Though Lee Greenwood has had his share of #1 hits, he is best known for his patriotic anthem "God Bless the USA." Now, the country crooner wants children to grasp the faith and heritage associated with the history of our nation with the release of a new children's book inspired by his hit song 'God Bless the USA.'
Hallels: Lee, so grateful for your time. I used to listen to your songs while growing up. And I still do. Songs such as "Hopelessly Yours," "Holding a Good Hand," "The Moment You Were Mine," and "We've Got It Made" are among my favorites. Of course, one of your signature hits is "God Bless the USA," did you ever imagine this song would be such a big hit?
First of all thanks Tim for being a fan of mine. The songs that we released in the 80's at MCA were some of the best ever recorded.
There were 5 of us that had great success at MCA - Barbara Mandrell - George Strait - Reba - the Oak Ridge Boys & myself. My producer Jerry Crutchfield & I worked very hard at producing the best albums with the best music & the best picture. The pictures on the album covers were as important as the music. The fans felt very close to the artists when they could look right into our eyes while listening to their favorite song.
The duet album with Barbara was by far the best cover. She was really good with choosing the right photographer & location.
Now having said that - we had to turn in 2 albums a year. So scheduling a photo session (maybe a video ) a recording session ( tracking & doing finished vocals ) around working 300 days on the road was an immense challenge. We all did it somehow. To keep creating new songs, I installed an electric piano in my stateroom on the bus to allow me to write as often as I could. Winding down after a concert was tough so I would generally write after the show while moving to the next city. I wrote at least - song on each of our first 10 albums & USA was 1 of those. It was never meant to be a single release & maybe not even ever performed live. We put it on the "You Got a Good Love Comin'" album because it was my latest song that season.
Hallels: I guess from that hit song comes your new book "Proud to be an American," why did you decide to write a book for children?
The book "Proud to be an American" was released to give Parents & grandparents a book to read to their children when they are first learning to read. I believe the kids today need to know what it means to be a Patriot & why they should respect the flag of our country. This book revolves around the lyrics of my song "God Bless the USA" and includes a download of yet another version of it recorded just for the book. The illustrations were carefully chosen to give meaning to my song.
Hallels: Speaking about being a proud American, what are you the proudest of being an American?
I love going out of the country & seeing how America has defended other countries to keep them free. The cost has been enormous in Blood & money. It makes me proud when someone from France or England or any place we have ever been in defense of that nation says thank you to me for all we have done.
Hallels: Many of our readers (myself included) are also fans of your music, are you in the process of releasing a new album? When can we expect the new album to be released?
Our current 7 song CD is Called " I Want to be in Your World" . It has been out about a year and is available on my web site lee greenwood.com
I wrote the title cut & there is a special song called "You Can let go Now" written by Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald. Michael plays piano for me on this cut.
Hallels: What do you think of country music today?
Our country music is as good as it's ever been. The main difference in the last 18-20 years is that it has more rhythm. What used to be taboo is now accepted with influences from R&B - Rock - Pop & even Rap. Our world is a much faster place now with the Internet & all formats must keep up with the rhythm of life. There will always be great singers & musicians but the music will continue to belong to the fans.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase your new book and/or keep up to date with you, where can they go?
All available merchandise can be found on my web site lee greenwood.com
Along with Twitter news & touring dates. The new book is #1 on Amazon in 2 categories this week & can be found at Christian Book Stores, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million & anywhere books are sold.