10 November

Pick a Day

10 NOVEMBER

In Music History

Page 1
1 2 ... 4

2017 Following a publicity campaign where she purges her social media accounts and posts video of a hissing snake, Taylor Swift releases her sixth album, Reputation.More

2017 Outsider her home in Nashville, Carrie Underwood takes a nasty fall, breaking her wrist and mangling her face. She doesn't appear in public again until April 15, 2018, when she performs "Cry Pretty" - a song partly inspired by the incident - at the ACM Awards.

2013 At the MTV Europe Awards, Miley Cyrus smokes a joint while accepting her Best Video award for "Wrecking Ball." The ceremony is held in Amsterdam, so it's legal.

2012 No longer an item: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. The pair announce their break-up after dating for about a year. Bieber plays an acoustic version of "Cry Me A River" at his show in Boston. A decade earlier, Justin Timberlake wrote the song about his split with Britney Spears.

2006 R&B singer-songwriter Gerald Levert, age 40, dies of acute intoxication after taking various prescription painkillers combined with Xanax and antihistamines. The death is ruled accidental.

2003 The paperback version of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain's Journals is released, sparking renewed interest in the dead rock star. A disorganized collection of his writings and drawings, the front cover warns, "if you read, you'll judge."

2003 An emotional tribute to the recently deceased Johnny Cash is held at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium, featuring classic Cash songs performed by Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, and Steve Earle, among others.

2003 David Bowie is forced to cancel the remainder of his gig in Nice, France, when laryngitis causes his voice to give out in the middle of "Ziggy Stardust." Doctors assign Bowie three days rest.

2002 Johnny Griffith dies of a heart attack at age 66. As a keyboardist for Motown's in-house band, The Funk Brothers, he played on several of the label's hits, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Stop! In the Name of Love."

2001 Country singer Chalee Tennison and guitarist Mark Gillespie marry following a three-year courtship. The marriage is Tennison's fourth and Gillespie's first.

2000 Singer-songwriter Billy Yates makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, performing his single "What Do You Want From Me Now."

1998 On their way to perform at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards at Milan's Fila Forum, British girl group All Saints are held up for six hours in London by a walkout of Milan airport employees.

1997 Hollywood session guitarist Tommy Tedesco dies of lung cancer at age 67. Aside from playing on classic TV themes such as The Twilight Zone, Batman, and M*A*S*H, he recorded with a number of artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley.

1994 Jazz singer Carmen McRae dies at age 72, a month after suffering a stroke.

1994 Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant perform an all-acoustic version of "Stairway To Heaven" while visiting a Japanese talk show.

Page 1
1 2 ... 4

Kate Smith Introduces "God Bless America"

1938

On her radio show, Kate Smith sings the Irving Berlin song "God Bless America" for the first time, introducing it to the country. Berlin composed the song for a 1918 musical he wrote, but decided not to use it.

Berlin was an Army songwriter (a position created especially for him) during World War I when he wrote the musical Yip Yip Yaphank for he and his fellow soldiers stationed near Yaphank, Long Island. He decided that "God Bless America" didn't work in the production, so he scrapped it. Yip Yip Yaphank made it to Broadway, but "God Bless America" remained unsung for the next 20 years. It is revived when Smith's manager asks Berlin for a patriotic song she can sing for the 20th anniversary of Armistice Day, which marked the end of the War. After trying to write a new song, Berlin dusts off "God Bless America," with a few key changes. The original lyric is: Stand beside her And guide her To the right with a light from above Make her victorious On land and foam God Bless America My home sweet home The word "right" now has political significance, and "make her victorious" is too bellicose, as he wants it to be a peace song celebrating the country. The revised lyric is: Stand beside her And guide her Through the night with the light from above From the mountains To the prairies To the ocean white with foam God bless America My home sweet home He also adds an introductory verse for Smith to sing: 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 For Berlin, a Jewish immigrant whose family fled Russia to make a new life in America, the song has special significance, as Hitler's army has taken over Austria in a lead-up to World War II. Smith's broadcast takes place the night before Armistice Day. She leads into the song with an elegant introduction: And now it's going to be my very great privilege to sing for you a song that's never been sung before by anybody. One that was written especially for me by one of the greatest composers in the music field today. It's something more than a song - I feel it's one of the most beautiful compositions ever written, a song that will never die. The author: Mr. Irving Berlin. The title: "God Bless America." The song goes to #10 on the chart, then to #5 the following year when it is reissued. It is gradually adopted as a second national anthem, becoming a sheet music best seller and Smith's signature song. Berlin donates royalties to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In 1943, Smith recreates this broadcast in the movie This Is the Army, which tells the story of the song.

Categories

Comments: 2

send your comment
John Barfield from Texassing it kate
C. Allen from VirginiaHave loved Kate Smith singing this song for many a year...wish it were our anthem today

©2020 Songfacts®, LLC