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White House celebrates Memphis soul music with concert

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April 9, 2013: President Barack Obama, center seated, looks over towards his daughter Sasha, as singers Sam Moore, left, and Joshua Ledet, right, perform on stage during the In Performance at the White House in the East Room of the White House in Washington, a program for a celebration of Memphis Soul Music. (AP)

President Barack Obama says the brand of soul music that originated from a segregated Memphis, Tenn., in the 1960s sought to "create a little harmony with harmony."

He says the music is an important part of American history and it was being celebrated Tuesday night at the White House.

Obama spoke at a taping of the latest "In Performance at the White House" series, this one honoring Memphis soul.

Whites and blacks came together in Memphis in the 1960s to create a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic blues despite the segregation that was in place.

Sam Moore, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite are among those performing.

Tuesday's concert will be shown live on the White House website,

The program is set to be broadcast next Tuesday by PBS stations nationwide.