Elvis Costello Sings “Penny Lane” for Sir Paul McCartney at The White House

Last month, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma award­ed Paul McCart­ney the Library of Con­gress Gersh­win Prize for Pop­u­lar Song. And then the con­cert (aired last night on PBS) began. Among the high­lights was Elvis Costel­lo singing “Pen­ny Lane” with a mem­ber of the Pres­i­den­t’s Unit­ed States Marine band play­ing the pic­co­lo trum­pet. It’s a down­right won­der­ful ver­sion. You can watch the entire pro­gram online here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mal­colm Glad­well on Why Genius Takes Time: A Look at the Mak­ing of Elvis Costello’s “Depor­tee” & Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah”

Hear a Playlist of 300 Songs That Influ­enced Elvis Costel­lo, Drawn From His New Mem­oir, Unfaith­ful Music & Dis­ap­pear­ing Ink

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Comments (6)
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  • John Foyle says:

    Elvis brings a suit­ably whim­si­cal touch to the song, so appro­pri­ate con­sid­er­ing it’s cen­tral theme of mem­o­ries of child­hood. After a sec­ond watch I found myself think­ing of Val Doon­i­can, a Irish born light enter­tain­ment singer who was pop­u­lar on U.K./Irish tv in the 1960s/70’s.….maybe I’m going a lit­tle bit mad

  • Peta says:

    It’s a love­ly ver­sion. That appears to be a cor­net, not a pic­co­lo BTW.

    • Mark says:

      Sor­ry madam, you don’t know yer pic­co­lo trpts! I can assure you it is.

      • John says:

        If you look at some of the oth­er old­er com­ments, it seems that the arti­cle orig­i­nal­ly said “pic­co­lo”, not “pic­co­lo trum­pet”. (Pre­sum­ably they edit­ed the arti­cle once they realised.) So Peta is wrong with cor­net but was at least try­ing to cor­rect them from imply­ing it was a flute!

  • Julian Johansson says:

    i’m so glad open cul­ture prais­es 1st class artists like Elvis Costel­lo and Bob Dylan, they deserve all the atten­tion they can get in these mod­ern times!

  • austin says:

    Err, that’s pic­co­lo *trum­pet*. But great find, thanks so much for shar­ing!

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