It was an email that reminded me of someone whom I had long forgotten. While I was growing up, Kate Smith was an endearing and enduring personality whose voice rang strong and true. Her contralto was unmistakable and always cheered listeners by force of her heart and the energy portrayed as she sang.
Prior to 1920, Irving Berlin, a renowned songwriter, had written a song which he had filed away until approached by Kate Smith’s manager in 1938 for a song to sing at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the end of World War I. It was at a time in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s when the United States was still recovering from the Great Depression and World War I, the war to end all wars, and hearing disturbing news of the increasing turmoil in Eastern Europe. As you can imagine, morale was low, worries were great, and the future disheartening. Berlin offered them the song entitled, “God Bless America”.
The song’s effect was immediate as Kate broadcast it over the radio bringing a new energy to American citizens which continues to this day. This is the original recording of that song.