing I still have a hard time coping with after living here for ten years, is this self image of diversity Chicago has, yet the music is so monotonous and soapy kind of depressing, numb. Now if we could be represented by food, that would be another story... I would say just to bring a musician that is part of recent history like Stevie Wonder, BB King or Aretha Franklin and get over with it. I don't like any of this music anywatys.

John Langford and Sally Tims
Von Freeman
Herbie Hancock and Jack DeJohnette
Ramsey Lewis
Rachel Barton Pine
Urge Overkill (reunited)
Material Issue (with Billy Corgan on vocals)
Piano C. Red
David Honeyboy Edwards

How about that guy who sang "proud to be an american" at Reagon's shindig?

Barack is the epitome of class.
Barbara Streisand should open and.....
Howard Hewitt should sing "Amen".

Buddy Guy and Vance Kelly would be great choices.

Ditka, followed by Buddy Guy.

Hey, you can't lump The Boss with Fleetwood Mac, man.That's just totally disrespectful. Besides, he campaigned and fundraised for Barack and that was his first time ever being involved. Give him his due.
How about this: Since Sam Cooke was Chicago's gift to gospel and soul since the 50s,(with the Soul Stirrers and later solo),why not have Vel Omarr sing his tribute to Sam, along with Aretha and/or Patti LaBelle's versions of A Change Gonna Come? You can stand on your head from now til Jan. 20th, and you will never find a more relevant song for this election.

I think that since Barack and Michelle grew up at the time the Chicago Steppin scene was blossoming,that they should have a touch of this class to perform at the inauguration. Who better signifies this sound than the current "King Of Chicago Steppin" music Chicago's own "Marzette Griffith". A product of Chicao public schools and a longtime school employee, Marzette epitomizes Chicago in every way and would certainly dazzle the folks in DC with his smooth brand of music. I am sure that Barack and Michelle Obama would enjoy having this Chicago Icon perform at the festivities.

Deniece Williams has two songs that would be perfect: Black Butterfly or her new Obama anthem Yes We Can. I mean with lyrics like "whether black, yellow, brown or white, we can win this fight..." can't lose!

William Hung

Acme Missionary Baptist Church

As predicted, The Dead will play one of the balls.
You heard it here first!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on November 4, 2008 10:42 PM.

Q-Tip, "The Renaissance" (Universal/Motown) [3.5 STARS] was the previous entry in this blog.

New city deal with Lollapalooza: Here for at least 10 more years is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.