Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

This is a fun clip of Kate Smith singing God Bless America, from "This is the Army", 1943. It starred George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Joan Leslie and Irving Berlin, who wrote all the songs.

Hard to imagine this was a brand new song at the time, it had only been introduced in 1938, written by a man who spent his first five years in Russia. Berlin once said his clearest memory of that five years was watching his house burn to the ground, courtesy of the Cossacks. His earliest years in the United States, where his family immigrated, were horrible and deprived. Originally Berlin's greatest ambition was to be a singing waiter. But his songs were so great he was a huge success by his early 20's.

God Bless America indeed.

Patriotic matchbook covers from WWII

Kate Smith for my e-mail readers:

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Jane Turley said...

Hope you have a good day, Marie!

Marie said...

Ta, Jane, I did have a lovely, quiet day. After living at the shore for 30 years I have learned not to venture out on July 4! So I spent the day ensconced in my air conditioned bedroom, writing. :)