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Marvin Gaye "Star Spangled Banner" @ 1983 NBA All-Star Game at the Forum
On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key watched a failed British Navy attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Due to heavy storms and crappy equipment on both sides, neither the Americans defending the fort nor the Brits trying to attack it so they could continue sailing into Baltimore Harbor did much damage on each other, but Key was inspired when he saw a huge flag rise from the US fort after the battle had concluded.
The lawyer wrote the song-poem "The Battle of Fort McHenry" from a truce ship and it was renamed "The Star Spangled Banner". A ridiculously difficult song to sing; Marvin Gaye was able to not only tame it and own it, but he did so without over-singing or screaming. In fact it might have been the first time that the audience clapped along to the number while an 80s drum machine kept the beat.
Today's Midnight Movie takes you back to the Fabulous Forum, one of the coolest spots in the world at the time, for what would be the finest performance of our national anthem ever.
Below the jump, enjoy a few others.
Aretha Franklin at the 1996 Democratic National Convention:
Whitney Houston at the 1991 Super Bowl:
Destiny's Child 2006 NBA All-Star Game
Natalie Gilbert @ 2003 NBA Playoffs:
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