Saturday, September 15, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lee Greenwood

Artist:Lee Greenwood
Song:God Bless The USA
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood had seven number one country hits in the 80s. God Bless The USA was not one of them when it was first released in 1984. But it became Greenwood's signature song and was his only top 20 pop hit when it was re-released after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He was born Oct. 17, 1942 in Los Angeles and grew up in Sacramento on his grandparents' farm. Greenwood learned to play sax as a child. And his first professional gig was playing sax in country singer Del Reeves' touring band. In the mid 60s, Greenwood recorded some unsuccessful singles for Paramount Records as Lee Greenwood Affair. He was invited to be a member of The Rascals. But instead he moved to Las Vegas and was a blackjack dealer during the day and a lounge singer at night. In 1979, he was performing in a club in Reno when he was spotted by Mel Tillis' bassist Larry McFaden. McFaden became Greenwood's manager and got him a record deal at MCA. The initial appeal of Greenwood was he sounded a lot like Kenny Rogers. Greenwood's first number one country hit was Somebody's Gonna Love You in 1983 and he had seven number one country hits. God Bless The USA reached #7 on the Country Singles chart in 1984. But then the song became popular when it was played at the 1984 Rupublican National Convention. BTW, Greenwood is a Republican. Greenwood said he always wanted to write a patriotic song and convinced producer Jerry Crutchfield to let him do it. The song has become a patriotic standard and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was re-released after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. By the late 80s, Greenwood faded and left MCA for Capitol in 1990. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Beware of re-recordings of God Bless The USA. By the mid 90s, he opened his own theatre in Sevierville, TN. That is now closed. He also recorded for Curb Records. His latest CD I Want To Be In Your World was released last year. Lee Greenwood still tours and no doubt his most requested song is God Bless The USA. Here's the video for God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood.

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