God Bless America

"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin during World War I in 1918 and revised by him in the run up to World War II in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.[1][2]

"God Bless America" takes the form of a prayer (intro lyrics "as we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer") for God's blessing and peace for the nation ("...stand beside her and guide her through the night...").

"God Bless America"
Song
Published1918, 1938 (revised)
GenrePatriotic song
Songwriter(s)Irving Berlin

History

BerlinPortrait1
Irving Berlin, 1941

Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving in the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.[3] The lyrics at that time included the line "Make her victorious on land and foam, God bless America..."[2] as well as "Stand beside her and guide her to the right with the light from above".[4]

Music critic Jody Rosen says that a 1906 Jewish dialect novelty song, "When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band," contains a six-note fragment that is "instantly recognizable as the opening strains of 'God Bless America'". He interprets this as an example of Berlin's "habit of interpolating bits of half-remembered songs into his own numbers."[5] Berlin, born Israel Baline, had himself written several Jewish-themed novelty tunes.[6]

Kate Smith
Kate Smith, 1930s

In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Irving Berlin, who was Jewish and had arrived in America from Russia at the age of five, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show.[7] Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair".)[4] This was changed when Berlin published the sheet music in March 1939.[4]

Woody Guthrie criticized the song, and in 1940 he wrote "This Land Is Your Land," originally titled "God Blessed America For Me," as a response.[8] Anti-Semitic groups such as the Ku Klux Klan also protested against the song due to its authorship by a Jewish immigrant.[4]

In 1943, Smith's rendition was featured in the patriotic musical This is the Army along with other Berlin songs. The manuscripts in the Library of Congress reveal the evolution of the song from victory to peace. Berlin gave the royalties of the song to The God Bless America Fund for redistribution to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in New York City.[9] Smith performed the song on her two NBC television series in the 1950s and in her short-lived The Kate Smith Show on CBS, which aired from January 25 to July 18, 1960.[10] "God Bless America" also spawned another of Irving Berlin's tunes, "Heaven Watch The Philippines," during the end of World War II after he heard the Filipinos sing a slightly revised version of the song replacing "America" with "The Philippines."

The song was used early in the Civil Rights Movement as well as at labor rallies.[4] During the 1960s, the song was increasingly used by Christian conservatives in the US to signal their opposition to secular liberalism and to silence dissenters who were speaking in favor of communism or in opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.[11]

Later, from December 11, 1969,[7] through the early 1970s, the playing of Smith singing the song before many home games of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers brought it renewed popularity as well as a reputation for being a "good luck charm" to the Flyers[7] long before it became a staple of nationwide sporting events.[7] The Flyers even brought Smith in to perform live before Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals on May 19, 1974, and the Flyers won the Cup that day.[7][10]

Notable public performances

Pentagon Memorial dedication 2008 Crowd
Singing "God Bless America" at the Pentagon memorial dedication, September 11, 2008

In 1940 "God Bless America" was the official campaign song for both President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Republican opponent, Wendell Willkie. At that time, the song represented cultural and religious tolerance.[11]

During a live television broadcast on the evening of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, following addresses by then House and Senate leaders, Speaker Dennis Hastert (Republican) and Tom Daschle (Democrat), members of the United States Congress broke out into an apparently spontaneous verse of "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.[12]

On July 21, 2011, Smith's version of the song was played as NASA's final wakeup call for Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135), capping the 30-year Space Shuttle program.

Sports events

National Hockey League

"God Bless America" has been performed at home games of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers and those of the Ottawa Senators in which the visiting team is from the United States. (The NHL requires arenas in both the U.S. and Canada to perform both "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "O Canada," the Canadian national anthem, at games that involve teams from both countries.[13])

At some Flyers' home games, especially during big games and the playoffs, their main anthem singer, Lauren Hart, has sung "God Bless America" alternating lyrics with Kate Smith on a video screen. Smith actually appeared in person to sing at select Flyers games, including their 1974 Stanley Cup clinching game against the Boston Bruins, to which she received a thunderous ovation from the passionate Philadelphia fans. Before games whenever "God Bless America" is performed, Lou Nolan, the PA announcer for the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, would say: "Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, we ask that you please rise and remove your hats and salute to our flags and welcome the No. 1 ranked anthemist in the NHL, Our very own Lauren Hart, as she sings (if the visiting team is from Canada, O Canada, followed by) God Bless America, accompanied by the great Kate Smith."[14]

At some Senators home games since 2000–01,[15] if the visiting team is from the U.S., their main anthem singer, Ontario Provincial Police Constable Lyndon Slewidge, has sung "God Bless America" and "O Canada."[15] An example of this came during the Senators' home opener during the 2002–03 season, when they were home against the New Jersey Devils.[16]

During Tom Golisano's time as owner of the Buffalo Sabres, the team occasionally substituted "God Bless America" for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during certain special events. When this occurred, Ronan Tynan was brought in to sing the song while usual anthem singer Doug Allen sang "O Canada."

Major League Baseball

At Chicago's Wrigley Field during the Vietnam War, the song was often played by the organist as part of his postgame playlist while fans filed out of the stadium.[17]

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "God Bless America" is commonly sung during the seventh-inning stretch in Major League Baseball games, most often on Sundays,[18] Opening Day,[19] Memorial Day,[20] Independence Day, All-Star Game, Labor Day, September 11,[21] and all post-season Major League Baseball games. Following the attacks, John Dever, then the Assistant Media Relations Director of the San Diego Padres, suggested the song replace "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", the more traditional 7th inning anthem.[22] Major League Baseball quickly followed the Padres lead and instituted it league-wide for the rest of the season. Presently, teams decide individually when to play the song.

The New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium home games,[23] is currently the only Major League club to play "God Bless America" at every game during the seventh-inning stretch. The Yankees' YES Network televises its performance during all games before going to a commercial. During major games, such as Opening Day, national holidays, playoff contests, or games against the Boston Red Sox or New York Mets, the Yankees will often have Irish tenor Ronan Tynan perform the song.[24]

On August 26, 2008, at a Boston Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium, a fan who had attempted to leave for the restroom during the playing of the song was restrained and subsequently sent out of the building by NYPD officers. Part of the resolution of the resulting lawsuit was that the New York Yankees announced that they would no longer restrict the movement of fans during the playing of the song.[25]

On September 15, 2009, three high school teens filed a lawsuit against New Jersey's minor league Newark Bears for being ejected from Eagles Riverfront Stadium over their refusal to stand during the playing of "God Bless America" on June 29, 2009. Before being ejected, they were asked to leave the stadium by Bears president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar.[26]

American football

At the January 1, 1976, Rose Bowl, to honor the start of the United States Bicentennial, Kate Smith and the UCLA Band performed "God Bless America" for a national television audience.

During the Super Bowl LI halftime show a pre-recorded introduction by Lady Gaga, who headlined the show, featured both "God Bless America" and "This Land is Your Land".

Indianapolis 500

The Indianapolis 500 is traditionally held at the end of May, and "God Bless America" has been sung there since 2003. The song "America the Beautiful" was sung before, but it was switched to "God Bless America" in the post-9/11 era. The song for many years was performed by Florence Henderson, a native Hoosier, and a friend of the Hulman-George family, the track's owners. The performance, often not televised, immediately precedes the national anthem. Henderson routinely sang the entire song, including the prologue, and in some years sang the chorus a second time.

Celine Dion version

"God Bless America"
Celine Dion - God Bless America promo
Single by Celine Dion
from the album God Bless America
ReleasedOctober 24, 2001
FormatRadio single
GenrePop
Length3:47
Label
Songwriter(s)Irving Berlin
Producer(s)David Foster
Celine Dion singles chronology
"Don't Save It All for Christmas Day"
(2000)
"God Bless America"
(2001)
"Sous le vent"
(2001)

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Canadian pop star Celine Dion performed the song on the TV special America: A Tribute to Heroes. Shortly afterwards on October 16, Sony Music Entertainment released a benefit album called God Bless America, which featured Dion singing the song. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and became the first charity album to reach the top since USA for Africa's "We Are the World" in 1985.[27] Dion's version also received enough radio airplay to reach No. 14 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The music video was made and aired in September 2001. Dion performed the song also a few times during 2002. In 2003, she performed it at Super Bowl XXXVII.[28] She sang it on July 4, 2004 in her A New Day... show as well. "God Bless America" performed by Dion exists in two versions, live and studio. Both included on collections to gather funds for the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their families. The live version, on America: A Tribute to Heroes, is from the telethon event of the same name that took place on September 21, 2001. The studio version is on the God Bless America album, a patriotic songs CD. It was recorded on September 20, 2001, the day before the American telethon. It was meant to be a replacement for the performance in the event something happened and Dion could not appear.

Daniel Rodríguez

The song was recorded by New York City's "singing cop," Daniel Rodríguez, and charted for one week at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 as a single. Before the 2001 versions, the last time "God Bless America" had been a Billboard chart hit was in 1959 when Connie Francis reached No. 36 with her version (the B-side of her Top 10 hit "Among My Souvenirs").

Other versions

"God Bless America"
LeAnn Rimes - God Bless America (CD single)
Single by LeAnn Rimes
from the album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs and God Bless America
B-side
  • Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart (CD single)
  • The National Anthem (Radio CD single)
ReleasedOctober 16, 2001
FormatCD single
Recorded1996-1997
GenreCountry
Length3:06
LabelCurb
Songwriter(s)Irving Berlin
Producer(s)Wilbur C. Rimes
LeAnn Rimes singles chronology
"But I Do Love You"
(2001)
"God Bless America"
(2001)
"Life Goes On"
(2002)
Audio sample
"God Bless America"
  • file
  • help

Bing Crosby recorded the song on March 22, 1939 for Decca Records.[29]

In 1997, American country music recording artist LeAnn Rimes recorded a cover of the song on her second studio album, You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs.[30] After the events of September 11, Rimes rereleased the song on a compilation album by the same name.[31] Rimes also released the song on a CD single. Two versions were released on October 16, 2001.[32] Both versions contain the song as the A-side track, but the B-side tracks were different. One released to the general public was released with the B-side track, "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart,"[32] and the other was released to radio with the B-side track of Rimes's rendition of "The National Anthem."[33] Rimes's version peaked at No. 51 on the Billboard Country Songs chart on October 27, 2001.[34]

In popular culture

  • The song was sung in the 1943 film This is the Army with slightly modified lyrics.
  • The song was sung by the main characters in Michael Cimino's 1978 war film The Deer Hunter. Regarding the song in the film, Roger Ebert says in his March 9, 1979 review: "It [the film] ends on a curious note: The singing of 'God Bless America'. I won't tell you how it arrives at that particular moment... but I do want to observe that the lyrics of 'God Bless America' have never before seemed to me to contain such an infinity of possible meanings, some tragic, some unspeakably sad, some few still defiantly hopeful".
  • The song is prominently featured in the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America, where it is played during a murder at the beginning of the picture.
  • In a 1971 episode of All in the Family, "Flashback: Mike Meets Archie", when Archie Bunker gets disgusted with Mike "Meathead" Stivic's liberal viewpoints, he stands up and sings a butchered version of "God Bless America" while Stivic screams at him.

Parodies

The song has spawned numerous parodies.

  • An irreverent version of the lyrics was printed in the book The Mad World of William M. Gaines, by Frank Jacobs (1972). Mad magazine's veteran art editor, John Putnam, had prepared some copy and sent it to the printers; the word "America" was divided, with a hyphen, at the end of one line. The copy was returned to Putnam by the typesetting foreman, who explained that his union had a rule forbidding the splitting of that word. Putnam obliged, rewriting the copy and sending it back with this enclosure:
Don't break "America";
Land we extol;
Don't deface it;
Upper-case it;
Keep it clean, keep it pure, keep it whole;
In Bodoni, in Futura,
In Old English, in Cabell {{sic}}--
Don't break "America"--
Or we'll—raise—hell!

References

Notes
  1. ^ "God Bless America and Kate Smith". katesmith.org.
  2. ^ a b "God Bless America (Memory): American Treasures of the Library of Congress". loc.gov.
  3. ^ *Collins, Ace. Songs Sung, Red, White, and Blue: The Stories Behind America's Best-Loved Patriotic Songs. HarperResource, 2003, p. 82-83.
  4. ^ a b c d e "From Peace To Patriotism: The Shifting Identity Of 'God Bless America'". Interview of Sheryl Kaskowitz by Robert Siegel. NPR. September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  5. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 2006). "Jewface" (PDF). Reboot Stereophonic.
  6. ^ Alexander, Michael (2003). Jazz Age Jews. Princeton University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-691-11653-2.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Flyers History - Kate Smith" FlyersHistory.com. Accessed in 2007.
  8. ^ Spitzer, Nick (February 15, 2012). "The Story Of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land'". NPR. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Wendell, Bryan (February 3, 2016). "How the BSA benefits every time you hear 'God Bless America'". Bryan on Scouting. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  10. ^ a b McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television (4th ed.). New York: Penguin Books. pp. 446–447.
  11. ^ a b Kaskowitz, Sheryl (July 4, 2013). ""God Bless America" and Republicans: How the song became an anthem of conservatives and the Christian right". Slate. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Karl, Jonathan (September 12, 2001). "Congress vows unity, reprisals for attacks". CNN. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010.
  13. ^ Allen, Kevin (March 23, 2003). "NHL Seeks to Stop Booing For a Song". USA Today. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  14. ^ May 24th, 2010 Anthems sung by Kate Smith & Lauren Hart Canadiens Vs. Flyers HNiC on YouTube
  15. ^ a b "Shots From the Point". Ottawa Citizen. November 4, 2000. p. F3. Renowned anthem singer Lyndon Slewidge also sounds a bit different, with a new background music accompanying his lyrics to O Canada. He will also substitute God Save America for The Star Spangled Banner on selected occasions.
  16. ^ New Jersey Devils Hockey: New Jersey Devils at Ottawa Senators (radio). New Jersey Devils Radio WABC Talk Radio 77 AM (New York). October 10, 2002.
  17. ^ "Monday's act heroic after 30 years Outfielder recalls protecting country's honor from protesters". Major League Baseball. April 25, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2006.
  18. ^ ""God Bless America" and baseball, 10 years later". CBSSports.com. August 11, 2011.
  19. ^ "Atlanta Braves celebrate Opening Night at Turner Field on Monday, March 31". Atlanta Braves.
  20. ^ "MLB Honors Memorial Day". Daily News. New York.
  21. ^ "Baseball plans day of remembrance for 9/11". Major League Baseball.
  22. ^ "God Bless America and Baseball 10 Years After 9/11". Sporting News. September 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013.
  23. ^ "NY baseball fan settles 'God Bless America' suit". yesnetwork.com.
  24. ^ "Ex-Yankees 'God Bless America' Singer Ronan Tynan Moves to Boston - Boston Red Sox". NESN.com.
  25. ^ "Yankees Settle 'God Bless America' Case, Won't Restrict Spectators' Movements During Song". nyclu.org. July 7, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Teens Sue Over Minor League Ejection". news.aol.com. September 15, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  27. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5.
  28. ^ Hooper, Barrett (January 24, 2003). "Man, it feels like a great show". National Post. p. A3. Marc Anthony and Mary J. Blige sang "America the Beautiful", which was also performed at Super Bowl XXXV by Ray Charles and at "Super Bowl XI" by Vicki Carr. This is the first time for God Bless America, which Ms. Dion will perform to a prerecorded music track and to backing vocals by a large choir.
  29. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  30. ^ "You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs: Leann Rimes: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  31. ^ "God Bless America: Leann Rimes: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  32. ^ a b "God Bless America / Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart: Leann Rimes: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  33. ^ God Bless America/The National Anthem (Promotional CD single). LeAnn Rimes. Curb Records. 2001. D-1631 PRCD#510032.CS1 maint: others (link)
  34. ^ "God Bless America - LeAnn Rimes". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
General References
  • Collins, Ace. Songs Sung, Red, White, and Blue: The Stories Behind America's Best-Loved Patriotic Songs. HarperResource, 2003, ISBN 0060513047
  • Kashkowitz, Sheryl. God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song. Oxford Univ. Press, 2013, ISBN 978-0-19-991977-2

External links

Bobcat Goldthwait

Robert Francis Goldthwait (born May 26, 1962), better known as Bobcat Goldthwait, is an American comedian, director, actor, voice actor, and screenwriter, known for his acerbic black comedy, delivered through an energetic stage persona with an unusual gruff and high-pitched voice. He came to prominence with his stand-up specials An Evening with Bobcat Goldthwait – Share the Warmth and Bob Goldthwait – Is He Like That All the Time? and his acting roles, including Zed in the Police Academy franchise.

Goldthwait has written and directed a number of films and television series, most notably the black comedies Shakes the Clown (1991), in which he also starred, Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006), World's Greatest Dad (2009), God Bless America (2011), and the horror film Willow Creek (2013); episodes of Chappelle's Show, "The Larry Sanders Show", Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2004–07), and Maron (2013–15); and several stand-up specials, including Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time (2014).

He has also worked extensively as a voice actor, with voice roles in Capitol Critters (1992–95), Hercules (1997), and Hercules: The Animated Series (1998–99).

God Bless America (LeAnn Rimes album)

God Bless America is the second compilation album from American recording artist LeAnn Rimes. The album was released on October 16, 2001. The album comprises patriotic and inspirational songs that were originally recorded on her You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs album (tracks one, two, eight and ten), as well as songs from her commercial album, All That (tracks five, seven and nine), under the independent label, Nor Va Jak, although "Why Can't We" and "Middle Man" are both re-recordings. "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart" was originally released as a bonus single, with the song "Unchained Melody", alongside Blue at Target during the 1996 Christmas season. The only two new songs that were released on the album were "The Lord's Prayer" and "The Sands of Time". The album was released as a patriotic tribute to the events of September 11, 2001, with the liner stating "These classic recordings were made while America was first discovering LeAnn Rimes."

God Bless America (charity album)

God Bless America was a 2001 charity album composed of American patriotic or spiritual songs, released on October 16 of that year in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was released specifically to benefit the Twin Towers Fund, directing what the album cover said would be a "substantial portion of the proceeds" towards families of firefighters, police officers, and other responders lost in the rescue response to the September 11 attacks. The artists and recordings featured were largely from Columbia Records.

God Bless America (disambiguation)

"God Bless America" is a patriotic song written by Irving Berlin.

God Bless America may also refer to:

God Bless America (LeAnn Rimes album), a 2001 compilation album by LeAnn Rimes

God Bless America (charity album), a 2001 charity compilation album from various Columbia Records artists

God Bless America (film), a 2011 dark comedy film written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait

God Bless America (film)

God Bless America is a 2011 American black comedy thriller film that combines elements of political satire with dark humor. The film is written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, and stars Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr.

God Bless America Again

God Bless America Again is the twentieth solo studio album and third gospel album by American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn. It was released on June 5, 1972, by Decca Records. This was Lynn's last album of religious material for over 20 years. Her next gospel album would be 1997's All Time Gospel Favorites.

The title song was cowritten by Bobby Bare and has led some to mislabel this release as a collection of patriotic songs. Largely consisting of new material, the album also includes a few well-known songs, including "Softly and Tenderly", "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", and "If God Is Dead (Who's That Living in My Soul)". Lynn wrote two songs for the album, "Working for the Lord" and "I Pray My Way Out of Trouble".

God Bless America Again (song)

"God Bless America Again" is a country music song written by Bobby Bare and Boyce Hawkins. A patriotic hymn pleading for God's forgiveness of the United States and his guidance over the country, the song was first recorded and made famous by Bare. Released as a single in 1969, Bare's version reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

Heaven Watch the Philippines

Heaven Watch the Philippines is a popular song by Irving Berlin, written in 1946.

It was written as a tribute to Filipino resistance during the Japanese occupation in World War II. During the war, Japanese troops in the Philippines attempted to popularize self-glorifying songs such as "Chichi Yo Anata Wa Tsuyokatta" ("Father, You Were Brave" in English). Locals resisted these efforts, preferring instead to sing "God Bless the Philippines" to the tune of Berlin's "God Bless America" as a show of national pride.Berlin himself gave the first performance of "Heaven Watch the Philippines" in Tolosa, Leyte in 1946, in front of an audience that included Sergio Osmeña and Carlos P. Romulo.Berlin was touring U.S. military bases with a stage production of This Is the Army, in 1945. During a stop in the Philippines, he heard children in Leyte singing the song God Bless America (which he had written in 1918 and had revised in 1938) with the lyric "God Bless the Philippines". Touched by that and feeling that they might like a song of their own, he composed "Heaven Watch the Philippines", trying to combine the spiritual quality of "God Bless America" with their feeling for America and desire to be free. He taught the song to school children in Leyte and sang the song in the finale of the show when This Is the Army opened in Leyte. Berlin had donated the "God Bless America" royalties to the Boy Scouts of America, and he presented the rights to "Heaven Watch the Philippines" to the Commonwealth of the Philippines with the instruction that if they ever sold the song in the Philippines for profit, the proceeds were to be given to the Boy and Girl Scouts of the Philippines.In a 1987 interview with Playboy, Imelda Marcos falsely claimed that Berlin had written "Heaven Watch the Philippines" specifically for her. When asked about her claim, the 99-year-old Berlin denied it outright.

Jeremiah Wright

Jeremiah Alvesta Wright Jr. (born 1941) is a pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation he led for 36 years, during which its membership grew to over 8,000 parishioners. Following retirement, his beliefs and preaching were scrutinized when segments of his sermons about terrorist attacks on the United States and government dishonesty were publicized in connection with the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

Kate Smith

Kathryn Elizabeth Smith (May 1, 1907 – June 17, 1986), known professionally as Kate Smith and The First Lady of Radio, was an American singer, a contralto, well known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her enduring popularity during World War II.

Lauren Hart

Lauren Hart (born January 10, 1967) is a professional recording artist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best known for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "O Canada" prior to Philadelphia Flyers games, the team for which her father Gene Hart was the long-time television and radio announcer for 29 years, and also performing a duet of "God Bless America" with a taped version of Kate Smith on several occasions, especially big games, among them games in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. When the 2004-05 season was cancelled because of a lockout, Hart was able to continue her duties with the Flyers AHL affiliate the Philadelphia Phantoms. In a 2005 Hockey News poll, she was voted the best anthem singer in NHL history.Hart grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and graduated in 1985 from Cherry Hill High School West.Hart performed "God Bless America" during the first intermission of the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012.

Lust for Life (Lana Del Rey album)

Lust for Life is the fifth studio album and fourth major-label record by American singer Lana Del Rey, released on July 21, 2017. The lead single, titled "Love", was released worldwide on February 18, 2017, and the album title was announced on March 29, 2017, through a trailer on Del Rey's official Vevo channel on YouTube. The title track, which features Canadian singer The Weeknd, was released on April 19 as the second single. The album also features guest appearances from ASAP Rocky, Stevie Nicks, Sean Lennon, and Playboi Carti.The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. It is Del Rey's second nomination in this category.To promote the album, Del Rey embarked on her fourth headlining concert tour, entitled LA to the Moon Tour which commenced in January 2018.

Squidbillies

Squidbillies is an American adult animated television series created by Jim Fortier and Dave Willis for Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. An unofficial pilot for the series aired on April 1, 2005; the series later made its official debut on October 16, 2005. The series is about the Cuyler family, an impoverished family of anthropomorphic hillbilly mud squids living in the Georgia region of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The series revolves around the exploits of an alcoholic father (Early), who is often abusive in a comedic way towards his family. His teenage son, Rusty, is desperate for his approval; his mother and grandmother, known in the show as Granny, is often the center of his aggression; and Lil, his sister, is mostly unconscious in a pool of her own vomit.

There have been a total of 117 episodes during the show's 12 seasons. The series also airs in syndication in other countries and has been released on various DVD sets and other forms of home media. It is Adult Swim's longest-running show in terms of seasons.

The show was renewed for a twelfth season and a thirteenth season, the former of which premiered on August 11, 2019.

The 1975

The 1975 are an English pop rock band originally from Wilmslow, Cheshire. The band are now based in Manchester, and consist of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matthew Healy, lead guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and drummer George Daniel.The band's origins trace to their attendance at Wilmslow High School in Cheshire and playing together as teenagers in 2002. Gigs organised by a council worker led the band to formally sign with Dirty Hit and Polydor Records. The band opened for several major acts and released a series of extended plays (Facedown, Sex, Music for Cars, IV) throughout 2012 before releasing their self-titled debut album (2013), which included the popular singles "Sex", "Chocolate", and "Robbers" reaching number one in the United Kingdom.

Their second album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016), reached number one in the US and UK. Following the touring cycle for the record, the band announced their third album under the working title of Music for Cars, before going on hiatus again throughout 2017.

Returning in 2018, the band announced that the album had evolved into their third campaign cycle, consisting of their third and fourth studio albums. The first, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (2018), was released to critical praise, and became their third number one album in the UK. The second, Notes on a Conditional Form, is set to be released on February 21, 2020.

The Letter (Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn song)

"The Letter" is a song recorded by American country music artists Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn as a duet. It was released in June 1976 as the first single from their album United Talent. The song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It also reached number 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. It was written by Twitty and Charles Haney.

The song – spoken wall-to-wall, with Twitty and Lynn trading spoken parts and set to a ballad-type musical background – is about a young man who is unfaithful to his girlfriend, resulting in the end of the relationship. Some time later, the two meet up again and she asks him to make good on a promise they made that if one ever needed to help the other, he or she would. She asks him to write a letter that affirms love and faithfulness, regret and willingness to repent under the guise that it would be seen by her current boyfriend (who, like the male protagonist was unfaithful) and that he would realize his mistake and that he had a good thing. The letter turns out to be ironic: It is a type of a Dear John letter, and it is the letter writer who, in writing the letter, admits his own mistakes and expresses his willingness to change.

What We So Proudly Hail

What So Proudly We Hail is a compilation album of phonograph records by Bing Crosby released in 1946 featuring songs that were sung by Crosby in an American-type patriotic style. This album featured Bing singing patriotic songs such as: "Ballad for Americans", "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner". The songs were later presented in a 33 1/3 rpm split set with The Man Without a Country.

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