In Your Honor
Happy Veteran's Day! It seems like I've made this a much of a history blog as a music blog this week, but I like theme posts. And since there aren't a lot of modern day patriotic songs not sung by Toby Keith, a trip into the previous century is necessary. Besides, whenever I think of Veteran's Day, I think of my grandfathers, both of whom served in the Navy during World War II. So we'll set the wayback machine to the 1940's...
What are now known at US Savings Bonds were called war bonds during World War II. They were a massively successful effort at funding the war; half the US population purchased over $185 billion dollars worth of bonds. In addition to financing the military efforts, they also had a huge impact on forties pop culture. Posters and magazine advertisements promoting the the purchase of bonds, like Norman Rockwell's famous Four Freedoms series, are some of the most sought after art work of the period. Entertainers appeared at bond rallies across the country, and some of the most popular songwriters of the day contributed by writing songs promoting war bonds.
Bing Crosby - "Road To Victory" (mp3)
"Road To Victory" was recorded on October 7, 1943 for Bing Crosby's Kraft Music Hall show. Written by Frank Loesser, it's available on WWII Radio Broadcasts Volume 1. Each of the five CDs in the series has two complete half hour shows recorded between 1943 and 1945, and they provide an excellent example of what the musical variety radio shows were like in the forties.
Frank Sinatra - "Buy A Piece Of The Peace" (mp3)
Sinatra recorded this war bond advertisement for the Treasury Department Music For Millions show on September 9, 1945. The fact that is was geared towards post victory efforts is obvious in the lyrics. It was released on Frank Sinatra Sings The Songs Of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, an excellent (though out of print) collection of radio recordings made between 1943 and 1950.
post title by Foo Fighters