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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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I Changed My Mind: Eddie Hill [1954]

If 'The Manchurian Candidate' is ever re-worked as a country musical, this bizarre Korean War brainwashing record might serve as an excellent alternate theme song. The tune's protagonist is a soldier forced to surrender at Heartbreak Ridge and who later finds himself lulled into submission by the devious N. Korean prison guards. It is only by the power of prayer (and a letter from Mom) that snaps the soldier out of his Commie daze. This is yet another Cold War record that uses Christianity as a dividing point between decent folk and the sub-human Communists.

James Edward Hill (aka Smilin' Eddie Hill) was born in 1921 in Delano, Tennessee to a musical family. His father played the fiddle and his grandfather played the banjo. At the age of 17, Hill won a Chattanooga talent contest that led to radio jobs at WROL and WNOX in Knoxville (where he performed on Midday Merry-Go-Round). Hill's next stop was WKRC in Cincinnati.

In 1943 Smilin' Eddie Hill briefly partnered with Johnnie Wright when Jack Anglin was in the Army. Hill's next job was for WMPS in Memphis where he worked with The Louvin Brothers.

In 1947 Hill recorded on one session with Johnnie & Jack at Apollo Records, a New York R&B label and he subsequently played guitar and provided vocals for the duo on RCA. Johnnie & Jack with Hill also performed on the Grand Ole Opry. Hill also recorded solo for Mercury, Decca, and RCA Victor without much success.

Hill played rhythm guitar on many Decca sessions for Kitty Wells. His biggest songwriting success was penning Someday, You'll Call My Name which was a Top Ten hit for Jimmy Wakely in 1949. In 1975 Hill along with Grant Turner, were the first living inductees into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame. For many years Hill hosted the 'All Night Show' on WSM in Nashville and starting in the mid-1950s, Hill hosted his 'Early Morning Show' television show on WLAC.

Hill suffered a stroke in 1968 that left him partially paralyzed and he died in 1994

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
I Changed My Mind: Eddie Hill [1954]

I changed my mind
And now I'll find
The way to peace and happiness
I changed my mind

It was just a week after the Korean War started when I was called to duty
and believe me I was kind of sore that they had to pick on me
But someone had to fight I guess, so off I went
I was a tank gunner and I done my duty and done it well
Until that day on Heartbreak Ridge when they cornered us and we had to surrender
I can't say I minded too much though because then I was pretty tired of this fighting
You know the prison camp wasn't bad at all
the food was good and they treated us swell
We had plenty of books to read and they even had a school there
so when the armistice came, I was thinking of going home but

They changed my mind, they told me I was wrong
And they promised me a way of life that's new
They said I'd find my piece of mind
If I'd forget and leave the one I love behind

So I stayed on at the camp and then some people come to interview me
wanting me to go back home
But I figured they didn't know what they was talking about
this life wasn't so bad
And then I got that long delayed letter from Mom asking me to pray just once more before making my decision
You know I couldn't refuse her this, so I looked all around the camp for a church
And when I asked the guard he said there wasn't any such place and we wasn't supposed to pray
Well this got me to wondering
So I went to my bunk and kneeled down, just like when I was a kid
And I prayed for my mom and right then and there I knew this was one of the things I'd been fighting for and I was going back

I changed my mind and I'll go home again
To the ones who wait and pray for me
I was so blind, but now I'll find
The way to peace and happiness
I changed my mind

Eddie Hill [1954]
I Changed My Mind
(Joan Javits-C. R. Grean)
RCA Victor 20/47-5641

CATEGORY: SONGS: KOREAN WAR[ 1 | COMMENTS | May 10, 06 | 4:08 am ]

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