Richard Nixon and Pearl Bailey Amid the Storm

On March 7, 1974, singer Pearl Bailey invited President Richard Nixon to join her on stage at a White House dinner for the Midwinter Governors’ Conference.  Nixon joined Bailey onstage at the piano, playing “Home on the Range.”

The Washington Post called it “the impromptu ‘Dick and Pearl Show.'” The two then went into “Wild Irish Rose.” The audience loved the duo. California Governor Ronald Reagan later said that the evening was “absolutely tops.”

But on the same week as this performance, a grand jury had named the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in the growing Watergate scandal.  It had also issued criminal indictments against six former officials in Nixon’s administration and a lawyer for his reelection campaign.

There was talk of the possible impeachment of the president.  And the country also faced an energy crisis, trouble in the Middle East, and economic woes.  In five months on August 8, Nixon would announce his resignation.

But for a few moments on March 7, the president must have felt a little respite as his mind was taken off his troubles.  For a brief time, with the weight of world about to crash upon him, he had a few laughs with Pearl Bailey.

From a description of the evening, the video below appears to be from that night on March 7, 1974.  Check it out.

Leave your two cents in the comments. Photo image via YouTube.

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