National Anthems

 

1st Singing of God Bless America
 BUT before you watch,  you should also know the story of the song.

 

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

 

Kate  was also large in size,  and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her is, "It  ain't over till the fat lady sings".  Kate Smith might  not have made it big in the age of TV, but her voice made her the  biggest star of  her time.

 

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 (he wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make  Americans feel good again. When she described what she  was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He searched his files  and found a song that he had written way back in 1917,  but never published. 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 royalty  profit from God  Bless America. All profits would  go to the Boy Scouts of  America. Over  the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions and  millions of dollars in  royalties from this song.

 

This  video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio  studio with a live orchestra and audience. She  introduces the new song for the very first time then  starts singing. After the  first couple of verses, with  her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the  1940 movie, "You're In The Army  Now." At the video 4:20 mark  you'll see a young actor in the movie,  sitting in an office,reading  a paper. It is Ronald Reagan.

 

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 eye when they wiped away a  tear or two.

 

To  this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our. 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 and for many generations of Americans  that followed.

 

Kate Smith

 

Academy Choir
JH
Five Year old girl
National Anthem Video
Whitney Houston

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