On the latest episode of his podcast, the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones chatted with country star Lee Greenwood to get his reaction about his legendary song, “God Bless The U.S.A.,” finally reaching the No. 1 spot 36 years after its release. Originally released in 1984, “God Bless The U.S.A.,” quickly became an anthem for American pride and unity, and it reached a peak of No. 7 after its release. This past summer, however, the tune finally peaked at the top spot on Billboard’s Digital Songs Sales chart.
“I wrote a song about America in a time of peace and I wanted to unite the country, and here we are in 2020 where the song has had as big of an impact as it ever has since it was released, and I couldn’t be more pleased if it serves that purpose,” Greenwood told Bones. “Hopefully ‘God Bless The U.S.A.’ can still stand as a uniting thing rather than a dividing thing.”
Greenwood shared that the song wasn’t originally intended to be a single, but when he recorded it for his You’ve Got A Good Love Comin’, his record label released it. The song gained more popularity in the ‘90s when Greenwood included it on his American Patriot album, and the tune found another resurgence after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“After that, ‘U.S.A.’ began to gather strength, and we sang it at stadiums and I traveled with Barbara Bush across the country to uplift the nation,” said Greenwood. “It was just one thing after another, and then it just became the anthem that the country grasped in order to have unity, and that’s exactly what I intended. I couldn’t have orchestrated it. It just happened.”
Greenwood told Bones that he had wanted to write a song like “God Bless The U.S.A.” since he was a child, and he finally wrote it on his bus after a show. The singer says the first draft of the song only took him about an hour to write.
“It was just one of those nights — I guess I had met some soldiers at our previous show and it just reminded me of the passion I had to write that song,” he says.
To hear more from Lee Greenwood, as well as more country music content from Bobby Bones, listen to episode #266 of the BobbyCast.