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Hurricane Katrina: Collection Of Musical Perfomances Over Past Two Weeks

Aired September 17, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, music to heal the spirit and to help heal the area's devestated by Hurricane Katrina. Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, LeAnn Rimes, Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr. and more. And how you can help. All next on a very special, encore addition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. For the past two weeks as we covered the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some of the biggest names in music have been closing our shows with one of a kind performances. While we showed information at the same time on screen on how you can help a massive recovery effort. With so much still to do, we're bringing all that special music and vital information back for the next hour.

Start with the New Orleans data with a song all about that great, great city. Here's Harry Connick Jr.


KING: New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr.

Next, Celine Dion, the super star, joined us from her Las Vegas dressing room a half hour before going on stage and gave us one of the most unforgettable moments in recent television history. And then she sang with us too. Watch.

CELINE DION, SINGER: I have to say, Larry, that and state it as the rest of the world if I may I was watching you behind, there's a television right now, I'm watching and I'm especially waiting like the rest of the world. I'm waking up in the morning. I'm having a coffee. I barely can swallow it.

I come here at Caesar's Palace every night to perform. I barely can sing. But for respect the people who come I am still singing. When I come home at night, my son is waiting for me. I watch television.

Yes, we gave $1 million but what we expect, what I want to look like the rest of the world, I open the television there's people still there waiting to be rescued and for me it's not acceptable. I know there's reasons for it. I'm sorry to say I'm being rude but I don't want to hear those reasons.

You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares? They're not going to go too far with it. Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once.

The main thing right now it's not the people who are stealing. It's the people who are left there and they're watching helicopters flying over their heads and they're praying. How come it's so easy to send planes in another country to kill everyone in a second, to destroy lives?

We need to serve our country and for me to serve our country is to be there right now to rescue the rest of the people. We need the cash. We need the blood. We need the support. Right now we need the prayers.

You know when I was hearing a couple of days ago that these things are not reachable it's too full of water, maybe I'm too much like my -- I'm not thinking with my head. I'm talking with my heart. Nobody can open any roofs? The helicopters flying in take two people at a time, take a kayak. Go into those walls.

There's kids being raped at night. They hear gunshots, big guns, what's that? Those people are praying. They're walking. They're like this, hello, do you see us? We're still alive but we're dying. It's terrible.

KING: Celine.

DION: I do not want to talk to you about money.

KING: How do you explain it to your young son?

DION: Well, I have to (INADUIBLE).

KING: Are you OK?

DION: Yes, Rene Charles knows because sometimes he watches televisions with me and I'm saying to him those people went through a big storm and they will be fine because I know at the end they'll be fine and I hope and we're all praying for them.

I'm trying not to put to Rene Charles something so dramatic and that's why I'm sorry for crying so hard because I'm holding it for the last week and I'm trying to tell my son that everything is going to be OK. But I see those mothers over there, they're like (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But look at this thins way, Celine, though a lot of people, we've been doing the show now for two and a half hours. We've been asking a lot of people how they can help, how you can help? A lot of people all over the world want to help. You gave $1 million.

You're going to help a lot of people live and survive. You should take great pride in that, one, that you've attained the ability to be able to do that, to be able to give $1 million. You should take pride in that.

DION: I understand it. I understand it's very important because eventually they will need that money but it's just very frustrating that Franco and (INAUDIBLE) and me oh $1 million. This is one thing.

In three months, in six months they will need that money. Right now they're praying for water so we need to send them the water. They don't care about my check. So, it's just frustrating because in our part of the world we're trying our best and we're expecting those people -- I'm sorry.

KING: Your check will turn into something. I know you got to go on soon but we couldn't spend any time with you without asking you, do you have any kind of thing you would like to sing that fits this moment? Is there any song?

DION: Oh, my gosh.

KING: Even if you did a little of it. I don't want to...

DION: Well, the only song that comes to my mind right now is definitely a prayer. I did sing that song a few weeks -- a few years back with Andrea Bocelli.

KING: Ah, yes.

DION: And I cannot think -- I cannot think about a song but a prayer. I will do my very best and I'll do my best.


DION: God bless them all.



URBAN MAYFIELD, COMPOSER: New Orleans being such a great cultural Mecca, what we all have to do, is we have to do what we know. And we can do the sensibility of jazz do that. That's what New Orleans is about. Jazz has the properties of the blues in it, you know, blues is a big part of jazz. And blues always gives us the sentiment of -- it's bad right now, but it's going to be better.


KING: Irvin Mayfield, brilliant young jazz trumpeter and composer from New Orleans, whose also by the way, that city's official cultural ambassador.

Right now, we turn it over to the great Eric Clapton with John Mayer, followed by the soulful Macy Gray singing a Bob Marley song.



(MUSIC) KING: The one and only Harlem Boys Choir, as we continue giving you information on screen on how you can help those devestated by Hurricane Katrina.

Right now, three time Grammy winner Sarah McLachlan and mega selling singer Josh Groban with "Angel."




KING: LeAnn Rimes, born in Jackson, Mississippi. Her family there hit hard by Katrina. She also played Biloxi's Beau Rivage days before it was destroyed.

Another country superstar doing his part to help, Alan Jackson. Here he sings "Rainy Day in June."



KING: Aaron Neville is the most famous member of one of New Orleans' first musical families. He joined us to sing "Louisiana 1927," a song that Randy Newman wrote more than 30 years ago and so heartbreakingly timely now.


GLORIA ESTEFAN, SINGER: I wrote these two songs as a celebration of hope. And I want to send it out to all those people that are suffering through this terrible disaster. And please know that you are not alone and you will not be.




KING: Opera singer Russell Watson, he sung for the president, the pope and Prince Charles. What a powerful voice.

Another powerful voice that joined us in Katrina's aftermath is that of one of America's great poets, Maya Angelou.

MAYA ANGELOU, POET/AUTHOR: When land became water, and water began to think it was God, consuming lives here, leaving lives there, swallowing buildings, devouring cities, intoxicated with its power, mighty power, and the American people were tested.

As a result of our tumultuousness, there abides in the American psyche an idea so powerful it ennoble us, and lifts us high above the problems which beset us. It can, in fact, evict fear. It can rest despair from its lodging. Simply put, the idea is, yes, I can. I am an American, and yes, I can. I can overcome.

The one-time slave says, I have proved and am proving that I can overcome slavery. The one-time slave owner says, I have proved and I am proving that I can overcome slavery. The North can say, I have proved and am still proving that I can overcome the Civil War. The South can say, I have proved and I am still proving that I can overcome the Civil War.

With crime rampant in our streets, the American can say, our masses have not turned into masses of criminals. Even with blissful peace, Americans can say, we have not been lulled into a contented laziness.

The song that was so needed 100 years ago when it was written, so needed 50 years ago when it was used in the civil rights movement, is of great use to us these days, while we are still reeling from the onslaught of the violent hurricane. The song is "We Shall Overcome." We shall overcome. We shall overcome, I pray. Deep in my eyes, I do believe we shall overcome. Let us all pray and work to enact it.

I am Maya Angelou, and I am an American.

KING: The one and only Maya Angelou.

And now Louisiana native Mark Broussard with his dad, Ted, in a song called "Home."



KING: Welcome back to this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, bringing back our great musical performances from Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. A reminder, we're showing you information on screen about how you can help the relief effort.

And now to play us out, a member of a great New Orleans musical family, a giant of jazz, the music that could not exist without New Orleans, Wynton Marsalis.



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