Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston

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Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston
Welcomehomeheroes1991.jpg
Video by
ReleasedMay 14, 1991 (VHS)
2002 (DVD)
RecordedMarch 31, 1991
GenrePop, R&B
Length96 minutes (US)
80 minutes
LabelArista
DirectorDavid Mallet
ProducerAnthony Eaton
Whitney Houston (exec.)
John R. Houston (exec.)

Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston is the first ever solo televised concert and video by American recording artist Whitney Houston.

Released on May 14, 1991, through Arista Records, the video contains Whitney's HBO concert special Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston, which was broadcast live from the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 31, 1991, Easter Sunday, for 3.500 servicemen and women returning from the Gulf War.[1]

It was released in VHS and Laserdisc on May 14, 1991, and later on DVD in 2002. In 2008, the DVD was re-released in the United States and worldwide with the title A Song for You: Live.

Background[edit]

Houston performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the Super Bowl XXV, on January 27, 1991. Her version of the song was so acclaimed that, on February 12, 1991, it was released as a charity single to raise funds for soldiers and families of those involved in the Persian Gulf War.[2] Following her performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the Super Bowl, Houston decided to carry it over into a concert to honor the troops, their families, and military and government dignitaries of the Gulf War.[3]

The concert was originally scheduled as an HBO special, with Whitney singing for the troops on Easter Sunday. But by the time of the scheduled concert, the war was over and it was billed as a "Welcome Home, Heroes" concert, with Whitney performing in a Virginia naval hangar to welcome home military personnel returning from Iraq.[4] About the event Whitney told The Salina Journal: "I was thinking about doing something else for the fellows over there and I was considering going overseas. Then the war ended and this came up."[5]

Development and broadcast[edit]

First, the United States Department of the Navy arranged for Whitney to fly out to meet the USS Saratoga, a cruise ship her men called "The Sara". The singer stayed overnight on the ship joking and laughing with the men, and even took a turn on the "mess line" serving dinner. After the visit to the Saratoga, Whitney went to Norfolk, Virginia to prepare for the concert.

The Governor of Virginia, L. Douglas Wilder, was invited and some top military officers who had served in the Gulf, but most of the seats were reserved for enlisted men and women of Desert Storm and their families. Because they were more troops than seats for the Easter Sunday's show, on March 31, 1991, 3,000 from the Army, Airforce, Navy, Marines and the Coast Guard were invited to the dress rehearsal on Saturday night.[6]

The concert was broadcast live on HBO. The cable network agreed to unscramble its signal allowing it to be available to over 50 million cable households. It gave HBO their highest ratings ever at the time.[2] About the concert, Whitney said:

Until I spent time with these military people, I didn't really appreciate how special they are. I was surrounded by courteous, brave men and women... I sang my heart out to them... and still felt them give more in return. I salute our troops, those who have returned and those still serving around the world, and thank them from the bottom of my heart.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston – US VHS / Laserdisc edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Star-Spangled Banner"2:26
2."I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"5:53
3."Saving All My Love for You"8:55
4."How Will I Know"3:45
5."Didn't We Almost Have It All" (Love Song Medley)4:12
6."A House Is Not a Home" (Love Song Medley)
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Hal David
0:23
7."Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (Love Song Medley)2:06
8."All the Man That I Need"6:50
11."One Moment in Time" (Instrumental)2:38
12."My Name Is Not Susan"Eric Foster White4:36
13."Anymore"4:43
14."A Song for You"Leon Russell6:49
15."Revelation" 8:15
16."Who Do You Love"5:29
17."I'm Your Baby Tonight"4:51
18."Greatest Love of All"10:10
19."Battle Hymn of the Republic"
6:57
Total length:96:00

Notes

  • All releases for the concert outside the US don't include the opening performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as an encore.
  • During "One Moment in Time" a video of Houston visiting the USS Saratoga and her troop is shown.

Ratings[edit]

7.9 million viewers.[8]

Reception[edit]

Jessica Goodman, from HuffPost Entertainment, said that "the video shows the late singer at her best: infectiously energetic and wildly talented", while praising her performance of "I'm Your Baby Tonight", stating that the singer "brings a packed house of soldiers to their feet with an exhilarating rendition" of the song.[9] Clive Davis, president of Arista Records at the time, told HuffPost Entertainment: "There's a heated, sensuous, prowling-the-stage Whitney. It really just sends shivers up your spine. You see why every audience gets out of their seats roaring with a standing ovation. All this is real. It’s spectacularly revealing."[9] Jessica Andrews, from Teen Vogue, praised her performance of "All the Man That I Need" saying that "Whitney's vocal acrobatics were truly second-to-none — especially in the final note, which she could hold for lengths at a time."[10]

The show won a Cable ACE award for "Performance music special" in 1992.[11]

Home media[edit]

The concert was released in VHS and Laserdisc on May 14, 1991, and later on DVD in 2002. In 2008, the DVD was re-released in the United States and worldwide with the title A Song for You: Live.

Only the US VHS/LD have the full clips of the concert, originally broadcast live on HBO, including the opening performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as an encore.

Since 1991, all releases for the concert outside the US, titled Live in Concert (official release) or several other names such as A Song for You: Live and Whitney Houston Live (which were issued by a few minor labels), don't include the above-mentioned performances with an 80-minute running time or less, shorter than the original 96-minute edition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sloan, Eugene. "Houston's troop salute launches TV's parades." USA Today. March 29, 1991. Page 3D
  2. ^ a b Dicker, Chris (September 12, 2017). Whitney Houston Biography: Secrets and Rumors Most People Would Never Know. Celebrity Biographies. West Valley City, Utah, U.S.A.: Digital Publishing Group. ISBN 9781370466047.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Dana. "Whitney Houston aims for normalcy." St. Petersburg Times. March 29, 1991. Page 3D.
  4. ^ Halperin, Ian (2015). Whitney and Bobbi Kristina. New York City, U.S.A.: Simon & Schuster. p. 153. ISBN 9781501120763.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Dana (March 29, 1991). "Wholesome superstar". The Salina Journal: 21. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Bio: Live Recordings - Welcome Home Heroes". allwhitney.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Houston, Whitney (May 14, 1991). Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston (booklet). Arista Records.
  8. ^ Regalado, Michelle (August 21, 2014). "6 HBO Concert Specials That Paved the Way for 'On the Run' - Whitney Houston, Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston". Cheat Sheet. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Goodman, Jessica (October 11, 2014). "Relive One Of Whitney Houston's Best Live Performances". HuffPost. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Andrews, Jessica (August 9, 2016). "10 Best Whitney Houston Live Performances: 2. "All the Man That I Need" in 1991". Teen Vogue. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Weinstein, Steve. "HBO Tops ACE Winners With 27 Television: `Dream On' and `Josephine Baker' are among programs to garner awards for the oldest pay-cable network." Los Angeles Times. Jan 13 1992. Pg 7.