God Bless America
God bless America,

Do you remember Kate Smith?

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 Smith.

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 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.   Plus the linkiin case it is needed......
<
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=TnQDW-NMaRs#%21>
I was recently sent the following and feel it
is in everybody's interests to read and
listen to a great song at a very important
moment in time.
 Vince Tracy