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"God Bless America"

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Forum topic by Joe Lyddon posted 510 days ago 570 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joe Lyddon

7617 posts in 2648 days


510 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: god bless america song history american non-shop non-political

The very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA”.
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The link below will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of ” GOD BLESS AMERICA ”.
But before you watch, you should also know the story of the song.

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The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

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This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.

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Kate was also large in size, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “Ain’t over till the fat lady sings”. Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

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Kate was also very patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America , and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country.

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When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to Kate Smith and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America . Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, he Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

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This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it’s Ronald Reagan . (And the other guy is actor George Murphy who later became US Senator®-CA)

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Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America ” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.

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To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry, and for many generations of Americans to follow. Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you will enjoy it and treasure it even more.

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NOW HERE IS HOW ” GOD BLESS AMERICA ” SHOULD BE SUNG!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=TnQDW-NMaRs#%21

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"


10 replies so far

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2881 posts in 2098 days


#1 posted 510 days ago

Thanks for Posting Joe!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1519 days


#2 posted 510 days ago

Joe: I appreciate the background you gave. I never knew how this song came about but I remember when I was a little kid her singing it on an oval screen TV we had.
Unfortunately we have people today that don’t have a clue about this song much less be able to do it justice if they sing it(think Star Spangled Banner that gets butchered almost everyday)

Thanks for the history lesson….good post.

-- Life is good.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7617 posts in 2648 days


#3 posted 510 days ago

I’m glad you guys like it… Every time I play it, I still get teared up…

Did you notice our young President to be… Ronald Reagan reading Variety… toward the end?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2363 posts in 2034 days


#4 posted 510 days ago

Way cool Joe, way cool.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1694 days


#5 posted 510 days ago

Joe,
Cut it out, I’m crying on my keyboard.
Seriously, keep ‘em coming.

How about this one of sweet Kate, 2009 Philly Flyers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MF_-LZBZEU

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7617 posts in 2648 days


#6 posted 510 days ago

Jim C,

Well, I guess I’m a little Old Fashioned…
I think it would have been better if Hart had kept her mouth shut & just let Kate Smith do it…
I hate it when they start Hot Doggin it whopping & whaling making up their own song out of it… I don’t like it… Whenever that’s done to the national Anthem, I just MUTE the system because I just don’t want to hear their stuff… I want to hear it the way it was written.

Kate still sang it good though… and she didn’t look all that old either!

Glad you liked it… Yes, I get my face all wet every time I play/watch it… It just DOES something to me.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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Roger

14096 posts in 1400 days


#7 posted 509 days ago

I remember Kate Smith on the Ed Sullivan Show. Her singing was always so powerful. I agree 110% about how this song should be sung. The same goes for our “Star Spangled Banner” ........ just sing it! Amen!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1694 days


#8 posted 509 days ago

Joe
Kate died in 1986. The event was in 2009. She was patched in while Hart performed for the show.
That’s why she still looked good.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1754 days


#9 posted 509 days ago

Cool postings. One correction though…the origin of “the opera ain’t over til the fat lady sings” was in the 1970s by San Antonio sportscaster Ray Cook in reference to an NBA basketball game. He used the word “opera” specifically associate the close game to a Richard Wagner work where “Brunhilda’s” aria actually ends the performance. Dick Motta, former Bullets and Mavericks coach helped to give the saying some legs by using it frequently. Of course, it’s an extension of Yogi Berra’s saying that the game “ain’t over til it’s over.”

So, it isn’t a reference to Kate Smith. She actually performed the song BEFORE the Flyer’s games.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7617 posts in 2648 days


#10 posted 509 days ago

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