Craig Melvin of “Today” was on the forefront of hurricane Dorian reporting this morning, September 2. The prepackaged Labor Day broadcasts usually developed for holiday viewing was hurled out the window in the wake of the looming hurricane Dorian that already has devastated much of the northern Bahamas. Another storm of loss and grief is swirling in Midland and Odessa Texas, where shooter Seth Ator has taken eight lives, with 21 more shattered with injuries, including a 17-month-old toddler shot in the face.

Craig Melvin was doing his usual multitasking between the news desks of NBC and MSNBC this morning, relaying as much information as possible about all the fast-moving situations. In the early hours, the broadcaster was rocking and rolling in his baseball cap against the winds, but over the weekend, Craig Melvin was enjoying his favorite brand of rock 'n roll.

Craig and his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, were among the joyful throng of fans singing along to Hootie & the Blowfish in Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday, and the man on “Today” got to take another turn with his favorite band.

Smiling and shaking it

It's not surprising at all that Craig and Lindsay kept brought smiles on their faces. The first line of the caption from Lindsay on social media was that “We play Hootie and the Blowfish all the time in our house,” continuing that it was a “treat” to see the band whose songs became musical landmarks in the 90s on their Group Therapy Tour.

The wife's “personal favorite surprise,” however, with seeing her husband called up on stage to take the tambourine.

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Dylan Dreyer had to tease this morning from the “Today” desk that the moment displayed “the most rhythm that Craig has never had.” No one can fault Craig Melvin’s enthusiasm, however, as he held his instrument up high, playing with gusto on the hit, “Only Wanna Be With You.”

Sheinelle Jones let out an “aww…” of pretend-dismay upon hearing that Hootie & the Blowfish would not be retaining Craig Melvin’s musical services for the rest of their tour. “They need more cowbell, “Al Roker chimed in with a wink.

Personal places

Last fall, Craig Melvin was privileged to have his ultimate musical fantasy fulfilled. The broadcaster whose boyhood fantasy was to sing in a rock band sang with Darius Rucker on “Let Her Cry.” Rucker referred to the tender ballad as “the song God gave me.” Melvin hails from Columbia, South Carolina, like the “Hootie” frontman. Like, his idol, Craig Melvin frequently reports on the vestiges of his southern coastal roots and the people who still impact his life.

Regions of South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and other states are now under evacuation orders. Craig Melvin will convey his usual journalistic professionalism and style from his desk, but carry the impact on the lives of real people very personally. That balance comes through in the very best among broadcasting.

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