Veteran country singer Lee Greenwood is set to headline North Charleston's July 4th Festival at Riverfront Park on Wednesday evening.
Greenwood enjoyed a major career boost over the recent years with the revitalized hit "God Bless The USA" — a patriotic anthem he's been belting out since its original release in the early '80s and its first big bounce from the first Gulf War in 1991-'92. Wouldn't it be fantastic to hear a genuinely "modern American" set of patriotic ditties from Greenwood on Independence Day? Here's the official City Paper wish list for the big show:
• America The Beautiful by Ray Charles; a rendition of the soulful version offered by one of the best.
• Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix: originally played with total commitment from a former Army Ranger at Woodstock maybe Greenwood could scat it.
• Revolution by The Beatles: well, you know thats how this whole Fourth of July thing started.
• War by Edwin Star: how great would it be to hear Greenwood holler, I said war! Huh. Good God, yall. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Say it again.
• Saturday in the Park by Chicago: youd think it was the fourth of July.
• This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie: from California to the New York islands folk revivalists of the 60s kept this classic Guthrie tune (written originally as a parody of God Bless America) in our hearts and minds.
• I Felt Like a Gringo by Minutemen: an obscure one, but a funky standout by one of California best rock bands ever; D. Boon and Mike Watt wonder why they spent the Fourth in someone elses country.
• Living in America by James Brown: station to station, ow! The scene of the Godfather of Soul performing this during Rocky IV inspired millions.
• An American Trilogy by Elvis Presley: the kings majestic blend of Dixie, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the spiritual All My Trials done up in Vegas glitter. Glory, hallelujah!
• 4th of July by X: hey baby, its the Fourth of July so say Exene Cervenka and John Doe.
• Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp: aint that America? Its something to see baby home of the free, little pink houses for you and me.
—T. Ballard Lesemann
The July 4th Festival at Riverfront Park (1001 Everglades Dr.) in North Charleston starts at 3 p.m. Lee Greenwood hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. All activities are free. Visit www.leegreenwood.com and www.northcharleston.org for more.