#13: The Boston Pops
With The Country Club at Brookline hosting the Ryder Cup in 1999, the Boston Pops and the Ouimet Foundation threw a gala in honor of Arnold Palmer.
The Pops Laureate Conductor—famed composer John Williams—volunteered to wield the baton. Longtime Boston Symphony Orchestra maestro Seijii Ozawa cut short his Hawaiian vacation to attend, and Stephen Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, came as well. Tony Bennett sang and President George H.W. Bush presented Palmer with an award, but the highlight of the night came when Williams handed the baton to Palmer and the golfer, aviator, and businessman lead the Pops through “Stars & Stripes.” “I’ve always admired Palmer,” Williams said at the time. “Particularly as a person of great character and appeal to the public. He’s an icon, a marvelous figure.” And a conductor, at least for one night.