Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry. Rudolph first appeared in a coloring book written and drawn by Robert L. May in 1939 as a Christmas giveaway by Montgomery Ward. The tale of Rudoplph proved immensely popular with kids, with the coloring book still being in print and sold more than seven decades latter. The famous song was written by Johnny Marks, a song writer and World War 2 combat veteran. It was first sung by Harry Brannon in November 1949, shortly before the singing cowboy, Gene Autry, performed his immortal rendition. Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. Yesterday being Flag Day I thought our first, unofficial, national anthem would be appropriate: Hail Columbia. Composed in 1789 by Philip Phile for Washington’s first inaugural, and originally entitled The President’s March, lyrics were supplied by Joseph Hopkinson in 1798. Hail Columbia functioned as the unofficial national anthem of the United States up until the 1890s. From 1947 here is Bing Crosby narrating a radio dramatization of Edward Everett Hale’s, a great nephew of Nathan Hale, classic story of love of country, The Man Without a Country: Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. Freedom Train by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters. In 1947 President Harry S. Truman commissioned a special train, staffed with United States Marines, to tour the country and display precious documents of American history to remind all Americans of their heritage. The train’s cargo included: the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, one of the 13 original copies of the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, one of Lincoln’s handwritten drafts of the Gettysburg Address, the large flag raised on Mount Suribachi by the US Marines on Iwo Jima, the German and Japanese surrender documents that ended World War II, and much more, including one of the originals of the Magna Carta.
The train toured the US for two years and was surrounded by throngs of visitors wherever it stopped. It traveled 37,160 miles, stopping in 326 cities and towns. Over three million Americans went on board the train, many waiting up to six hours to do so. A second Freedom Train toured the country during the Bicentennial in 1975-1976. Continue Reading