From: John Stanton
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 8:41 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: in town pool report 6
It's a dark and stormy night at the White House, the lightin's crashin' and the thunder is rollin' and the rain is coming down in sheets thick as lead, but in the East Room, the several hundred guests gathered to watch a tribute to Ray Charles are warm and dry.
Guests spotted by the pool include: Attorney General Loretta Lynch, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris Perry, Sen. Barbara Boxer, former Sen. Byron Dorgan, Valerie Jarrett, writer Rembert Browne. Additionally, three members of Ray Charles family were in attendance: Della B Robinson, Ray Charles Jr? and Evelyn Robinson.
The first lady wore a lovely white and black floral pattern dress and she, her mother and the president sat front and center at the performance, which is the final "In Performance At The White House" the Obamas will host.
The White House will shortly be providing a transcript of President Obama's remarks, which were brief and focused on Ray Charles musical career and support for the civil rights movement. Obama also thanked PBS for helping put on the In Performance series. "I will not be singing," Obama said to laughs. "But for our last one it is fitting that we pay tribute to one of our favorites. One of the most brilliant and influential musicians of our times. The late, great genius himself, Mr. Ray Charles himself."
Your pool only saw one song, an amazing version of Let The Good Times Roll, performed by Anthony Hamilton and Andra Day, two of the top soul singers out today. Hamilton and Day came dressed for the occasion - Day wore a slinky silk black dress with a see through black shawl, while Hamilton rocked a blue velvet smoking jacket, a jaunty black hat and a pair of the finest silver gators your pool has ever laid eyes on.
Other artists expected to perform were Brittany Howard, Demi Lovato, Sam Moore, Jussie Smollett, Yolanda Adams and Leon Bridges, and the band was conducted by Rickey Minor.
And with that, we have a lid.
DC Bureau Chief