Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War

Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War


$129.70 $129.99 Save 0% Current price is $129.7, Original price is $129.99. You Save 0%.
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Battleground Korea, the weighty four-CD box from Bear Family, bears the subtitle "Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War," an assessment equal parts true and false. Compared to the wars that surrounded it -- it happened five years after World War II and ended two years prior to the escalation of military activities in Vietnam -- the Korean War doesn't occupy much space in the American popular consciousness, but it did generate two enduring works of art: The Manchurian Candidate and the 1970 feature film M*A*S*H, along with its accompanying television series. Both The Manchurian Candidate and M*A*S*H were written after the conclusion of the Korean War, but the recordings on Battleground Korea -- mainly music, but there is also a wealth of newsreel footage -- differ because they were produced during the war. These aren't reflections, they're documents of how the country felt as the battle raged. The box is broken into four acts -- the first disc is Going to War Again; the second, In Korea; On the Homefront occupies the third; Peace and Its Legacies forms the conclusion -- and on each CD, blues, country, gospel, and pop sit alongside each other, delivering an unspoken message that the entirety of the United States of America was in this together. Appropriately, a fair amount of the songs hover around the idea of propaganda: perhaps the songs aren't intended as recruitment, but even the laments about service aren't political protest, they're songs of personal woe. As such, Battleground Korea plays quite differently than its cousin set Next Stop Is Vietnam, the monumental 2010 set that documented all the upheavals and fallout from Vietnam. The Korean War wasn't as controversial as Vietnam so this box isn't as rich as Next Stop Is Vietnam, yet it's every bit as compelling for the very reason that the set makes good on the promise of its subtitle. By offering four discs of songs documenting every aspect of the Korean War, Battleground Korea illustrates how deeply the war did cut through America and, in the process, it generated a lot of good singles. Perhaps not a lot of great singles -- by and large, the Achilles' heel is that the songs are too specific in subject to be open for reinterpretation, so they're anchored to their era -- but no matter the genre, the music is strong, simply because it's performed by heavy-hitters who know how to deliver: Lightnin' Hopkins, Fats Domino, B.B. King, Lloyd Price, Vic Damone, Ernest Tubb, Delmore Brothers, J.B. Lenoir, Gene Autry, Jimmie Osborne, Dave Bartholomew, and Merle Travis all contribute memorable musical moments. While the performances are more substantial than the songs, the ephemeral nature of the songs winds up lingering in the memory: this war consumed the imagination of America for three years, then faded away, leaving behind music that is simultaneously ephemeral and weighty.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/18/2018
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 5397102175183
catalogNumber: 17518
Rank: 94569


Disc 1

  1. War Starts in Korea
  2. War News Blues
  3. God Please Protect America
  4. Pray, Pray, Pray (For The U.S.A.)
  5. President Truman speaks on war in Korea (April 1951)
  6. When They Raised the U.N. Flag in South Korea
  7. Got to Go Back Again
  8. Back to Korea Blues
  9. Korea, Here We Come
  10. Goodbye Maria (I’m Off To Korea)
  11. My New Career Is in Korea
  12. Draftboard Blues
  13. Draft Board Blues
  14. Uncle Sam Has Called My Number
  15. I’m A Soldier Boy Again
  16. Here We Go Again
  17. Korea Blues
  18. Korea Blues
  19. Korea Blues
  20. Sorry Girl Blues
  21. Questionnaire Blues
  22. Questionnaire Blues
  23. Uncle Sam Blues
  24. Mailman Blues
  25. Mr. So and So
  26. Greetings
  27. I’m Back In The Army
  28. (In Again, Out Again) Packing Up My Barracks Bags Blues
  29. The K.P. Blues
  30. Message From Vic Damone [Incl. Excerpt From 'Sound Off' by Willie Lee D
  31. The Girls Are Marching

Disc 2

  1. Heading for Korea
  2. Korea (Fightin' in the Foreign Land)
  3. Foxhole in Korea
  4. Inchon
  5. Thank God for Victory in Korea
  6. The Ballad of Chosin
  7. We're Moving On
  8. I'm in Korea
  9. Robert Pierpoint Under Fire in Korea (May 17, 1951)
  10. Heartbreak Ridge
  11. A Heartsick Soldier on Heartbreak Ridge
  12. Where the Need Is
  13. Korean Mud
  14. Request for blood donations
  15. No News From Home
  16. Lost in Korea
  17. From a Foxhole
  18. A Soldier's Prayer
  19. Please Say a Prayer (For the Boys Over There)
  20. Sad News From Korea
  21. A Brother in Korea
  22. From Mother's Arms to Korea
  23. Wrap My Body in Old Glory
  24. Red White and Blue
  25. Rotation Blues
  26. Pusan
  27. A Prisoner of War
  28. When I Get Back
  29. Somewhere in Korea

Disc 3

  1. A GI Writes to His Kids – A Posthumous Letter (September 1950)
  2. Dear Little Girls
  3. Daddy's Last Letter
  4. Two Letters
  5. When They Drop the Atomic Bomb
  6. The Truman-MacArthur dispute that led the President to fire the General (Ap
  7. Oh! Mr. President
  8. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Reports to Congress (April 19, 19
  9. Old Soldiers Never Die
  10. (Old Generals Never Die) They Just Fade Away
  11. Fade Away Baby
  12. Rep. James E. Van Zandt supports the use of the Atomic Bomb in Korea (M
  13. Please Daddy, Don't Go to War
  14. Why Does the Army Need My Daddy
  15. God Bless My Daddy
  16. Don't Steal Daddy's Medal
  17. God Is on Our Side
  18. I'll Be Glad When It's Over (Over There)
  19. I'm Prayin' for the Day (When Peace Will Come)
  20. Heavenly Father
  21. At Mail Call Today
  22. A Dear John Letter
  23. John's Reply
  24. Dear Joan
  25. Forgive Me John
  26. Male Call
  27. A Letter From Home
  28. I Like Ike
  29. I shall go to Korea… (October 24, 1952)
  30. Drive Soldier Drive
  31. Five Star President

Disc 4

  1. Announces an Armistice in Korea...
  2. There’s Peace In Korea
  3. Ike
  4. The Korean Story
  5. The War Is Over
  6. The War Is Over
  7. Leavin' Korea
  8. Hello Maria
  9. Welcome Home Baby
  10. Back From Korea
  11. No More Black Nights
  12. Back Home
  13. His New War Bride
  14. Harry Holt brings Korean war orphans to Portland, Oregon (circa 1956) [
  15. The Legend of Harry Holt
  16. The Iron Curtain Has Parted
  17. Missing in Action
  18. Returned From Missing in Action
  19. I'm Still a Prisoner
  20. Re-Enlistment Blues
  21. The Red Deck of Cards
  22. I Changed My Mind (And I'll Go Home Again)
  23. Purple Heart
  24. White Cross in Korea
  25. Korea's Mountain Northland
  26. A White Cross Marks the Grave
  27. The Unknown Soldier
  28. Searching for You, Buddy
  29. Forgotten Men
  30. China Nights (Shina No Yuro)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Edward R. Murrow   Narrator
Ferlin Husky   Recitation
Dell St. John   Vocals

Technical Credits

J.B. Lenoir   Composer
Gene Autry   Composer
Jimmy Heap   Composer
Hank Snow   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Paul Cotton   Composer
Lloyd Price   Composer
Ray Anderson   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Paul Roberts   Composer
Cecil Gant   Composer
Dick Curless   Composer
Hank Penny   Composer
Marvin Rainwater   Composer
Ernest Tubb   Composer
Jim Eanes   Composer
Jean Shepard   Composer
Don Reno   Composer
Tommy Brown   Composer
Willie Brown   Composer
Arlie Carter   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Composer
Peter DeRose   Composer
Charles Randolph Grean   Composer
Adolph Green   Composer
Lightnin' Hopkins   Composer
Sherman Johnson   Composer
B.B. King   Composer
Ira Louvin   Composer
Charlie Louvin   Composer
Albert Luandrew   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Curly Seckler   Composer
Bob Shad   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Lewis Talley   Composer
Sister Rosetta Tharpe   Composer
Bob White   Composer
Jimmy Witherspoon   Composer
Dave Williams   Composer
Fuzzy Owen   Composer
Alden Bunn   Composer
Alton Delmore   Composer
Rabon Delmore   Composer
Thermon Ruth   Composer
Arthur Q. Smith   Composer
Julius Caleb Ginyard   Composer
Fred Karger   Composer
Dave McEnery   Composer
Edna McGriff   Composer
Don McHan   Composer
Ralph Yaw   Composer
Carl Swanson   Composer
Billy Wallace   Composer
Joe Josea   Composer
Don Larkin   Composer
Albert Hay Malotte   Composer
Jimmy Rule   Composer
Jimmie Short   Composer
Joe Simpson   Composer
Ray Snead   Composer
Max Fidler   Composer
Wally Fowler   Composer
Slim Rhodes   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Bill Howard   Composer
Clifford Blivens   Composer
Jack Cardwell   Composer
Bob Miller   Composer
James Jones   Composer
R. D. Hendon   Composer
Don Barry   Composer
Don Grantham   Composer
Billy Simmons   Composer
Frank Gross   Composer
Jimmie Osborne   Composer
J. Javits   Composer
Johnny Williams   Composer
Hank Harral   Composer
Cactus Pryor   Composer
Macy Lela Henry   Composer
Billy Barton   Composer
Max Bailey   Composer
Rocky Porter   Composer
Kay Kellum   Composer
Bene Russell   Composer
Drusilla Adams Smith   Composer
Art Dorie   Composer
Anna Marie Thomas   Composer
John Schram   Composer
John J. McCormick   Composer
Irvin Tuttle   Composer
Helen Kays   Composer
George Simerly   Composer
Florence Dupree   Composer
Patt Grantham   Composer
Nellie Kane   Composer
Morrie Price   Composer
Stewart Powell   Composer
Lou Osborne   Composer
Ken O’Rourke   Composer
Velma T. Jenkins   Composer
Ulysses Smith   Composer

Customer Reviews