‘An American Trilogy’

I enjoyed your article in the March issue (To save the South). In 1972, my friend and mentor, the late songwriter Mickey Newbury, recorded a song that he called “An American Trilogy.” He had taken a few lines from “Dixie,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and an old Stephen Foster song “All My Trials” and combined them into one song. The result was released by Electra Records and was a huge success here in the U.S. as well as Great Britain and Europe. In 1976 Elvis Presley recorded and released “An American Trilogy” and it was again a big hit record.

In the 1990s, U. S. radio refused to play either version as it was considered “politically incorrect” by radio programmers because of the lines from “Dixie.” Mickey was deeply hurt by this and tried to explain, but the powers-that-be didn’t want to hear it.

In the year 2000, music fans in Great Britain and Europe voted “An American Trilogy” one of the top five songs of the millennium and it is still played there. My friend Mick is gone now, but his song lives on in Great Britain and Europe.

Don Byers
Blairsville, Ga.

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