On Instagram today, Reba McEntire is looking back on a special moment singing “White Christmas” with a star-studded cast. A young John Denver and Aretha Franklin were also featured in the clip.
The trio sang for the “Christmas in Washington” program on Dec. 19, 1990. John Denver headlined the event, but McEntire and Franklin joined in for a few songs throughout the program.
“Throwback to singing with John Denver and Aretha Franklin for Christmas In Washington,” Reba said in the post. “What a memory!!!”
This beautiful rendition of the classic Christmas song stole the show. In front of the Eastern High School Choir, the trio of Reba McEntire, Aretha Franklin, and John Denver sang Christmas favorites including “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” and, of course, “White Christmas.”
Before the trio’s performance, John Denver did the honors of opening the show. He gave a brief speech about the context of the historic venue, the significance of the program, then introduced his musical guests.
“We are in this great city so filled with history and tradition to celebrate the Christmas season with beautiful music,” Denver said in his opening remarks. “This is the ninth of these celebrations where the first family is sung along with the nation, so I guess we can call Christmas in Washington a tradition too.”
John Denver continued to explain the historical context of the National Building Museum where the event took place. “This magnificent great hall of the National Building Museum is itself filled with tradition. Here Presidents including Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and George Bush danced at inaugural balls. If you listen carefully, you might hear the strains of ‘Happy Days are Here Again’ or ‘Hail to the Chief.'”
John Denver Introduces Reba McEntire
Coming from Texas, the Bush Sr. first family were all big country music fans like many from the state. With that in mind, Reba McEntire did seem like the perfect fit as a musical accompaniment for John Denver. After he gave his opening remarks welcoming everyone to the program, Denver later introduced McEntire.
“Tonight, this hall will echo with the sounds of Christmas,” John Denver announced. “And for the first family, who enjoy country music, how better to start it off than with the Country Music Association’s multi-award-winner, Reba McEntire!”
McEntire went on to perform solo for a song before Denver introduced Aretha Franklin.