I’m not really much of a sports fan, but I noticed that the blogosphere was buzzing the other day about a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” by trumpeter, Jesse McGuire, at a Panthers – 49érs football game during the weekend. Apparently, McGuire, who has played with the funk band Tower of Tower among others, is pretty famous for his renditions of that song which he has also performed for several American presidents.
Then I came across a clip from 1983 of Marvin Gaye performing the very same song at an NBA All-Star game. This is definitely the most soulful version of “The Star Spangled Banner” I’ve ever heard. Marvin, looking very smooth indeed, completely makes the song his own, transforming the American national anthem in to the kind of pleading soul ballad that he was famous for. Tragically, this was just one year before he died. Check out the performance below to see what you think.