Nobody can sing it like Kate!!!  God Please Bless America Again!!!
 The Rest of the Story...

Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said
that 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.

Here are the facts...

The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first
public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA". But before you watch it, you should
also know the story behind the first public showing 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'd 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

Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still
used today is in deference to her, "It 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.

Kate was also 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 (who also wrote
"White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans
feel good again about their country. 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 her 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, the Boy Scouts have received millions of
dollars in royalties from this song.

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.

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 whether 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'll enjoy it and treasure
it even more.

Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts
with "God Bless America....." So here's the entire song as originally sung:


Anonymous said...

A little known fact; Ronald Reagan was also at the birth of Christ.

gruaud said...

Another fun fact:

The Philadelphia Flyers' record when "God Bless America" is played or sung in person stands at 94 wins, 26 losses, and 4 ties as of April 26, 2011.

I have always thought that Kate Smith being a hockey good luck charm was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

"It ain't over till the fat lady sings" is a phrase taken from Grand Opera usually referencing Valkyrie Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, the last part of Der Ring des Nibelungen.

I don’t understand why did the right wing think tank that wrote this up have to make up that trivial lie? Are they not that bright, never watched any loony toons with fat opera singers, and actually believe that is where the phrase comes from? Or are they pathological lairs that have to just make random stuff up because there is some sort of chemical imbalance in their brains?

I understand making stuff up because you have an agenda, but just making stuff up, I mean what the hell is wrong with these people?

Anonymous said...

Anyone happen to read the Youtube comments? There's some good ol' Reagan worshipping and birtherism going on right there...

Amazing how a patriotic song is enough to set off the baggers. I don't get it, and I'm glad I don't.

ferschitz said...

RE the post about "the fat lady sings"... I noticed that as well. I have no idea why this rightwing think tank hack is saying this is due to Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."

Why is this lie in this treacle? I have no clue, other than it's likely the shill who hacked out this piece of drek was too lazy to check out the provenance of that cliche... like it's really hard and time consuming to search it out... not.

Why not say something ridiculous like that? The rightwing rubes'll never question it.

SoRefined said...

I wish they had mentioned how Irving Berlin became an agnostic later in life and was an ardent supporter of civil rights and therefore a constant target of investigation by J Edgar Hoover's FBI, but I see that didn't make the cut.

Marc with a C said...

The song was written (and published) not in 1917, but in 1918, and was not sung by Kate Smith in 1940 but in 1938. And it was FDR's official campaign song in the 1940 election.


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