Ken Burns' epic " Country Music " series is airing on PBS, and the documentary devotes a good chunk of time to the World War II era and how soldiers from the South helped introduce what had been a regional music to the rest of America. As the United States prepared for war, country music stars from the Grand Ole Opry toured military bases as part of the Camel Caravan and introduced troops from all over the United States to sounds that had previously been popular only in the South. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor , country music artists became some of the military's biggest supporters and recorded a slew of patriotic songs in support of the war effort.
"Soldiers and Jesus"
Country artists have never shied away from recording songs that tell the stories of the wars that the U. From Johnny Horton 's "Battle of New Orleans" to Trace Adkins ' "Arlington," artists and their fans have embraced the idea of supporting our soldiers through music. The Boot has compiled a list of country music's best-loved war songs. When going through the genre's rich heritage of songs about our soldiers, the wars they've fought and the loved ones left behind, it was hard to choose just 10, but after much contemplating, looking and listening, here is the group that made the list. Otto released "Soldiers and Jesus" in and says that when he started playing the song at his concerts, it got standing ovations. Told from a young boy's perspective, the tune is the story of attending his grandfather's funeral and struggling not to cry. In the song, the young boy is now older and recalls what the man who preached at the funeral told the gathered crowd: The only two people who ever died for him were soldiers and Jesus. Otto's grandfather was a Korean War vet, and his father was a career military man. He himself joined the Navy right out of high school and has played for military members overseas on a USO tour.
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Country music artists have a way of telling beautiful stories unlike the stars of any other genre -- and some of country's most touching songs are those penned about soldiers and the sacrifices they make in honor of our country. Some of these songs have real-life inspiration; others, although fictional, are reality for so many families of the United States' servicemen and -women. The country music legend explains that the tune is the true story of Army medic Lawrence Joel, the first living black man to receive the Medal of Honor since , and of one of the many men he saved: Niles Harris, "the man who gave Big Kenny his tophat," a member of the U. In , Ball released "Riding With Private Malone," which tells the story of a man who purchases a car and discovers a note in its glovebox, explaining that the vehicle once belonged to a solider who didn't make it home. Matthew D.
Ken Burns' epic " Country Music " series is airing on PBS, and the documentary devotes a whole lot of time to the Vietnam War era and how the growing divisions in the United States were reflected in the music. Country music's fans then included a lot of World War II veterans, and many artists unquestionably accepted the government's rationale for the war and recorded songs that gave full-throated support to the boys fighting overseas. The military draft during Vietnam had so many exemptions that the nation ended up taking a disproportionate number of troops from the working classes, setting up a divide that carries over to this day. Country artists loved the troops and recorded some of the powerful songs about the war. The Man in Black recorded this folk music-style tale of playing for the troops in Johnny and his wife June Carter Cash had achieved spectacular fame after they went to Folsom Prison against record company wishes and recorded a legendary live album. They went on to host a television variety show.