Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stephanie Blythe Channels Kate Smith

(Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)
"On Wednesday evening in the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center, it wasn’t hard to see how Kate Smith might have inspired a hockey team, not to mention galvanized a nation through a depression and a war. In a richly entertaining, commandingly sung program of Smith standards, part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook
series, the eminent mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe painted a vivid picture of a tirelessly optimistic artist and showed the power of classic songs like 'We’ll Meet Again,' 'The White Cliffs of Dover' and 'When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain' while providing far more than a nostalgia trip through old chestnuts." [Source]

"Musical moments at sporting events can be memorable — Whitney Houston’s 'Star-Spangled Banner,' Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction — but the singing doesn’t usually affect the outcome.An exception occurred on May 13, 1975, when the Philadelphia Flyers faced the upstart New York Islanders for a decisive Game 7 in the National Hockey League championship.
Kate Smith brings patriotism to the ice semifinals
The beloved singer Kate Smith, then 68, belted out her signature hit, 'God Bless America,' creating such a sensation that to this day the Flyers, who went on to win the game and then their second straight Stanley Cup, give the singer a large part of the credit for the victory."