Burleson native Kelly Clarkson wasn't the only Texas singer getting great reviews for an inauguration performance. Beyonce Knowles of Houston also is drawing praise for her rendition of the national anthem. They're not Texans, but lots of people liked singer/songwriter James Taylor and inaugural poet Richard Blanco, too.
Dallas attorney Bryan Pope, who scored a standing room pass 150 yards back from the inauguration platform, said, "I thought there was a lot of buzz in the crowd. It was a really good speech. It was progressive, bold and had a lot of big ideas." And count Pope as a Taylor fan.
There was a really noticeable white cowboy hat on the front of the platform with members of Congress -- but it was no Texan; rather, it was Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "I have a black hat, too," he told the Star-Telegram, "but I decided to wear the white one." Offered Hatch: "It was very entertaining. I loved the music. Clarkson was wonderful."
All the singers, he said, "had some of the best renditions I've ever heard." Clarkson's version of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" was "softer" than the standard version, he said.
-- Maria Recio