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Inaugural First Dance performer Tim Rushlow calls
for optimistic middle ground and unity as Americans
|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
Country vocalist and jazz crooner Tim Rushlow will MC the Freedom Stage and perform songs from The Great
American Songbook with his Big Band for the First Dance of President-elect Donald J. Trump and incoming first lady
Melania Trump as part of 'Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls' at the Walter E. Washington
"I'm honored and so very blessed to have the opportunity to do this. It's history, it's historic," said Rushlow, 50. "I come
here not as a Republican or a Democrat or as a Liberal or a Conservative, but just as an American. I’ve been raised in
that culture of a family that we just do what we have to do to support our country in all ways."
The former Little Texas vocalist mentioned his father, an Air Force Veteran; his grandfather, a WWII Veteran; his
father-in-law, a WWII navy pilot hero. Rushlow has performed for troops overseas in more than 14 tours, most recently
in Afghanistan for special operation Navy Seals and on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. He also performed with
Little Texas at the 1996 Clinton-Gore Democratic National Convention.
"Whether I get the opportunity to do those things or I’m asked by a President Elect to perform at an inaugural event,
I consider it as an American, a privilege as something we never say no to," said Rushlow. "I respect the highest seat
in the land, even if Hillary Clinton won, I would be here if she called. President-elect Trump is going to be the
president, so I have to as an American, support him and hope for great things."
Following a recommendation to the Trump family by a supervisor that works with The Apprentice television show
producer Mark Burnett, after seeing the PBS concert special 'Tim Rushlow & His Big Band Live,' Rushlow said he
was contacted by the Trump Inauguration Committee to bring his band to DC for the Inaugural Ball.
"The Trump family was wanting to celebrate American culture and American music and they started talking about
The Great American Songbook," said Rushlow. "They saw my show and were like 'this is fantastic,' they called me
and I said I'd be honored."
Rushlow said The Great American Songbook is significant because it signifies "hope and joy," written post-WWII and
during post-war reconstructions.
"It was a tough time in our country, but we came together," he said. "Those songs were written in that era and I think
those authors knew they had to write something hopeful and in doing that it has stood the test of time, they’re heard
around the world. It kind of feels like me getting to step into the shoes of Bobby Darin."
Despite polarization across the political landscape, Rushlow remains optimistic and foresees the Inauguration as an
opportunity to start coming together.
"Let’s use this as a place to unite, let’s use this as an opportunity to start the healing and unite our country. We’re in
a really unique opportunity in our country to look forward, I think we have to quit staring at: 'Oh my gosh, this isn’t real,
oh my gosh, this didn’t happen,'" said Rushlow. "There’s so much hate and people are confused and I get some of it,
I really do, it was a really contested election. I think this is the greatest country on Earth and we need to act like it and
we need to step up and really come together as one and find a place that’s common ground to start on. I think this is
the start of that, I like to think there could be some unity here. We are the United States of America, although we don’t
always act like it. I think there’s a place we can come together."
Inaugural entertainment performers have turned down invitations or withdrew their name from events after previously
being booked, including recording artist and Broadway vocalist Jennifer Holliday who was originally scheduled to
perform at the 'Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration Concert.' Holliday cited a lapse of judgement
and severe backlash for pulling out.
"I totally understand that," said Rushlow. "That was her choice and that is her choice. That's what I love about my
country, we have the freedom of choice. I wish much love and many blessings for her."
Garth Brooks recently declined an invitation to perform as well, alluding to a tour schedule conflict.
"I know Garth well, he's a stand up guy with amazingly great integrity and great character," said Rushlow. "I've never
seen him treat anybody without first class vibes, whether it's me or a fan on the street. I do understand that he had a
commitment that he could not be here."
In response to the list of more than 40 Democratic representatives sitting out of Trump's inauguration, Rushlow said
"it takes less effort to have grace and be cool."
"If Hillary had won, would Republicans do that? I don’t know. It didn’t happen like that, so I cant judge either way.
At the end of the day, Donald Trump is going to be our President, that’s a done deal," he said.
Regarding backlash for performing at the Inauguration, Rushlow said: "It’s kind of like a friend was telling me, 'hey
man, I’m disappointed you’re doing that, I’m not a Trump fan.' I said, 'I’m sorry you feel that way.' He said, 'well, I love
you anyway dude, hey, you wanna play golf next week?' I said, 'Yeah, sure.' I think that’s how the script should play
out. There’s a place where grace comes in and I think there has to be grace and forgiveness among friends."
Rushlow paid homage to his past country endeavors during the 'Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration
Concert' on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, performing a medley alongside Lonestar's Richie McDonald and Restless
Heart's Larry Stewart as 'The Frontmen of Country' and the group was joined by Lee Greenwood for a performance of
"God Bless The USA."
"Lets meet in the middle ground and be willing to look at all options and find a way to come together as one and be
united, because I think that's us at our best," Rushlow said.
For more information on the Presidential Inauguration: www.58pic2017.org/home
For more information on Tim Rushlow & His Big Band: www.timrushlow.com
|Photo Courtesy Webster PR