God Bless America

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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.

This was the era just before TV.  Families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers.

Kate Smith was one of them.

Kate was large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase, “It ain’t over till the fat  lady sings”, was originally stated in deference to her.

Kate was patriotic.  It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next days would bring.  She had hope

for America, and faith in her fellow Americans.  She wanted to do something to bring cheer into their lives, so she went to song-writer, Irving Berlin, (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would  make Americans feel good about their country again.   When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.  He had written it in 1917, but never published it.  He dug it out of his files and gave it to Kate so she could work on it.  They were not certain how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed that once published, any profits derived from it would go to the Boy Scouts of America.

This video starts out with Kate coming into the radio studio with a waiting audience.  She introduces the song.   After a couple of verses,  we then hear her voice in the background as scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re in the Army Now.”

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