A handy reference book that will aid scholarship into our nation’s official anthem was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
You can listen to their conversation via the Soundcloud link above.
“America’s National Anthem: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in U.S. History, Culture and Law” features entries on the song’s relationship to and impact upon composers, laws, court cases, wars, popular culture and more.
The encyclopedia also provides details about controversial renditions of the anthem, such as Roseanne Barr’s 1990 performance during a Major League Baseball doubleheader at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California, and demonstrations performed during the anthem, such as the Black Power salute African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised as a human rights protest as they stood on the medals podium during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico.
While citizens have suggested “America the Beautiful,” “God Bless America” and other more singable songs as replacements for the anthem, Vile suggests there is a reason “The Star-Spangled Banner” endures.
“One reason, maybe, that the ‘Banner’ has succeeded over some of the other tunes is it is a way of combining two symbols together,” Vile said. “It’s about a symbol that’s arguably more important. The flag is probably more important than the song itself.”
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.