I had mentioned in an earlier update that RamCorps from The University of Mobile had asked me to help out with some arranging for their performances on the Duck Commander Cruise. RamCorps is a high-impact visual brass and percussion ensemble. High energy is RIGHT!

For the last night’s finale on the cruise, they were asked to play God Bless the USA with Lee Greenwood. Their director, a friend of mine, Kenn Hughes asked if I would do the arrangement.

I remember hearing the arrangement in the 80’s when it first came out. And during the Gulf War. And what an emotional moment it was when Lee sang it before Game 4 of the World Series after the towers fell on 9/11.

Both my wife and Lee’s wife weren’t on the cruise, so Lee and I had the opportunity to hang out a good bit. We talked about life, family, kids, music careers and of course, the history of one of the most iconic Patriotic songs of all time.

The last night of the cruise, and Lee sings a set of some his other successful hits…Dixie Road, I.O.U., To Me (with Barbara Mandrell) and quite a few more. He then brings RamCorps out on the stage along with the Robertson clan while Jared Emerson is painting this stunning photo of an eagle with the American Flag.

If tomorrow all the things were gone…

That’s it. I was done right then. I figured if I never got to hear any arrangement of mine played live again, hearing Lee sing those words with the guys and gals of RamCorps playing the notes I wrote behind him…it was enough.

Many years from now, I’m pretty sure I’ll drive my grandkids crazy when I retell this story on the 4th of July when we hear a recording of Lee singing, “From the lakes of Minnesota (where I’m from btw) to the hills of Tennessee (where I live btw)…”

And I am totally fine with that.

God bless the USA.