John Stafford Smith, Francis Scott Key

JIMI HENDRIX                                                                   1969 / 1970                                                                   Cotillion Records

The music was written by John Stafford Smith, c. 1773. The lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key in 1814.

This is the 50th anniversary year of Woodstock. Jimi Hendrix was asked to be one of the many artists to perform at the festival. He agreed only if he could close the show. He was suppose to go on at midnight Sunday night, but his late arrival extended it to early Sunday morning with other performers filling in the gap. Near the end of his final set he played, instrumentally, the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. It is the greatest rock performence of the anthem. The majority of the aprroximately 450,000+ had already left by the early hours after midnight when the festival was suppose to end. Hendrix's late performance left him with around 30,000. The majority had left before one of the greatest performances of the entire festival. Sadly Hendrix would be dead within a year. He was taken from us way too soon. - Larry -


   Jimi Hendrix - guitar

Looking back, it seems strange that the U.S. did not get it's nathional anthem officially until 1931. Previously many other songs served as the nathional anthem. Among others, "Hail, Columbia", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful" were used. Whitney Houston had the biggest chart hit with the song. She took it to #20 in 1991 and #1 after it's re-release in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.
- Larry -


On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. First published under the title “Defense of Fort M'Henry,” the poem soon attained wide popularity as sung to the tune “To Anacreon in Heaven.” The origin of this tune is obscure, but it may have been written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer born in 1750. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially made the national anthem by Congress in 1931, although it already had been adopted as such by the army and the navy.


Francis Scott Key was a gifted amateur poet. Inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after the bombardment, he scribbled the initial verse of his song on the back of a letter. Back in Baltimore, he completed the four verses (PDF) and copied them onto a sheet of paper, probably making more than one copy. A local printer issued the new song as a broadside. Shortly afterward, two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by mid-October it had appeared in at least seventeen other papers in cities up and down the East Coast. This 19th century version (MP3) of the Star-Spangled Banner was performed on original instruments from the National Museum of American History's collection. Arranged by G. W. E. Friederich, the music is played as it would have been heard in 1854.

YOU TUBE HENDRIX LIVE, Woodstock, 1969 YOU TUBE ROSANNE BARR WORST EVER RENDITION, 1990 YOU TUBE OTHER WORST EVER RENDTIONS YOU TUBE WHITNEY HOUSTON LYRIC VIDEO O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation; Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!