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Independence Day in the U.S.

Well, the Fourth of July celebrations are done.  There is something special about a professionally done fireworks display.  It signifies independence, our country’s freedom, and a special time in our nation’s history.

A great way to enjoy the holiday (in my opinion) is to watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with James Cagney.  This film is a classic that will never be replicated.  Besides symbolizing patriotism through music, it is about the life history of George M. Cohan.  He’s the composer of ‘Grand Old Flag’, “Mary”, “Forty Five Minutes from Broadway”, “Nellie Kelly”, “Harrigan”, “Over There”, and so many others there is no room to list them here.

He’s considered the “Yankee Doodle Boy” since he was born on the Fourth of July.  He’s the first nonmilitary personnel to ever be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his contribution to the war efforts during his lifetime.

What is so disheartening to me is the fact that he is almost forgotten today.  His music is hard to find (sheet music, anyways).  People may know the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy”…but they do not know who wrote it.  He had a multitude of successful Broadway musicals, and yet…he seems to have gone into obscurity.  How very sad.

George M. Cohan is an American institution who is in a class of his own.  And…he’s forgotten by most.


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