Readability

Whitney Houston's Legacy

by baldilocks

With it being Inde­pen­dence Day and all, on my Face­book page, I’ve mostly been post­ing videos of peo­ple singing pleas­antly sonorous ver­sions of the Star-​Spangled Ban­ner and other patri­otic songs. On my page, there’s a mari­achi band singing a fan­tas­tic ver­sion of the SSB, a Chris­t­ian “boy-​band” har­mony four­some doing a med­ley of songs and, of course, Ray Charles’ iconic ren­di­tion of Amer­ica, the Beau­ti­ful—this one from a 1972 episode of the Dick Cavett Show. Lady Gaga also did a won­der­fully under­stated ver­sion of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl a few years back, show­ing us — sur­pris­ingly – that she under­stands some­thing that many female singers of the Anthem do not: less is more and better.

And then there’s the stan­dard against which all ver­sions of the Anthem are mea­sured: Whit­ney Hous­ton. Her appear­ance at the open­ing of the 1991 Super Bowl is still a tear-​jerker.

Hous­ton died a few years back of a drug-​overdose and it has almost become her legacy, but not quite. The voice and show­man­ship of the young Hous­ton and the flaw­less per­for­mance of the Anthem were too pow­er­ful to be totally over-​shadowed.

What goes less remarked upon about Hous­ton are her other ren­di­tions of patri­otic songs and her per­for­mances for the troops. And when I looked it up on YouTube, I found that there was, arguably, an even bet­ter per­for­mance of the Anthem by her—this one was for the Navy. In it she is still young, slim, beau­ti­ful and in per­fect voice, albeit in a lower key than in the Super Bowl per­for­mance. It’s very emotion-​invoking, espe­cially when you know the out­come of Houston’s story – and that of her daughter.

So, I choose to remem­ber Whit­ney Hous­ton as the Amer­i­can icon who put the love and feel­ing back into our National Anthem. As the foibles and tragedy of her life fade away, she should always be remem­bered for that.

Happy Inde­pen­dence Day, my friends.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

by baldilocks

With it being Independence Day and all, on my Facebook page, I’ve mostly been posting videos of people singing pleasantly sonorous versions of the Star-Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. On my page, there’s a mariachi band singing a fantastic version of the SSB, a Christian “boy-band” harmony foursome doing a medley of songs and, of course, Ray Charles’ iconic rendition of America, the Beautiful—this one from a 1972 episode of the Dick Cavett Show. Lady Gaga also did a wonderfully understated version of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl a few years back, showing us—surprisingly–that she understands something that many female singers of the Anthem do not: less is more and better.

And then there’s the standard against which all versions of the Anthem are measured: Whitney Houston. Her appearance at the opening of the 1991 Super Bowl is still a tear-jerker.

Houston died a few years back of a drug-overdose and it has almost become her legacy, but not quite. The voice and showmanship of the young Houston and the flawless performance of the Anthem were too powerful to be totally over-shadowed.

What goes less remarked upon about Houston are her other renditions of patriotic songs and her performances for the troops. And when I looked it up on YouTube, I found that there was, arguably, an even better performance of the Anthem by her—this one was for the Navy. In it she is still young, slim, beautiful and in perfect voice, albeit in a lower key than in the Super Bowl performance. It’s very emotion-invoking, especially when you know the outcome of Houston’s story–and that of her daughter.

So, I choose to remember Whitney Houston as the American icon who put the love and feeling back into our National Anthem. As the foibles and tragedy of her life fade away, she should always be remembered for that.

Happy Independence Day, my friends.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!