Kate Smith: “God Bless America”

The first time “God Bless America” was ever heard nationally it was sung by Kate Smith. This occurred on November 11, 1938 over Kate Smith’s CBS radio show, “The Kate Smith Hour.”

Kate Smith, born Kathryn Elizabeth Smith (May 1, 1907-June 17, 1986), was known as “The First Lady of Radio.” Her singing career lasted 50 years, in radio, television, and recording. She was also known as “The Songbird of the South” because of her tremendous popularity during World War II.

Kate Smith was born on May 1, 1907, in Greenville, Virginia, and grew up in Washington, D.C. Her father sang in the choir at the Catholic Church, and her mother played piano at the Presbyterian Church. At the age of five, she was singing at church social events. By the time she was eight, she was singing for the troops at Army camps in the Washington area during World War I. Her earliest performances were during amateur nights at vaudeville theaters in D.C.

She first appeared on radio in 1931, and her popularity grew. Her recording of “Rose O’Day,” recorded in 1942, sold over one million copies, her first song to be awarded a “Gold Record.” Her theme song was “When the Moon Comes over the Mountain,” released in 1931, a song she helped write.
Kate Smith greeted her audience with “Hello, everybody!” and signed off with “Thanks for listenin’.”

She starred in many movies, including “This is the Army,” in which she sang “God Bless America”, which became her signature song.

Kate Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller’s Orchestra. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith’s Coffee Time (1935–36), and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show’s resident comics were Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman. “The Aldrich Family,” a classic radio comedy would be a “spin-off” from sketches on the show.

Smith would continue her radio career on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, presenting both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

On television, Smith starred in “The Kate Smith Hour” on NBC from 1950-1954, hosting until 1953 in the late afternoon hour of 4:00 pm ET. James Dean and Audrey Hepburn made early acting appearances on the show. Smith also starred in the weekly “The Kate Smith Evening Hour,” which included the only major filmed footage of Hank Williams.

During World War II, Kate Smith contributed to the sale of over $600 million (equivalent to $11.1 billion today) of war bonds during a series of marathon broadcasts. No other show-business star came near her as revenue producer of War Bonds to finance the United States’ war effort.

Smith recorded dozens of successful albums and songs during the 1930s and 1940s. She recorded sporadically during the 1950s, and in 1963 signed a contract with RCA Victor to record a number of successful albums, including several that charted on the Billboard Hot 200 chart alongside the major rock stars of the era.

From US Library of Congress “National Recording Preservation Board:”

Perhaps no song is more associated with America, and perhaps no song is more associated with a singer, than “God Bless America” as sung by Kate Smith. Smith’s timeless recording of Irving Berlin’s patriotic theme was among the first songs named to the Library of Congress’ National Recorded Sound Registry.

 The power of “God Bless America,” and the feelings of national pride it engendered, took hold quickly. So popular was “God Bless America” that Smith would sing it on every episode of her radio show through December 1940, she would include it in all of her concerts and on her later TV shows.  It would replace her theme “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain” as the song most associated with her.”

Here is a link to the full document from the Library of Congress:

On October 26, 1982, Smith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. In bestowing the honor, Reagan said:

“The voice of Kate Smith is known and loved by millions of Americans, young and old. In war and peace, it has been an inspiration. Those simple but deeply moving words, “God bless America” have taken on added meaning for all of us because of the way Kate Smith sang them. Thanks to her they have become a cherished part of all our lives, an undying reminder of the beauty, the courage, and the heart of this great land of ours. In giving us a magnificent, selfless talent like Kate Smith, God has truly blessed America.”

Now, courtesy of YouTube channel “rpf16mm” is Kate Smith performing “God Bless America” from the movie “This is the Army:”


God Bless America: West Point’s Concert Band, featuring Sergeant Major MaryKay Messenger

Hi Friends:
The West Point Band is the Army’s oldest musical organization and continues to provide world-class music to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets and to serve as ambassadors of the United States Military Academy and the Army to local, national, and international communities. Its innovative programs and performances are enjoyed across the globe through regular television, radio, and recordings. The West Point Band traces its lineage back to a single drummer and fifer left to maintain the tradition of military music at West Point after the Revolutionary War. Over the next 200 years, the band evolved into one of the most capable and versatile professional performing groups in the world.
West Point Band’s Website:
West Point Band’s YouTube Channel:


2022 Day of the Christian Martyr

In terms of lives lost, families separated, people imprisoned, and churches shut down,
the 21st century has been the worst period of persecution against Christians in recorded history.

The period from June 29th through the weekend is set aside as “Day of the Christian Martyr” to inspire and encourage Christians to remember modern-day martyrs for Christ and to pray for persecuted Christians. Christians around the world pray for persecuted Christians
and especially for the families of those who have paid the ultimate price for Christ and the gospel.
As we honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the gospel, we share this video, utilizing resources
from “The Voice of the Martyrs” (


ATV Up Mount Washington Auto Road

Hi Friends:
Any opportunity to go to the top of Mount Washington is an adventure that should not be missed, regardless of your mode of transportation: Hiking, driving, taking the motor coach, or the Cog Railroad.

It used to be for just one day a year, but now, the Mount Washington Auto Road allows a certain number of ATVs (and motorcycles) to go up, daily, during the Summer months. Carol and I, and her brother and sister-in-law, didn’t want to let this opportunity slip by, so we bought tickets well in advance, to “ride into the clouds” on our side-by-sides.

Regardless of how it is “at the bottom” of the Mountain (sunny, 75-80 degrees), you must be prepared for what awaits you at the top: “The World’s Worst Weather.” You will never understand the meaning of why this is the most dangerous mountain in the world until you experience it for yourself.

We’ve been blessed to have gone up the mountain many times, and each time, it is a totally different adventure. This time, for example, we saw “the cave” for the first time, and were able to film 4 of the Cog Railroad trains at the same time. I have never seen 4 trains at the top at one time: 3 of the custom-built biodiesel locomotives, and in an unforgettable experience, we saw the MW2 … Steam Engine # 2, The Ammonoosuc, built in 1875 and manufactured in New Hampshire at the Manchester Locomotive Works … an authentic coal-fired steam locomotive… I have learned since that when multiple trains are dispatched, the steam train is always last in line behind the diesels.

Enjoy the video of our trip “into the clouds!”

Posted in The NFL (No Flag Loyalty)

1/02/22: NFL (No Flag Loyalty) Literally Rips our National Anthem Away

Hi Friends:

I really thought I wouldn’t have to write about this again.

Then, on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, just one day after the New Year holiday,  something happened which literally stunned me … Shocked me … and, deeply saddened me.

For most of New England, the schedule for this afternoon was all set:

After two consecutive losses, the New England Patriots would be playing … the Jacksonville Jaguars … Yes, 2 straight losses for the Patriots … you have to understand how rare that is … It reminded me of, back in “the day,” when the UCONN Huskies Women’s basketball team would lose just one game … people would just “freak out” over just one loss … Well … Welcome to New England … where, frankly, we don’t know how to act after 2 straight defeats because, well … we just don’t get to practice it that much …

Man, were we waiting for this one … needing a victory so bad … Remember that here, you are talking from the Canadian border to who knows how far South, people refer to the team as “We.” As in “we’ve got a tough one coming up,” or “they can’t beat us.” You know how it is … People refer to their team as if they themselves, were part of the team

Anyway … we’d been preparing, planning all week for this one. We heard the beloved coach (at that time …) speak of the upcoming contest …
“They’re a good football team. They’re well coached. Have a lot of really good players, especially at the skill positions. They play hard. It’s a home game for them, so they’ll play with a lot of energy. It should really be a challenge for us.
We’ll have to play better, we’ll have to coach better, we’ll have to execute better. It should really be a challenge for us.”

So … there we were, getting set for the start of the “big game.”

I had tuned in the pregame show at around 12:45, in preparation for the 1:00 kick-off … the TV was set … the volume was set … my rocker-recliner was set …

Here we go …

As I “kicked back” to watch the beginning of the broadcast, the network broadcaster stated that he was now going to turn things over to the public address announcer

I suddenly stopped rocking …
Could it be???
They were actually going to broadcast our National Anthem?
Could this really be happening?
I leaned forward in my rocker:

The public address announcer addressed the crowd, and, those like me, “the millions and millions watching around the globe,” requesting that, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we ask that you please stand, and remove your hats …”

I suddenly did two things simultaneously … I grabbed the lever to my rocker which brings the foot rest down and brings the back up, and I leapt to my feet while, literally, screaming, “They’re going to do it!” “They’re going to do it!”

As difficult as it was to believe, I heard it … right there, in front of me on my television …

Then, the public address announcer stated the reason for the “request to rise:”
It was to honor John Madden.
I felt this was most appropriate.
Again, this was entirely appropriate, and I participated in the “moment of silence to honor his life and his memory.”
Entirely appropriate.

Then came the moment which literally jarred my entire being. The reason for this writing. I mean … there I was, already standing … could it be? The NFL (No Flag Loyalty) was actually going to do it???

On “pins and needles,” there I was, standing, knowing that I was joining, uniting with my fellow Americans … I was already reverently standing … my right hand moving toward my heart … when I hear the public address announcer clearly state, “And, now ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you remain standing … to honor America” …

And then, suddenly, deliberately, shockingly, and without warning … they went to a commercial. A commercial.
A commercial. It was like “it was there one second, and then gone the next.”
Our National Anthem was deliberately, on purpose, literally ripped, torn from, our television screens.

I couldn’t believe it. We were so close …

These things just don’t happen without planning. Careful planning.

I couldn’t believe it. Understand, that, as an American, I would be somewhere between surprised and offended. I’m not sure … don’t know how to explain how I felt. But, I felt that something … something really important … had been taken away, literally ripped away from me …

It sounds like I still haven’t gotten over it.
I hope I never do.

I realize how important selling alcohol is.
I realize how important promoting gambling is.
Let me make sure I get this right:
We can promote alcohol and gambling.
We can’t broadcast our National Anthem.
I realize how important selling trucks is.
I realize how important selling insurance is.
(Don’t get me started on why a major sponsor is “Military-Only” insurance, yet it’s ok to not broadcast our National Anthem).

For years, and I’ll be honest, I have enjoyed, even looked forward to, watching Sunday Night Football-America’s Game of the Week.

This same day, I watched the pre-game highlights, and looked forward to the Sunday Night Game. For some reason, on this night, I noticed something:
The “Introduction” Song to the game, the “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night” is known as “The Sunday Night Anthem.”

Maybe it’s always been called that, but for some reason, I really noticed the “Introduction” to the “Introduction.” I heard it … clearly … The “Sunday Night Anthem” has a sponsor … Yes, I clearly heard the announcer say that “The Sunday Night Anthem is sponsored by/brought to you by.” I know I heard correctly. There is a sponsor for the Sunday Night Anthem. It is “brought to you by” …


That’s it! Maybe that’s why the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) doesn’t broadcast our National Anthem!
It’s not sponsored!

Of course!
That must be it!
The Sunday Night Anthem is broadcast, for all to see and hear … because it is sponsored … “brought to us by” …
That’s it!!!

And there I was, thinking that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) must have some other reason for refusing to broadcast our National Anthem.

I mean … what other reason could they possibly have?

So I have a solution:
Let’s have our National Anthem sponsored!
Why didn’t I think of this before?

I mean … the “Sunday Night Anthem” is sponsored, and it is broadcast-without fail, before every Sunday Night broadcast.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
Let’s just have our National Anthem sponsored!

I’ve got it!!!

How about this:

“Our National Anthem is sponsored by the brave men and women who have given their lives, have died to ensure our freedom, for our country, so that we can enjoy the freedoms we so richly enjoy.”

“Our National Anthem is sponsored by our brave men and women who are serving our country, and protecting our freedoms, around the globe at this very moment.”

Why didn’t I think of that before?
Remember, to make the decision to broadcast, or not broadcast our National Anthem, is a decision which has to be make.
Why would a decision be made to not broadcast our National Anthem?

Unless of course … that is the issue … A United America …

There must be some reason we are knowingly and deliberately deprived of this opportunity to “stand, and honor America.”

They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our ears …

They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our eyes …

They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our televisions …

But they will never be able to rip our National Anthem away from our hearts …

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.