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Old 10-24-2017, 06:05 AM   #1
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Interesting Random stuff others might not know,

I will start

Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said
that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless
America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they
wiped away a tear or two.

Here are the facts; The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing
the very first public singing of "God Bless America". But before you watch
it you should know the story behind the first public showing of the song.

The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression.
Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to
war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

This was the era just before TV when radio shows were HUGE and American
families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their
favorite entertainers and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate
Smith.

Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still
used today is in deference to her; "It ain't over till the fat lady sings."

Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV but with her voice
coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and
afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith
in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she
went to the famous American song-writer Irving Berlin (who also wrote White
Christmas) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good
again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he
said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song
that he had written but never published, 22 years before - in 1917. He gave
it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving
Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both
agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits
would go to the Boy Scouts of America . Over the years, the Boy Scouts have
received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the
orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first
time and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in
the background, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, You're In The Army
Now. At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie,
sitting in an office, reading a paper; it's Ronald Reagan.

To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our
country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the
spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how
successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years
of hardship and worry...and for many generations of Americans to follow.

Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it.


Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts
with God Bless America ... So here's the entire song as originally sung.





What other neat stuff ya'll have?
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:09 AM   #2
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Man, this is a cool thread idea!

I was in cub scouts, then webelos, then boy scouts. I think its a shame they're no longer the "boy" scouts.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:17 AM   #3
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Thanks, well said. Every time we sing that song in church I can't get through it. Guess I'm just a sappy old guy.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:23 AM   #4
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I would vote tomorrow in favor of replacing The Star Spangled Banner with either God Bless America or America the Beautiful. Why do we have a crappy British pub song tune that no one but an opera tenor can sing for our anthem?

BTW...Ray Charles doing America the Beautiful still gets me "dusty eyed".
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:08 AM   #5
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Also from around that time, EMD (the locomotive manufacturer) introduced the FT diesel locomotive. Up until that time, diesels were few and far between, primarily assigned to prestigious passenger trains. Steam still ruled for hauling freight. The FT was the dawn of a new era and had arrived to change that.

Beginning in 1939 and for the next 11 months, Demonstrator set 103 toured 20 states, covering well over 83,000 miles without a single mechanical failure. Southern Railway tested this on their "Rat Hole Division", noting that their existing 2-8-2 Mikado locomotives were rated for 1750 ton trains. The FT demonstrator set easily hauled 4000 tons in addition to shaving an hour off the time. Southern Railway was so impressed, they ended up buying the demonstrator set!

This was during the time of WWII and the War Production Board had control over the resources necessary for locomotive building. Railroads were convinced by this new technology and were eager to buy. As promoted by EMD sales department "Able to do twice the work, at half the cost". The Santa Fe, however was able to get more of the FT's during the war, in part because they crossed large expanses of western desert and water for steam locomotives was hard to supply in those areas.

By the time FT production ended toward late 1945, 1,096 FT units had been built. It was followed by the improved F3 locomotive. By the time all F-series locomotive ended in 1960, 7,642 units had been built.

The FL9 was an odd hybrid of the bunch. 60 of these (included in the above production total) were built exclusively for the NYNH&H (The "Hew Haven"). They were capable of operation either using the diesel engine, or as electrics when traveling into NYC. New York had a ban on smoke producing locomotives, which is why railroads in the region switched to electric. Many of the FL9's still exist, and some are still in active service.

One trait worth noting is that all the F-series units used "carbody" construction, similar to automotive "unibody" construction. They did not use a full length frame, but instead used the carbody as structural support, very much like a truss bridge.

There is some disagreement on the nomenclature of the F-units. Some sources claim "FT" represents "F"ourteen hundred horsepower (rounded up from its actual 1350), "T"win, as they originally came as 2-unit sets. Other sources claim FT represents "F"reight, "T"wenty-seven hundred horsepower (this author believes the latter). Through the years, though the "T" was superseded by numerical designations, the "F" designation was retained.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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