Local radio stations, especially country-format stations, are reporting numerous requests for patriotic records and songs related to the Persian Gulf war.
There's a current national trend for such requests too, and locally, modern country station KSOP is playing more than its share of war-related songs. For example, station spokeswoman Debby Turpin said that "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood is perhaps KSOP's most-requested song. Greenwood, who originally recorded the song in the 1980s, re-released it last Monday.Another front-runner is the station's No. 5-rated song last week, "You've Got to Stand for Something," by Aaron Tippin.
Still other popular wartime songs on KSOP are: "The Eagle" (by Waylon Jennings, released just two weeks ago), "Fightin' Side of Me" and "Silver Wings" (both by Merle Haggard) and "American Boy" (by Eddie Rabbitt).
Hank Williams Jr. recorded the country song "Don't Give Us A Reason" late last summer at the beginning of the crisis, just 18 hours after it was written. The song mentions Saddam Hussein.
KBCK, a traditional country music station, also reports taking plenty of Salt Lake-area requests for war songs. "Deck of Cards" (by Bill Anderson) is one of the most requested, and others include: "A Letter to Saddam" (Jerry Martin), Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," "Ballad of the Green Berets" (Barry Sadler), "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" (Johnny Carver), "America the Beautiful" (Charlie Rich) and "America, Why I Love Her" (John Wayne).
"It's a trend. We're getting a lot of calls from families," said Richard Lee, a KBCK deejay. He noted that Bette Midler's "From a Distance" is also logging a notable number of requests. "They find something in that song that gives them strength," he said.
KKAT, another Utah country station, even has its own spoof song on the war, "Saddam," by its morning team, Cano and Simmons. It is sung to the tune of "Chains" (Patty Loveless).
John Marks, KKAT program director, said that Tuesday morning Cano and Simmons got a request that came via mobile phone from a U.S. soldier in a foxhole. Apparently the KKAT song is popular among many soldiers overseas.
"From even before the war broke out we noticed an increase in such requests," Marks said of war-related songs. "Our hands-down winner has just got to be `God Bless the USA,' " he said.
Pop music stations are also reporting plenty of war-related requests and a recording of the national anthem by Whitney Houston, sung at the Super Bowl, is one of songs currently in demand at pop music stations.
Another is a revision of "Show Me the Way," by Styx. Edited into this song are comments and phone-ins from government officials, soldiers and callers. Ray Edwards of WOKI-FM in Knowville, Tenn., created the new mix.
"Mother's Pride" and "Freedom," both by George Michaels, are also popular.