Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Mickey Guyton Perform on Memorial Day

The national Memorial Day concert each year broadcast on PBS doesn’t always include notable names from the country music world. But in 2021, it included three of them, who each turned in marquee performances. The concert special is usually filmed as a live concert experience on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol building, but due to COVID-19 concerns, the telecast featured pre-taped performances in 2021.

Mickey Guyton helped open the festivities by performing the National Anthem in front of the backdrop of the Capitol. Though her performance was dubbed a “special” rendition of the song, Mickey’s performance was a pretty straightforward version of “The Star Spangled Banner” backed by an orchestra. It was her performance itself that made it special.

Alan Jackson performed his 9/11 remembrance song “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning.” Given credit for helping to revitalizing his career in the early 00’s, it was the more thoughtful and heartfelt remembrance and tribute compared to Toby Keith’s “The Angry American.” Written by Jackson himself, the song became a five-week #1 in country, and won the CMA and ACM awards for Song of the Year, and a the Grammy for Best Country Song.

Vince Gill performed his song “Go Rest High on That Mountain” from the Ryman Auditorium, which marked one of the most touching moments for the entire presentation. After the song’s original release in 1994, “Go Rest High on That Mountain” has since become one of the definitive eulogy ballads in the country music canon, and is regularly sung at the funerals of the departed, including country stars, and the fallen heroes in the military. Written by Vince Gill, the song was inspired by the death of country music star Keith Whitley in 1989.

This year marks the 32nd installment of the National Memorial Day Concert honoring the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, their families and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. This year’s presentation was also specifically a tribute to Vietnam Nurses, the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, and the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and Gold Star Families.

The performances can be seen below, and you can see the entire Memorial Day concert HERE.

© 2021 Saving Country Music
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