With our national anthem celebrating its 200th anniversary, it’s only fitting that the star-spangled celebration should feature a couple of country stars. Hosted by actor, musician and author John Lithgow, Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem will air live from Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore on the long-running PBS series Great Performances, Saturday, September 13th at 8 p.m. ET
The special will feature country artists Little Big Town and Kenny Rogers, along with performances from stage and recording star Kristin Chenoweth (who made a brief foray into country), rockers Melissa Etheridge and Train, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves-Montgomery, vocal group Pentatonix, legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson and Tony-winning singer Paulo Szot. Co-hosted by singer Jordin Sparks, the two-hour event is part of a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written by lawyer and part-time poet Francis Scott Key in 1814 during the bombing of Fort McHenry near Baltimore Harbor.
The Grammy-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, will perform during the special, which will celebrate the anthem and our nation’s patriotic pride.
Little Big Town is gearing up for the October 21st release of their album Pain Killer, which features the hit single “Day Drinking.” They’ll launch a headlining tour this fall in Youngstown, Ohio. Kenny Rogers, meanwhile, is currently being lauded with his own special exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The country icon was recently nominated for a CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year, along with Dolly Parton, for their duet “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”