Thursday, March 03, 2011

Moonlight Beethoven and a star spangled song

March 3 holds a special place in musical moments.

According to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, on this date in 1802, Ludwig van Beethoven published his Moonlight Sonata (No. 14 in C Sharp Minor). Have a listen here.

And, on this date in 1931, Congress passed and President Herbert Hoover signed into a law a declaration making "The Star Spangled Banner" the official National Anthem of the United States.

Two of my favorite versions are unorthodox.

Here is Jose Feliciano's performance of the song during the 1968 World Series.

And here is Marvin Gaye's stunning soulful version at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

Finally, here is what is considered to be the best performance of the song, sung by Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. A single version was later sold to raise money for soldiers fighting in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and their families.

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