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Memorial Day

Why today? E.T.’s big hit during the last full year of World War II is the perfect way for 3 Chords a Day to honor America’s fallen heroes.

About the record: Decca 6098, recorded Jan. 13, 1944, at the label’s studio in Hollywood. Released two months later, it eventually topped Billboard‘s country chart and reached the Top 20 on the pop charts. First LP appearance was on Ernest Tubb Favorites, Decca DL-5301, an eight-song, 10-inch album released in 1952.

Redd Stewart — later Pee Wee King’s frontman and songwriting partner — composd this while in the Army and stationed in the Pacific. Ernest Tubb got hold of it, and as he did quite a few times in his long career, polished it up a little before recording it. The song understandably struck a wartime chord; it stayed on the country charts for seven months and was four weeks at No. 1. You might call it the anthem of Gold Star Mothers. It has been covered many times, with Merle Haggard’s version becoming a hit during the height of the Vietnam War in 1970.

We owe our freedom to men and women like the young correspondent in this song. Please take time out today to reflect on their sacrifice.