Monday, June 21, 2010

Kansas City's Star-Spangled Banners

Congratulations, Kansas City Royals, on securing the 2012 All-Star Game for Kauffman Stadium!

Now it's time to start thinking about the most important decision you'll need to make- whom will you select to perform the national anthem before the game?

The massive entertainment conglomerates will probably insist on making your selection for you. Don't let them. Show the world that Kansas City is truly "the home of the brave."

Don't settle for an obvious pick like David Cook, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge or Martina McBride. That's been done. And disallow superstar outsiders like Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, Elton John and Alicia Keys.

Go local. Make your hometown proud by shining your spotlight on a musician with a direct connection to Kansas City.

I've taken the liberty of making 25 suggestions. They're ranked in order of my personal preference. If you're looking for a Marvin Gaye moment, Pat Metheny and Tech N9ne are candidates capable of creating headlines with an unconventional arrangement. If you'd rather play it safe, try Marilyn Maye, Kevin Mahogany or Karrin Allyson.

Good luck. I trust you'll do the right thing.

1. Bobby Watson- The top jazz artist in a jazz town.
2. Tech N9ne- This would be killer. Krizz Kaliko can provide the hooks.
3. Pat Metheny- I have no idea what he'd deliver, but I'd like to find out.
4. Myra Taylor and the Wild Women of Kansas City- Wild indeed.
5. Quixotic Fusion- The performance art ensemble would be extraordinary.
6. Marilyn Maye- Marvelous.
7. Joyce DiDonato- Classy.
8. Jonelle Monae- As fresh as it gets.
9. Ahmad Alaadeen- The preeminent elder statesman of KC jazz.
10. Ida McBeth- Long a sentimental favorite.
11. Eldar- Tremendous piano.
12. Marva Whitney- The soul legend is cooling her heels in KCK.
13. Kevin Mahogany- Elegant.
14. Sellie Truitt- He rubbed shoulders with Buck O'Neil and Satchel Paige.
15. Karrin Allyson- A natural.
16. The Elders- The Celtic rockers are one of KC's most popular acts.
17. Diverse- The most celebrated young jazz act in KC.
18. Megan Birdsall- Introduce the world to a fresh face.
19. The Wilders- KC's top bluegrass act.
20. Hearts of Darkness- An international vibe would surprise.
21. Angela Hagenbach- Beautiful.
22. Oleta Adams- Warm and inviting.
23. The McFadden Brothers- Old-school show-stoppers.
24. Ron Ron- Maybe Ron Ron will be a star by 2012.
25. Rich the Factor- Try keeping it real.

Note for Plastic Sax readers- I listed 16 jazz-related artists in bold text. David Basse, Bob Brookmeyer, The Count Basie Orchestra, Everette DeVan, the Jazz Disciples, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Sons of Brasil and Von Smith were left off my list of 25.

Whom would you like to perform at the All-Star Game?

(Cross-posted from There Stands the Glass.)


Joel said...

God bless you, Bill. You put a lot of effort into making a great case for these artists, when I think you know deep down we'll be *lucky* if we get Melissa Etheridge. At least ME is from the KC area. Sheryl Crow hails from the bootheel. At either rate, we'll probably get whatever plastic pop act has the most-hyped single of the moment. Kansas City, please put your hands together for Justin Beiber's second cousin.
(Sorry, feeling crotchety for some reason right now.)

Happy In Bag said...

Maybe, Joel. Maybe not. It's up to people like you.

If someone with a voice much louder than mine, one belonging to Alvin Brooks perhaps, took up the cause then maybe something good could happen.

I also understand that Dan Glass is a serious music fan. What if he got involved?

It's imperative, however, that existing entities lay the proper foundation. I assume that the American Jazz Museum is already working on a series of All-Star-related events in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

It would also help if public support coalesced around a single performer who embraced the possibility.

Joel said...

I couldn't be more behind the any of the artists you mentioned, but corporate music and MLB have earned a place squarely in the crosshairs of my cynicism. Remember, this is the commissioner who put Spiderman logo on the bases a couple years ago. He doesn't care about the game, and there are too many instances to site here that show his lack of concern for non-major-market franchises.

Happy In Bag said...

I refuse to accept your premise. If Royals' management wants Bobby Watson or Tech N9ne to perform the national anthem, I can't imagine that Bud Selig would overrule that decision.

Joel said...

OK, so where do we start the petition? Facebook? Organized rally at the K? I'm all in.

the unthinking lemming said...

How about we not use the Star Spangled Banner as an opportunity to promote... Whatever! Anytime that the National Anthem is presented in public as a "performance" and intended other than a simple respect for our common union is a disservice to us all that consider ourselves patriotic Americans. I always feel cheated when, in a public setting, people reinterpret the familiar music at the expense of the commoner's ability to participate in the ritual.

Give me the local American Legion Band and a convivial song leader. (As a member of the local KC American Legion Band I can say that we would be suitable honored for the privilege.)

Cb said...

Sorry, not even close, no list needed... It's easy... Bobby Watson[PERIOD]...

Anonymous said...

i personally like the idea of Megan Birdsall. great voice, great story. you could not go wrong obviously with marilyn maye, karrin, angela, or ida. all excellent representatives of kansas city, all excellent voices with grace and style.

the mcfadden brothers and elders - for something completely different!

good list hap! - mike t.

Happy In Bag said...

I respect your perspective, UL.

Coming from you, Cb, that's a sterling endorsement.

Good call, Mike.