The Man Who Wrote ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ is a Northern California Native

Melvin Lee Greenwood is a world-famous country music artist who has released more than 20 albums and charted more than 35 singles on the Billboard country music charts. But when all is said and done, Greenwood is most famous for God Bless the U.S.A., a song that may have been inspired from his formative years in Northern California.

If you’re not sure what song we’re talking about, here’s a patriotic reminder for you:

Although he was born in Southern California, Greenwood spent much of his early life on a poultry farm just outside Sacramento, where he was a up-and-coming singer in his church. He made his name locally at a young age when he joined the joined Chester Smith’s band. Eventually, he got his break by getting noticed by a music producer just across the border at The Nugget in Sparks, Nevada.

Not only would he eventually drop “Melvin” from his celebrity name, Lee Greenwood went on to become a massive musician. His stardom was cemented when he was named to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush.

Greenwood wrote his patriotic song in the early 1980’s, but it wasn’t until the launch of Operation: Desert Storm that it became a staple of any celebration of the United States. In fact, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, the song re-entered the top 20 of the country music charts.

Today, Greenwood remains active in the American political landscape and uses his popular song to inspire patriotism in the country. If you’ve been to a Fourth of July fireworks show in the last 20 years, you’ve probably heard his song – God Bless the U.S.A. Just remember, a NorCal native wrote it.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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