Here’s my favorite Star Spangled Banner — Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

As always, it will be a day full of parades and fireworks and outdoor grilling, and, of course, it will be a day with many, many different versions of the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, some good, many bad, for it is a “tough song” as the New York Times writes today.

For me, it will be my first Independence Day as an American citizen, and as I prepared for the day and to really sing it for the first time, I made sure I knew the words, but I also came to think of the many versions I have heard through the years and which one had really hit me.

I thought of Jimi Hendrix’s version at Woodstock way back in 1969. It is still without comparison. I also came to think of Whitney Houston belting it out so magnificently at the Super Bowl in 1991. But, in the end, I concluded that Marvin Gaye’s version at the NBA All Star Game in Los Angeles in 1983 is my favorite — simple, beautiful, personal, with impeccable rhythm and perfect timing. Here it is. Enjoy! And Happy Fourth!

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