Sure, clean energy, the return of manufacturing, a boost in education spending and saving the domestic car industry are awesome ways to revive the American economy. But another tactic President Obama might consider is more singing.
Because a week after the falsetto singer-in-chief unleashed his version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, sales of the good Rev.’s most iconic hit have taken off.
According to Billboard magazine, the viral video of the president singing the first line of the #1 hit from 1972 boosted sales of the song by 490 percent. In fact, the tune had its best week since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003, with 16,000 downloads. The YouTube video of the impromptu recital has been viewed more than 4 million times.
It was likely the second surprise this week for Green, who was present at the Apollo event where Obama acknowledged the soul singer’s presence in the room from the stage.
“Those guys didn’t think I would do it,” Obama laughed while pointing to his staffers at the side of the stage. “I told you I was going to do it. The Sandman did not come out.”
Fans also rushed out this week to snatch up music by Etta James, the soul legend who passed on January 20. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James’ sales were up 378 percent over the past week. One compilation, The Best of Etta James — 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection, shot up from #162 to #46 on sales of 8,000, giving James her highest chart position ever. For the week ending January 22, James’ overall catalog sold 30,000 copies, a significant jump from the previous week, when her collected album sold just over 6,000.