Presidential Flubs


Tonight’s botched Oath of Office reminded me of another high-profile flub, although this one was not delivered by the president himself.  It occurred in 1963, when Sergeant Keith Clark was called on to perform Taps at John F. Kennedy’s funeral.  Taps is about as simple a tune as they come;  it consists of only four different notes, does not require any finger work, and does not challenge the range of even a novice player.  But the pressure in performing this most basic of melodies is unique.  There is a group of very sad people keen on being moved emotionally by Taps, and it is up to you alone to deliver.  Now imagine an audience of several million very sad people and you see how Taps could have suddenly become a challenge for Sgt. Clark:

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January 20, 2009 11:29 pm

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