Amidst the Inaugural receptions, dinners and balls, an impressive series of free musical performances celebrated the full range of American cultural history.
More than 82 concerts - classical, country, jazz, ethnic, popular - were stacked into seven of the Smithsonian's museums during Inaugural weck. Among the sights:
A wall-to-wall audience of the bluegrass fans, sprawled on the lobby floor of the new Air and Space Museum. As the Country Gentlemen flourished their strings, they seemen momentarily in orbit with the Mariner satellite, biplane of Kitty Hawk and Spirit of St. Louis suspended overhead.
A pair of students free-style jigging to the melancholic of the Irish Tradition in the marble hallway of the Museum of Natural History. While indulgent guards looked on, visitors leaned against the pedestal of the charging elephant and supplied the hand-clapping background for "The Wild Rover."
An American folk duet pinned against the solid white walls of the Hirshhorn lower lobby, their singing accompanied by the woosh of hot breath on the icy fingers of an audience as interested in getting warm as in listening to the music.
The craggy expanse of cowboy hats in front of the uniformed Singing Sergeants of the Air Force at Air and Space. Their repertoire juxtaposed the aerial ("Those Magnifient Men in Their Flying Machine") in honor of the new President.
Meanwhile, at President Carter's reception at the Armory, the Charlie Daniels Band was making good on his promise to play the brand of footstompin' Southern music he's known for Daniels dedicated his last record album to "gut-rotting whiskey and hellatious fights."
The free entertainments continue through Saturday at Renwick Gallery, the Hirshhorn, Natural History, History and Technology, Air and Space, Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery. Performances include bluegrass by The Seldom Scene, jazz by the Rick Henderson Quintet, Indian sitar and Japanese koto.