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The Villages
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Patriotism inspires singer Lee Greenwood’s new children’s book

Coming off a patriotic Independence Day concert at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, country music legend Lee Greenwood will be signing copies of his new children’s book Monday at Barnes & Noble in The Villages.

Lee Greenwood
Lee Greenwood

“There was music in our family, but not so much where I was,” Greenwood said after explaining that he was raised by his grandparents and not his parents. However, Greenwood maintained his passion for music and took his talents to Nevada, where he performed on the casino lounge circuit where  Mel Tillis’ bandleader Larry McFadden discovered him.

As a country artist, Greenwood explains the kind of work he put into his career.

“We were doing 300 days as an artist. It was Reba McEntire, George Strait, The Oak Ridge Boys, Barbara Mandrell, and myself…We not only had to tour 300 days a year, we had to take a photo session maybe once or twice, go into a record studio, get the tracks done, do your overdubs, keep your voice healthy because you’re touring so much, and then get the project done.”

He recalls going through this process for more than 10 years and remembers having only the tour bus most of the time as his creative space for writing music.

Reflecting on his music career, Greenwood compares his early fame in Nevada to his national achievements as America’s prominent musical patriot: “I was determined to have success at any level.”

He described his contributions in Nevada, from writing music for major room shows to performing in Las Vegas, which made him a legend in the state. As he reached “the national level,” Greenwood felt “very blessed and very lucky” to be recognized as a country music legend and a patriotic hero. He has won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and has songs such as “I.O.U” and “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands,” which have charted No. 1.

Lee Greenwood has released a children's book titled after his most famous song.
Lee Greenwood has released a children’s book titled after his most famous song.

The celebrated “God Bless the USA” was one of the songs he wrote in the first five years of his tours. His inspirations for writing the song were “being an American and a Christian.” He explained that the military and people’s daily hard work to keep their lives together, also inspired him.

Greenwood said his performance for the 9/11 Firemen’s Memorial at Yankee Stadium in New York City, which he described as “one of the most important performances of my life.”

“God Bless the USA” has also been performed at the White House for the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, in more than 30 USO tours, which Greenwood also describes as emotional performances, and during inauguration ceremonies.

Performance of the song has not changed over time and still invokes an emotional and proud response from audiences everywhere. Greenwood said, “everywhere I perform, people are as patriotic as ever.”

In the midst of the media emphasizing on tragic massacres and acts of disrespect towards American patriotism, Greenwood’s Christian faith guides him to believe that “there is a message in all things and all for the greater good of God.”

Therefore, it was important to impart those lessons through his new book.

“We did want to give grandparents and parents a tool to not only teach their children how to read, which is extremely important…It’s also important to recognize how to respect our country, the flag, the military, and what it means to be patriot, “ Greenwood states.

Beginning at noon Monday, July 6, Greenwood will be at the Barnes & Nobles in Lake Sumter Landing to sign copies of his new book.

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