THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS BECAME #1 HIT 50 YEARS AGO
New York City (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, March 5, 1966, "The Ballad of the Green Berets," written by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler*, moved to #1 on the popular music charts.
The song about the US Army's Special Forces, better known as the Green Berets, was both written and performed by Sadler who was an active duty member and served as a combat medic before being wounded in the war in Vietnam.
"The Battle of the Green Berets" was released by RCA VICTOR RECORDS in early 1966. The record sold over one million copies. Only one other Sadler record, "The A Team" rose on the charts.
Later, Barry Sadler became a novelist but in 1978, he shot and killed country songwriter, Lee Emerson Bellamy, over a girlfriend. Bellamy was a manager for Marty Robbins and George Jones.
Found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, Mr. Sadler was sentenced to four to five years in prison, but served only 21 days in a Nashville workhouse.
After having moved to Guatemala City, Barry Sadler was shot in the head while sitting in a cab during an attempted robbery. He died of complications from the wound on September 8, 1989, at the Alvin York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
*Barry Allen Sadler (1940-1989) was born in Carlsbad, NM. He attended high school in Leadville, CO & enlisted in the USAF at age 17. After airborne training, he served in the US Army Special Forces.
Trained as a combat medic, BAS was wounded in South Vietnam in May 1965. He was awarded the Purple Heart as well as other service medals.
Ballad of the Green Beret
by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler
& Robin Moore (1966)
Fighting soldiers from the sky
Fearless men who jump & die
Men who mean just what they say
The brave men of the Green Beret
"Ballad of the Green Beret," by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler and Robin Moore, copyright 1966, www.scoutsongs.com/
Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler,