Lee Greenwood always will be known for a patriotic classic.
Now, the country star is urging his fellow Americans to get unified and make an effort to be like his song. It’s a common plea these days, and Lee Greenwood is no different.
“We absolutely have to get together and get unified,” Lee Greenwood said in an interview with Fox News. “People ask me, ‘We’ve been more divided than I ever can imagine.’ Do you not remember the Civil War or Vietnam, for instance? We will get through this. 2020 was just a different attack on America.”
Lee Greenwood was pitching his documentary earlier this week. It’s called “Proud to be an American: The Lee Greenwood Story.” You can find it on the Fox Nation streaming platform. There’s no better time to watch it than on a long weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Greenwood didn’t start his career in the patriotic genre. Rather, Larry McFaden, who was Mel Tillis’ bassist, discovered Greenwood in 1979. Greenwood already had a regional audience in Las Vegas and parts of California. McFaden started managing Greenwood’s career in 1981 when Greenwood signed his first record deal.
The first song in the Lee Greenwood era was “It Turns Me Inside Out.” The song cracked the country top 20. Greenwood followed with “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands.” That song was a top-10 hit.
Then in 1984, Lee Greenwood hit gold, when he wrote the red, white and blue classic, “Proud To Be An American.” The song climbed to No. 7 on the country charts. And it was amplified by politics, when the Republican National Convention put it on its playlist as it re-nominated Ronald Reagan for president.
Lee Greenwood talked about the song’s origin during a 2018 interview with NPR.
Lee Greenwood Said He Also Wanted to Honor God in Classic Song
“I wanted to put God first, because I’m a conservative Christian, and I wanted to make sure that God was honored in the song,” Greenwood said. And of course, there’s a hint of John Philip Sousa in the song’s chords.
He says of the song: “The Sousa marches were in the back of my head — I did a lot of those as drum major for my high school marching band. And I wanted some pomp and circumstance.”
The Lee Greenwood song definitely is worthy of patriotic pomp and circumstance.
He sings it at big sporting events. Back in 2001, just days after 9-11, Greenwood performed the song at a New York Yankees baseball game in front of 50,000 fans. They gave the song — and the United States — a thunderous ovation.
The song usually resurfaces when the country is in conflict. It received air play during the launch of Desert Storm in 1990-91.
And in 2001, in the weeks after the terrorist attacks on this country, “Proud to be An American” reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
During the inauguration of Joe Biden, Lee Greenwood tweeted best wishes to the new president.
“One nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all,” Lee Greenwood posted on Twitter. “Praying for unity for our country and for our 46th President of these United States. May God Bless President Biden and God Bless The USA.”
Happy Fourth of July from Outsider. Enjoy.