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Diva / Mensch pair for 7/25/18

Diva: "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Mensch: "America the Beautiful"

I remember a lot of talk during the Clinton years about "America the Beautiful" becoming the national anthem. Wouldn't we all prefer that? So much easier to sing, so full of wonderful imagery. Who doesn't love amber waves of grain?

Here's Leontyne Price singing it at a Richard Tucker gala in 1992, in a hilariously overdone arrangement. Funny that I see "America the Beautiful" as the Mensch this week, and here it is being sung by the ultimate diva.

Yes, Miss Price sounded better twenty years before, her voice is a little thick, her rhythm is rather willful, and she does a fair amount of swooping. But I love every second of it! She is a national treasure.

I love her spoken intro best of all, her reh-zoh-LYOOT-lee old school diction.

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