It is an annual tradition of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to air a televised 4th of July concert, and in 2021, country star Alan Jackson was in the lineup where he performed his hit single, “Drive,” and his rendition of the 1911 version of “America The Beautiful.” In the same event, he is joined by fellow country singers such as Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, and Jennifer Nettles.
Written by Katharine Lee Bates and composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward, this patriotic song was actually originally written as a poem and was meant to be called “Pikes Peak.” It went through a few lyric revisions, with the latest version being dated 1911.
“America The Beautiful” has been covered by several notable artists, proving the power of this piece. Elvis Presley, for one, performed this song several times in his concerts starting in 1976. Bing Crosby, the first multimedia star, actually included this song in his 1961 album “101 Gang Songs”. Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Lopez, the star-studded list goes on and on.
Equally, if not more, notable was the fact that “America The Beautiful” was actually a heavy contender for America’s national song. Years and years after the song was penned and released, particularly during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, there have been several efforts made to set this song as a national hymn or as a national anthem, to potentially replace or at least be equal to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
With its rich history, it’s no wonder why “America The Beautiful” is still lauded as a patriotic song for the United States. And it’s no wonder why singers like Alan Jackson would still pay tribute to the motherland using this song, as its lyrics will just reveal the patriot in you.
Watch Alan Jackson’s rendition of “America The Beautiful” below.