Do You Remember “Americans”?

If you were around and listening to the radio in the winter of 73-74 (and I understand that many of you weren’t) you probably remember a record that was played that was one of the most unusual hits in chart history. It was written by a 73-year old man and recorded by a young broadcaster from Canadian radio station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario. Neither of the men sung a note, but the recording reached Billboard’s top ten in February, 1974 and remains one of the chart’s most memorable hits.

The recording’s writer was Gordon Sinclair, a news commentator at CFRB in Toronto – perhaps that nation’s Paul Harvey at the time – on the occasion of learning that the American Red Cross had recently run out of money because of all the aid that was needed during that time. At first, Sinclair chalked it up as just another broadcast and forgot about it. But when US News and World Report published the transcript, people took notice. That inspired Byron MacGregor, a 25-year old news director at CKLW to record the essay and release it as a single through Westbound Records.

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The people of the US, who were still dealing with the Vietnam war and were six months away from the first ever resignation of an American president, were inspired. They bought the record and rallied around the Red Cross, which benefitted from the proceeds. When President Reagan visited Canada early in his presidency, he made a point of thanking Sinclair for the inspiring tribute in a dark time.

I’m grateful for the sacrifices men and women of the armed forces have made and will make for our country’s sake and pray sincerely for God to restore and bless America.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.