Lamar Alexander Pines to Play Piano Man

Posted May 22, 2015 at 11:23pm

Nothing worse than watching plans for a nice, leisurely long holiday weekend dashed by the political ambitions of contrarian colleagues.  

Unless, like Sen. Lamar Alexander, you also have a once-in-a-lifetime gig to attend to.  

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’ll be very disappointed it I don’t make it,” the Tennessee Republican told HOH about the possibility of not being able to sit in Saturday for the farewell “Sunset Symphony” performance — a grand finale four decades in the making.  

Alexander, who has been tickling the ivories since his youth, said he’s played the Memphis in May show only a handful of times — including a debut appearance in 1982, during which he recalls seeing around 150,000 people lined up along the banks of the might Mississippi while “Ol’ Man River” floated on the evening air — and is very excited about helping to bring the historic program to a close.  

“It’s really a beautiful event,” he shared. Although classically trained, Alexander said the plan for this weekend was to rock the night away.  

The tentative arrangement for the final show (assuming he ever gets out of DC) is set to include renditions of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee,” and then sign off with Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”  

His last show in public, Alexander said, was a 2014 fundraiser for the Chattanooga Symphony. Which might explain why he planned to devote part of Friday to sneaking in some rehearsal time on Capitol Hill.  

“I’m trying to find one [a piano] to practice on,” he said.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.