From the Vault...


S/Sgt. Barry Sadler
"Ballads Of The Green Berets"

© Collector's Choice Music Year of Release: 1966

track listing
  • Ballads Of
    The Green Berets
  • I'm A Lucky One
  • Letter From Vietnam
  • Badge Of Courage
  • Saigon
  • Salute To The Nurses
  • I'm Watching
    The Raindrops Fall
  • Garet Trooper
  • The Soldier Has
    Come Home
  • Lullaby
  • Trooper's Lament
  • Bamiba
  • The A Team

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    S/Sgt. Barry Sadler related sites:
    S/Sgt. Barry Sadler Website
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    S/Sgt. Barry Sadler
    "Ballads Of The Green Berets"

    SSgt. Barry Sadler is best known for his #1 hit, "The Ballad Of The Green Berets," a song that is just as popular for its patriotism as John Wayne's album America, Why I Love Her. Sadler's album Ballads Of The Green Berets was an instant hit when released back in 1966, as it reached #1 on the Billboard Albums chart for 5 weeks. This album truthfully relates messages/stories of Patriotism. The album still stands out for today's military services, indicating the responsibilites of serving our country, fighting and winning wars, and coming home.

    The album starts with Sadler's most popular song, "The Ballad Of The Green Berets," a song that is never tiring, and still is fresh today as it was first recorded. Snappy, jazzy music is the backdrop for "I'm A Lucky One" (which would be Sadler's title of his autobiography book released in 1967).

    The promising tale of coming home from the war in "Letter From Vietnam" does hit home -- Despite how long a war continues, the fight to win the war, and coming home is always in the back of every soldier's mind.

    Most of the songs on this album not only has Sadler's singing, but spoken words. (I can't help but think of William Shatner's style... and even John Wayne's spoken dialec from America, Why I Love Her"Badge Of Courage, "Saigon" (to name a few) has both singing and spoken phrases.

    Sadler's messages are easily heard on "Saigon, "Salute To The Nurses," "The Soldier Has Come Home" and "Trooper's Lament." These songs all have the same style for Sadler. Yet it's often to pay attention to the music background, as heard on "I'm Watching The Raindrops Fall" -- there's great guitar pickin' on this tune, and it's compared to the likes of guitar legend Les Paul in a way.

    What is a Garet Trooper ? One of the answers from "Yahoo Answers" : As an aside, I recall during the Vietnam war, the US troops had an expression Garrett Trooper. He was the guy with spit polished boots and clean fatigues that never left the base. Never at risk, never responsible for his decisions, always looking good and then went home and claimed heroic actions anyway. From Garret or Garrett ... an old military word for Barracks.

    Barry Sadler's "Garet Trooper" is one that should not be overlooked; It's another favorite track of mine, and could have easily been as popular as The Ballad of the Great Berets -- it is a GREAT track!

    Getting back to the music, "Lullaby" has the most pleasant sounding music on this track. The musical style of Harry Belafonte is heard on "Bamiba."

    Sadler's next album was entitled "The "A" Team" -- and the title track is included as a bonus track. (This was included when the album was reissued on CD by Collector's Choice Music. "The "A" Team" track is a very good tune, and should be another favorite.

    Sadler's singing may not be the highlight of this album, but his messages and stories of Patriotism truly is. He wrote (or co-wrote) every track on this album. Sadler never proved himself as a singer; he was a soldier, and he did what other soldiers may have never done -- recorded tracks regarding his experiences in combat.

    SSgt. Barry Sadler lead an untimely life: (Taken from his Wikipedia page):
    On December 1, 1978 at around 11pm, Sadler killed country songwriter Lee Emerson Bellamy with one gunshot to the head. The shooting was the culmination of a month's long dispute the men had over Darlene Sharp, who was Bellamy's former girlfriend, and Sadler's girlfriend at the time. Bellamy was not pleased by her involvement with Sadler. Witnesses gave testimony that prior to the shooting, Bellamy made many harassing phone calls to Sadler, and numerous threats on his life. On the night in question, Bellamy made several harassing phone calls, including one to the Natchez Trace Restaurant, where Sadler and Sharp were having dinner and drinks with several friends. That led to Sadler asking the bartender to call the police, who never responded. Bellamy later followed the group to Sharp's residence and knocked on the door. Sadler exited a side door to try to catch him in the act, and upon seeing Sadler, Bellamy proceeded to aggressively approach him. It was at this point, Sadler testified, that he saw a flash of metal. Thinking this was a gun, he discharged his weapon once. Bellamy was struck in the head and died the following morning. It was later shown that Bellamy was unarmed, and that the flash of etal was likely from his car keys. After the shooting, according to court records on the case, Sadler then placed a handgun into Bellamy's van. This may have been to strengthen his case for self defense, which initially, is what Sadler claimed. This was later changed to a plea of guilty.

    On June 1, 1979 Sadler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Lee Emerson Bellamy, and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Upon appeal, due to the circumstances of the case, his sentence was reduced to the 21 days already served in a Tennessee workhouse. Sadler was later sued for wrongful death by Bellamy's estate, and was ordered to pay restitution of around $10,000.

    In another untimely event, this event would lead to Sadler's death in 1989: (Taken from his Wikipedia page):
    Sadler moved to Guatemala City in the mid 1980s and often hung out at a bar/restaurant called La Europa (also known as Freddie's Bar for the German proprietor). He continued to publish the Casca books (mostly using various ghostwriters), produced a self-defense video (which was never released) and even helped with vaccination programs in rural villages.

    It was in Guatemala City that he was shot in the head one night in a taxi. He was airlifted to the U.S. by friends from Soldier Of Fortune Magazine, where he was hospitalized and remained in a coma for several months. He died little more than a year later in the Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The circumstances involving his shooting remain a mystery. It has been variously claimed that he committed suicide, that he shot himself accidentally while showing off to a female companion, and that he was assassinated for allegedly training and arming the Contras. The most common story identifies the incident as a robbery. According to his companion at the time, he had been training Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries and had received death threats.

    Ballads Of The Green Berets is another great album to play for Patriotic Holidays, for past, present and future U.S. Military Services. God bless SSgt. Barry Sadler: You served your country well, likewise served a musical journey for displaying your military knowledge.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Collector's Choice Music Records and is used for reference purposes only.

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