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Barack Obama: Live at the Apollo

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(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama last night delivered an unexpected surprise during a fundraiser at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater: A short rendition of the soul classic “Let’s Stay Together.” The Rev. Al Green, who originally recorded the song in 1971, was in the crowd, and Obama clearly relished the chance to tease him. “Don’t worry, Rev.,” he said. “I cannot sing like you. I just wanted to show my appreciation.”

Obama also noted that “The Sandman did not come out” and sweep him off the stage, the way the late Howard “Sandman” Sims disposed of Apollo acts that bombed. But even if the Sandman were still alive, I doubt he’d want to cross the Secret Service agents to give Obama the hook.

That one line he sang wasn’t bad, and the crowd of 1,400 clearly loved it. But if Obama really wanted to bring the house down, he’d have pulled out James Brown’s cape routine during “Please, Please, Please,” the way the Godfather of Soul did while recording 1968′s “Live at the Apollo: Vol. II.”

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    February 9th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    [...] a really good Spotify playlist, and it contains a mix of classic soul music (including, of course, “Let’s Stay Together”) and indie-ish rock such as Arcade Fire, Wilco and Florence + the [...]

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    February 22nd, 2012 at 11:05 am

    [...] by pointing out that he sang a line from “Let’s Stay Together” last month at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, and said, “You gotta keep it [...]