Manuel overjoyed at White House Memphis Soul event - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Manuel overjoyed at White House Memphis Soul event

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

He started out his career in music moving amps around at Stax Records while working his way through college.

Over the years he played with the greats from Booker T. and The MG's, The Blues Brothers, and even wrote and produced Disco Duck for Rick Dees.

MORE: White House showcases soul of Memphis

Memphis musician and producer Bobby Manuel says he and the other Memphis artists who recently performed at the White House, were like little kids before performing for the President and First Lady.

It was a special night for a lot of us. Residents of the Mid-South were excited because some of our hometown artists were performing at the White House. Later we could all watch on PBS in a television special featuring Justin Timberlake, The Bar-Kays, Mavis Staples, Steve Cropper, Sam Moore, the Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, Cyndi Lauper, Charlie Musselwhite, Queen Latifah and William Bell.

"I tell you the White House has an effect on you like no other place I've played," Manuel said. "We were there for two days - eight hours one day. We got to see all the rooms and everything during that time. There's going to be a period you will reflect on what happened in this country and I was just amazed how to understand how we're here, why we're here. God had to be involved in that.

"There is no way we could have done this," he added. "We could not have survived. Anyway you get that feeling and it's awesome.

When it was showtime, another feeling came over the group from Memphis.

"We were all standing in line and we were like children," Manuel said. "James Alexander turned to me and said, I'm nervous about this.' James is leader of The Bar-Kays, out there forever. He said, 'are you nervous?' I said 'I'm nervous.' It's really intimidating. Like I say no other place I've been that had that kind of effect on me. Would not trade for anything."

It was a big night for all of us. Thank you Mr. President for tipping your hat to some fine artists who keep putting Memphis music on the map.

"That's the culmination of my career," Manuel said. "I'll tell you that performance was something else."

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