Are there any veterans making money from patriotic songs?
August 11, 2004 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Among musicians making more than a few bucks from patriotic songs (like Toby Keith and the current lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd), who are actually veterans of the US military?

... and who definitely are not?
posted by mischief to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
posted by the fire you left me at 4:26 PM on August 11, 2004

What is "a patriotic" song?
Seems a vague label as what may be patriotic yesterday is not now. July 4th celebration on the National Lawn had the Beach Boys as headliners.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:26 PM on August 11, 2004

Is Rocky Mountain High one? It does talk about America.

Or The Ballad of The Green Beret?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:32 PM on August 11, 2004

Charlie Daniels - "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag"

Apparently never in the military.
posted by milovoo at 4:57 PM on August 11, 2004

none, as far as i can tell. definitely not toby keith.
posted by taumeson at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2004

Lee Greenwood, who wrote "Proud to be An American", didn't serve, but that was because for the short time that he was age-eligible, he was classified 3-A because he had a wife and children (he became a father at 17 in the late 1950's, yikes).

From snopes:
"Greenwood may not fit the image of the super patriot who rushes out to enlist and serve his country during wartime (the song isn't written from the point of view of someone who claims to have made sacrifices for his country — it's an expression of gratitude towards those who did make sacrifices to protect the freedoms the rest of us enjoy), but very few celebrities do live up to the expectations created by those who project the artist into his work. (Stephen Crane, for example, wrote quite convincingly of the horrors of war without having experienced them first-hand, but The Red Badge of Courage is no less a masterpiece of literature — and Crane is no less an author — because of that.)"
Dan Emmett wrote "Dixie", but never did more in the army than play instruments (though he did join up voluntarily). Kathryn Lee Bates ("America the Beautiful") and Julia Ward Howe ("Battle Hymn of the Republic") didn't serve in the military either, of course. That doesn't make them phonies.
posted by Asparagirl at 6:18 PM on August 11, 2004

Make that Katharine Lee Bates. FYI, she was excluded from the military twice over--for being a woman and for being a lesbian.
posted by Asparagirl at 6:20 PM on August 11, 2004

The word "actually" in this question might be taken to imply that making money from patriotic songs is a more legitimate activity for former soldiers than for lifelong civilians. Is that the idea?
posted by bingo at 7:52 PM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: No, bingo, I just want to shoot down some posturing on another message board.
posted by mischief at 8:11 PM on August 11, 2004

Would you consider Jimi Hendrix' "Star Spangled Banner" patriotic? He did time in the military, as a paratrooper, as did Band of Gypsies drummer Buddy Miles. I don't believe he actually saw combat, though--he was discharged before Vietnam really heated up.
posted by arto at 10:41 PM on August 11, 2004

Toby Keith's father served in the military and fought in the Korean War and lost one of his eyes. I don't actually know that he lost his eye in the war; I can't find anything to confirm/deny that information. I believe his patriotic feelings were passed on to him by his father, according to CMT. Apparently, Toby wrote his song in honor of his father.

Not that I am a Toby fan. Not that I even like new Country Music. I'm just sayin' is all.
posted by studentbaker at 6:05 AM on August 12, 2004

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