1989 blues and soul concert makes TV debut

This March, PBS viewers will be treated to the world television premiere of a never-before-seen historic concert featuring Sam Moore and some of the biggest names in blues, soul and rock history performing their greatest hits. Recorded during a live Presidential Inaugural Concert Event in 1989 for President George H.W. Bush, the video and audiotapes of this concert were presumed lost for nearly 20 years after the untimely death of Lee Atwater, the concert organizer and host.

A Celebration of Blues & Soul: The 1989 Inaugural Concert is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning March 1st.

A Celebration of Blues & Soul features Sam Moore’s performance of “Soul Man,” Dr. John’s performance of “Right Place, Wrong Time,” Bo Diddley’s performance of “Hey! Bo Diddley,” with Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, “Hoochie Coochie Man,” performed by Willie Dixon with Albert Collins, fellow Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Joe Louis Walker and Delbert McClinton, and McClinton’s own performance of “Just A Little Bit,” with both Albert Collins and a stunning duet by 5th Beatle Billy Preston and Carla Thomas performing the Sam & Dave classic “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby.”

“PBS viewers are in for a once-in-a-lifetime musical treat,” said Joyce Moore, one of the principal producers of the 1989 concert. “This broadcast of the concert originally called A Celebration for Young Americans is especially significant because it contains truly magnificent performances from brilliant American icons we have since lost — Billy Preston, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, Duck Dunn, Lafayette Leake and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was an honor and the thrill of a lifetime to have been part of and associated with this inaugural event when it occurred in 1989.”

“It was an honor and the thrill of a lifetime to have been part of and associated with this inaugural event when it occurred in 1989.”

In addition, the special features nearly 20 minutes of dazzling historic Stevie Ray Vaughan performances including “Superstition,” “Love Struck Baby” (with guest artist Jimmie Vaughan), and “Frosty,” with guest artists Jimmie Vaughan and Blues Hall of Fame legend Albert Collins and Rolling Stone Ronnie Woods.

Finally, A Celebration of Blues & Soul has the elements of being a very special tribute to the legendary artists who recorded for Memphis’ Stax Records. Including Eddie Floyd’s performance of “Knock on Wood,” Moore’s “Soul Man”, the and a stirring Carla Thomas and Billy Preston rendition of “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby.” These performances also include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn from the Stax Records legendary group Booker T and the MG’s, who played on the original studio recordings for these songs, and fellow Stax guitarist Michael Toles of the Bar-Kays. The companion pledge drive DVD also features Stax label mate William Bell performing the Albert King classic, Booker T penned “Born Under A Bad Sign”.

The original video for A Celebration of Blues & Soul was professionally recorded with seven cameras, along with a separate 24 track audio recording. When these original recordings were relocated six years ago, the original video was restored, remastered, color corrected, and converted to HD, and the audio was remixed to a six channel, 5.1 format by the legendary audio engineer Ed Greene, who has won more than 20 Emmy Awards for sound mixing and engineering, for programs such as American Idol, and numerous productions of the Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.