Under The Duvet Productions

Covering News And Entertainment.

LEONTYNE PRICE Television Videos: Kennedy Center Honors, TV Specials, and 5 Decades of U.S. Presidents by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

Operatic soprano Leontyne Price was the recipient of The Third Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. on December 7, 1980 under President Jimmy Carter, who was a great admirer of Ms. Price. It aired on CBS-TV on December 27, 1980. The presenter was maestro Zubin Mehta; tribute sung by Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Donald Gramm. Soprano Beverly Sills introduced all five recipients in the beginning of the awards (not shown in the video below). Honorees along with Ms. Price included Leonard Bernstein, Agnes de Mille, James Cagney, and Lynn Fontanne.

James Cagney, Leontyne Price, Leonard Bernstein, Lynn Fontanne, and Agnes de Mille, 1980.

The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture (though recipients do not need to be U.S. citizens). The Honors have been presented annually since 1978, culminating each December in a star-studded gala celebrating the Honorees in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Leontyne Price Tribute— The Third Annual Kennedy Center Honors, 1980:

Leontyne Price and then manager Hubert Dilworth, 1980.

Agnes de Mille, Leontyne Price, James Cagney, Leonard Bernstein, and Lynn Fontanne, 1980.

Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino is the Director of the Exclusive Worldwide Official Leontyne Price Fan Club.

Leontyne Price has won 19 Grammy Awards, more than any other classical singer. 13 Grammy Awards for solo operatic and/or song recitals, 5 Grammys for full operas, and a special Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. Please note when an opera wins a Grammy Award, the principle artist is awarded as well. Bonus Videos— Leontyne Price, The 25th Annual Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, California, February 23, 1983, performing “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca; announcer John Denver, live in stereo and second video Leontyne Price on The Ed Sullivan Show, New York, December 26, 1965; Season 18; Episode 16 (she also appeared April 2, 1961; Season 13; Episode 25):

Bonus Videos U.S. Presidents— Leontyne Price sang at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s second inauguration, January 20, 1965 (his first inauguration was November 22, 1963 aboard Air Force One at Love Field, Dallas, TX); she also sang at his funeral on January 25, 1973: The State Funeral of the 36th President of The United States Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), Washington, D.C.; she sang for President Jimmy Carter at the White House on October 8, 1978 and for President Ronald Reagan on December 1, 1983; among numerous other times. She first sang for President Dwight D. Eisenhower at an unexpected social gathering in the 1950s.

Leontyne Price, Hubert Humphrey Vice President to LBJ, and President Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJ second inauguration, January 20, 1965. Duvet Private Copy.

One of countless specials— PBS-TV: IN PERFORMANCE AT WHITE HOUSE, by John J. O’Connor, The New York Times Arts; published: December 14, 1983. Tonight’s presentation of “In Performance at the White House,” on Channel 13 at 8 o’clock, is not set in the White House. Taped on Dec. 1, it takes place a couple of miles away in Washington’s Shiloh Baptist Church. The program, with Leontyne Price as host, consists entirely of spiritual and gospel music. As is usual with this outstanding series, President and Mrs. Reagan are sitting in the front row. In brief opening remarks, Mrs. Reagan speaks of ”one of the richest veins of our national musical heritage.” She mentions African roots and notes how spirituals gradually evolved into the ”more vivid” gospel music. ”America is very proud of this part of its musical heritage,” she says. After singing ”His Name So Sweet” with the Howard University Choir, Miss Price recalls how ”music has always first meant the church to me” from her earliest childhood days in Laurel, Miss. Miss Price describes the spiritual as the ”black heartbeat.” She then begins introducing the soloists who, with the choir and under the overall guidance of Howard Roberts, the noted conductor and arranger, will perform: Lillias White, Kevette Cartledge, David Weatherspoon and the Richard Smallwood Singers. As might be expected, given the talent involved, the hourlong program is a resounding success. The spirituals, ranging from ”Take My Hand, Precious Lord” to ”Steal Away,” are extremely moving. The gospel music, especially a medley arranged by Richard Smallwood, is bursting with hand-clapping life. Even the President can be seen getting into the robust spirit of things, although his clapping appears to be decidedly off the beat. It is a genuinely warm and proud occasion. One film-clip segment pays tribute to the late Mahalia Jackson, described by Miss Price as the ”empress of gospel.” After singing a beautiful unaccompanied version of ”Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Miss Price observes that, ”without our music, I truly believe, we wouldn’t have made it.” President Reagan, after congratulating the performers, tells the congregation and guests, including Vice President and Mrs. Bush, that ”I hear America singing.” As the program ends, an obviously delighted Mrs. Reagan, clapping on the beat, does a brief dance to the infectious music, much to the good-natured laughter of the congregation. All of which prompts one not insignificant political question: If Mr. Reagan were an official candidate in next year’s Presidential race, would his opponents be able to demand equal time in this prestigious and very effective television showcase? Get ready for the inevitable jockeying.

Eisenhower happened to be the first President Ms. Price sang for, it was unexpect and unofficial at a private home party/social gathering in the 1950s. Letter to Blevins Davis (born 1903 – July 16, 1971) an American playwright and theatrical producer, dated March 30, 1953, from Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969). He was an American politician and Army general who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961.

Leontyne Price starred in 4 NBC Television Opera Theatre productions (Tosca on January 23, 1955, The Magic Flute on January 15, 1956, Dialogues of the Carmelites on December 8, 1957, and Don Giovanni on April 26, 1960), several The Bell Telephone Hour specials on NBC-TV, The Voice of Firestone on NBC-TV, The Ed Sullivan Show appearances on CBS-TV, The Grammy Awards appearances; and through the decades she appeared in countless TV specials, concerts, and talk shows on every major network in addition to PBS-TV.

Leontyne Price and Peter Ustinov appear as the mystery guests on What’s My Line? This episode was originally telecast by CBS-TV on September 18, 1966, two days after Price starred in the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra at the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York. The panelists are Woody Allen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, and Phyllis Newman and the host is John Charles Daly.

Please visit our numerous photo-articles on Ms. Leontyne Price including—LEONTYNE PRICE: Opera’s Greatest Soprano Turns 90:


Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino is the Director of the Exclusive Worldwide Official Leontyne Price Fan Club.

Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com

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This entry was posted on March 19, 2017 by in After Party, Awards, Black History, Black Tie Events, Canon, Canon Camera, Celebrities, Celebrity Photojournalist, Concerts, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, History, Lisa Pacino, Music, New York, Opera, Photography, Red Carpet, Uncategorized, Under The Duvet Productions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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