Music

Country Flashback: Bobby Bare, Loretta Lynn Sing Patriotic Plea 'God Bless America Again'

A great example of why Bobby Bare deserved high praise as one of the best Nashville songwriters of the 1960's--a time when Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Bill Anderson, Tom T. Hall and other future legends set that bar extremely high--came in 1969 when Bare cut "God Bless America Again," a patriotic country song he co-wrote with Boyce Hawkins, a beloved television personality, weatherman and pianist from Music City.

The song became the title track of a Loretta Lynn album by 1972, with that version being one of several lucrative collaborations featuring Lynn and Conway Twitty. It later appeared on Lynn and Twitty's 1976 duet album United Talent. Yet when it came time for Lynn to sing about America's need for prayer and redemption on her old friends The Wilburn Brothers' television show, she called on Bare for the song's narrated lines.

For Lynn, her 1972 recording represented not just the Christian themes that've always popped up in country hits. It also gave her a chance to request prayer for the nation at a time when young men the age of her son Ernest Ray Lynn were dying in Vietnam. For Bare, he got to sing one of his better compositions with one of its finest singers.

Lynn would go on to sing "God Bless America Again" toward the end of her live sets for years to come, often with a band member handling Twitty and Bare's narration.

Grand Ole Opry legends Jan Howard and Jim & Jesse, singing cowboy Tex Ritter and country music moonlighter Ray Charles would go on to record the song. It also became one of the Wilburn Brothers' favorite songs to perform on the Opry stage.

Read More: Loretta Lynn's Siblings: Then and Now

On Aug, 15, 2014, Lynn and Bare preformed the song during the fourth annual Johnny Cash Music Festival at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The duo, plus fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Reba McEntire, took part in that day's musical celebration of Cash's Arkansas upbringing.

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Country Flashback: Bobby Bare, Loretta Lynn Sing Patriotic Plea 'God Bless America Again'