I am a big fan or critic, as the case may be, of performances of the National Anthem at sporting events. It just drives me crazy to watch a young performer try to put their own spin on the song – a young female singer trying to turn it into a love ballad or a young male singer making it into a country rock song. But I’ll stand and cheer for a really good performance.
This came to mind earlier today when I read that Whitney Houston has died. For whatever else you can say about Whitney, her performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the 1992 Super Bowl may be the best ever.
If you are too young, didn’t see it, or simply don’t remember, I should point out that the performance came just ten days after the air campaign began in the first Gulf War. There was an intense feeling of patriotism throughout the country. Whitney stepped up before a world-wide audience and just let it rip.
Whitney seemed to draw energy from the crowd, but apparently that was just an illusion. I read today that she recorded the song a few days earlier and lip synced it at the event. Until today, I hadn’t realized that.
At the time, I remember watching it and saying to myself, “Holy smokes! That was really great!” Courtesy of YouTube, here it is.