Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Idefatigable Kate Smith

- A guest post by Jack

I don’t know if you remember, or ever heard Kate Smith, but she was one very special woman. Here is her story and her song.

In case you don't know it, this is the person that is referred to as "The Fat Lady" in the trite verbalization of "It's not over till the fat lady sings". Kate Smith was born and grew up in Columbia, Missouri.

In early 1940, Kate Smith, a fiercely patriotic American, and the biggest star on radio, was deeply worried about her country. She asked Irving Berlin if he could give her a song that would re-ignite the spirit of American patriotism and faith. He said he had a song that he had written in 1917, but never used it. He said she could have it.

She sat at the piano & played it and realized how good it was. She called Mr. Berlin and told him that she couldn't take this from him for nothing. So, they agreed that any money that would be made off the song would be donated to the Boy Scouts of America . Thanks to Kate Smith and Irving Berlin, the Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties.

This clip is from the movie "You're in the Army Now". You will see a familiar face (near the very end) in this one that we are all very proud of. This “familiar face” was quite patriotic himself and went on to inspire the whole country and could be touted as changing the world with his dedication to freedom and the “American Way”. We digress.

Frank Sinatra said that when Kate Smith, whom he considered the greatest singer of his age, first sang this song on the radio, a million guys got 'dust' in their eyes and had to wipe the tears the 'dust' caused.