This is a very special installment of the Monday YouTube Fix in honor of Memorial Day. I hope this won't sound like lip service because it is true. Without the sacrifices of our armed forces and their loved ones, I would not be able to travel the world performing and teaching music. I can never even begin to put into words my gratitude for all who have served. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice: they never came home. I can't think of a better tribute than Ray Charles singing God Bless America. He just seems to get it. Musically speaking, his embellishments are PERFECT and never overdone. His vibrato is for my taste used at exactly the right time. He sings from the soul and has a love for this country that is obvious.
And we can all learn from his demeanor onstage. He concludes every performance I've ever watched with a smile that can (and does!) and light up a room. He's certainly had a performance that he was disappointed in yet never lets it show. He is the consummate professional and performer.
So to all who have and are currently serving: THANK YOU!