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Our Top story --- Happy Independence Day
Pat Reeder’s 4th of July Jukebox:
“Rockin’ In The USA” – KISS
“America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne and “Pledge of Allegiance” by Red Skelton -
“What Is America To Me” – Frank Sinatra
Other news you might have missed...
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Our Daily Verse...
Happy Independence Day, America, and happy 243rd anniversary to history’s greatest experiment in freedom!
Today is when Americans celebrate our freedoms. But sadly, too many of us seem willing to trade away our freedoms in exchange for hollow promises of comfort and security. As the great philosopher Joni Mitchell once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.” That’s why the Founding Fathers took such care to lock our most important rights safely within the First Amendment to the Constitution. There are more freedoms guaranteed in that one short sentence than people in most nations can even dream of. That’s why for centuries now, people from around the world have risked their lives to come to America. The Founders understood that freedom really is that precious.
Pat Reeder’s 4th of July Jukebox: “Rockin’ In The USA” – KISS
By Pat Reeder
(Pat Reeder is a writer for “Huckabee” and our resident pop culture historian. Read more at http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifibook )
Typically for KISS, the lyrics aren’t very profound, but they make the indisputable though grammatically-questionable point that there’s nowhere else you’d rather stay than rockin’ in the US. If you’re surprised that these shock rockers would do something so unabashedly patriotic, then you probably didn’t know that Gene Simmons is an immigrant, the son of a concentration camp survivor, and very grateful to America for his success as a music entrepreneur.
“America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne and “Pledge of Allegiance” by Red Skelton
By Pat Reeder,
Since these are both patriotic recitations by beloved 20th century showbiz giants, and since it’s the 4th of July, I thought I’d give you a two-fer.
The iconic 1973 album “America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne has its own chapter in my book about celebrity records, “Hollywood Hi-Fi.” What many people don’t know is that there are other celebrity connections as well: the words were written by John Mitchum, the actor/writer brother of Robert Mitchum, and the idea of Wayne recording it came thanks to Forrest Tucker ("F Troop.")
Mitchum had a role in Wayne’s 1970 movie “Chisum,” and during a break, he read his co-stars his tribute to the US military, “Why Are You Marching, Son?” Wayne was moved to manly tears, and Tucker said if he liked it that much, why didn’t he do something about it? So on a handshake deal (more binding than a contract when it’s the Duke’s handshake), they agreed to make an album.
It took Wayne three years to finish the recording (he’d lost a lung due to his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit), but the results were worth it. The LP of patriotic recitations sold 100,000 copies in its first two weeks, scored a Grammy nomination, inspired a companion book, and became a hit all over again when it was reissued after Wayne’s death in 1979. It finally fell out of print, but a revival of interest after 9/11 helped Mitchum’s daughter finally get it rereleased on CD. The entire album is now available 24/7 on YouTube, Amazon and other digital platforms.
I particularly wanted to share this on the 4th of July because of the recent whining from the snowflake brigade about some non-PC things Wayne said in the early 1970s. John Wayne is the only deceased star to rank in the Harris Poll of America's Top 10 most popular movie stars every year, even 40 years after his death. The crybullies think they can erase him from history. That’ll be the day!
On January 14, 1969, Red Skelton performed a recitation that he wrote himself on his CBS variety show, “The Red Skelton Hour,” which you can now stream on Amazon Prime when the current TV offerings seem as funny as a root canal. It relates how a beloved teacher once explained the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Trivia: The backing music is titled “Red’s White and Blue March” and is one of Red’s many compositions.
After it aired, CBS was flooded with 200,000 requests for copies, and a month later, it was released on a Columbia 45. Red performed it for the rest of his life, including at the White House for the newly-inaugurated President Nixon. It has become an American classic and been used as a teaching tool for many years by schools that aren’t afraid of being sued for exposing students to the words “Under God” in class.
“What Is America To Me” – Frank Sinatra
By Pat Reeder
This song is famous, but in case you’ve never seen it, this is a link to "The House I Live In," the entire 10-minute short film that it came from (the song begins at the 6:45 mark, for those with Internet-shortened attention spans.) This film was produced at the end of World War II to help fight anti-Semitism, and perhaps should still be required viewing for freshmen Democratic Congress members. The notes on YouTube have a lot of interesting history of the film and song, if you’d like to know more.
##Appellation##, I wanted to make sure you also read this commentary...
The Washington Post, which is apparently eager to justify political hatred and violence as long as it’s aimed at people they disagree with, actually gave op-ed space to the owner of that “restaurant” (I put it in quotes because real restaurants are in the hospitality industry) who ordered my daughter and her family to leave and go eat someplace with a nicer owner and better food. Surprisingly, this op-ed was not to publicly apologize for her unprofessional behavior, which would have been both appropriate and wise, but to double down.
Want more news from Mike Huckabee? Read the Evening Edition from July 3
A wrap-up of all the news you might have missed yesterday!
Our Daily Verse (NIV)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"
– 2 Tim 3:16
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