The White House is celebrating the history and sound of Memphis soul music.
Legendary artist and younger acts, ranging from Sam Moore and Mavis Staples to Ben Harper and Justin Timberlake, were rehearsing at the White House on Tuesday to help President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama highlight that style of music at an evening concert.
Students from around the country participated in a workshop with some of the artists.
During the rehearsals, the first lady told the students, "I want you all to keep one thing in mind -- and I try to say this to every young person that I encounter that walks through those doors -- but realize that none of these folks up here arrived here on the basis of talent alone. They're here because they've been working hard to perfect their craft since they were at least your age and many of them even younger."
According to a White House press release, she added, "Ben Harper first picked up a guitar at age six. Mavis Staples and Sam Moore have both been performing since they were kids singing gospel music in church. When Charlie Musselwhite was getting started, he had to fit in his gigs between shifts at his factory job. And when Justin first started touring, he would immediately go to the bus to watch a tape of his performance, taking notes so that the next night he would be even better."
The event is the 10th installment in the "In Performance at the White House" series. It is scheduled for broadcast April 16 on PBS stations.
Starting in February 2009, the series has celebrated the music of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Hispanic music, music from the civil-rights era, Motown and the blues, Broadway and country music.