When we interviewing vets for We Gotta Get Out of This Place, we began the conversations by asking “What’s your song?” Even for vets who were reluctant to talk about their experience in Vietnam, that more often than not got a smile followed by a story or three. We don’t have many regrets about the way the book came out, but we wish we’d had space to share all of those stories at full length.

This page gives you a chance to share your song. We welcome any stories from vets, including era vets who weren’t in-country, as well as stories from non-vets that tie in with the themes of the book. We’ll be checking in once or twice a week and will post some thoughts in response to the stories.

Use the comment section below let us know what your song is.

  1. Arthur A. Downey

    “Stang By Yomang”

    • Craig Werner

      Got a story that goes with it (not that it’s hard to imagine). Thanks for posting.

  2. Jordan T.

    I’m the son of a Nam vet and a scholar of the war myself looking to pursue my PhD in the field. I was very pleased to hear this book is now out for sale. When I was young my Dad used to have me stay up and watch the Vietnam themed shows Tour of Duty and China Beach and to this day I still think of my Dad every time I hear Paint it Black or Reflections. I did not realize it at the time but my Dad had been an artilleryman in Vietnam from 69 to 71 in the Central Highlands. He rarely if ever spoke openly about the ‘Nam, except to say that he saw “things no one else should see.” I now know that the music that filled my childhood was the soundtrack of my Dad’s days in the Nam. Dad died of cancer in ’90 and it was only in recent years that I examined the letters and recording he made to his folks. Contained within was a list of the musical groups popular with him the artillery battery he served in. I heard many of these artists growing up and will be forever grateful to my Dad for introducing me to the symphony of his youth. Thank you for your book, below is a listing of some of the groups popular with my Dad’s unit.
    All the Best,
    J. Teslow

    (Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Simon and Garfunkel, The 5th Dimension, Young Rascals, Dionne Warwick, The Delfonics, Johnny Cash, Johnny Rivers, The Lettermen, The Vogues, Tom Jones, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Yarborough, Bee-Gees)

  3. admin

    Thanks, Jordan. It was nice to see some names that hadn’t come up in our interviews: The Delfonics, Lettermen, Vogues and Glenn Yarborough (I just watched “Baby, the Rain Must Fall” on DVD the other day–had never connected it with Vietnam, but that happened dozens of times as we worked on the book).

    But more to the point, one of the things we learned was that families are almost as big a part of the story as the men and women who served. We have one story in the final chapter, from Pauline Laurent whose husband was killed in action, that stands in for thousands of more. That’s another book, one I’d read in a heartbeat.

    Thanks and good luck with whatever project you settle on in your work. Keep us in the loops.


  4. Karen C.

    Husband is a Vietnam Navy vet. I had high school friends, too, who served; fortunately, all came home. I was in high school during last few years of the war and recall the horrible treatment of the returning servicemen and women. Also remember The Animals’ “Sky Pilot” during the same period. Still makes me profoundly sad when I hear it today and think of all the Americans who perished in Vietnam or who are suffering still. Thank you all, with deepest gratitude.

    • admin

      Glad your friends made it back. Remember Sky Pilot really well (and if I had the interview with Eric Burdon to do again, I’d have remembered to ask him about that song. He was so great on We Gotta Get Out of This Place that I just didn’t remember…)

  5. Not a veteran myself — but my Dad was World War II-era (the war ended while he was still in training), and my father-in-law served in Korea (both Army), and I wish I knew what songs helped them get through it! I saw a link to NextAvenue.com’s article about your project and think this is absolutely wonderful. I teach classes and write about music and how absolutely vital it is as a healing force in our lives, and I often include material about musical non-profits that help vets (Guitars for Vets and MusiCorps, mostly). But next time I do, I think I’ll be using “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” as key reading material! (Especially since I LOVE Vietnam-era classic rock, myself.)
    And since I am writing this on Veterans’ Day: thank you ALL, profoundly.

    • admin

      When I was back in Colorado last summer my Dad, a World War II vet who stayed in the service into the 60s–I have a picture of myself with him at Fort Riley–said he wished he had the book about his war, like this one. We can’t write it, but we hope someone does while those guys are still around to read it.


  6. Paula

    My Dad, a Vietnam Vet, died a couple of months ago from agent orange related cancer. He flew C-130’s in Vietnam before i was born but his service and time changed him forever, I don’t think he ever left emotionally. His experiences, while he never told me about them, affects my family to this day and the music from that era is honestly the sound track of my life and my brother’s. I listen to it almost every day. When i was little after the war, he would keep me up at night (way past my bedtime) to listen to Cat Stevens lyrics, because they were “pure poetry.” I particularly remember Peace Train and Oh Very Young. He loved the Beatles, Dylan, Judy Collins, CSN&Y and always Cat Stevens. His last night on this earth, my brother sang to him Father and Son and the last song he heard was Mark Knopfler’s Brothers in Arms. I haven’t been able to listen that song again… yet.

    • admin

      I hope you reach the point where you can hear Brothers in Arms again. “He never left emotionally”….that echoes against so many of the stories we heard,

    • Stephanie

      Paula- Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the recent loss of your father. My husband was with the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle ( he said they used to call them the Puking Buzzards LOL ). It was only much later in life that he even began to speak of his service as a LRRP in the jungles of Vietnam. He was haunted by his service and what he saw. He also died from Agent Orange related lung cancer. As far as I’m concerned,those that later passed from a service related illness from their service in Vietnam need some kind of remembrance. My husband loved music but would never play or listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival -now I know why. My thanks to all that served and also a long awaited “Welcome Home!”

  7. Doug Chambers

    I can easily talk about the era, out of country, state side duty. But I have to say that after looking after what was then still called shell shock victims recovering or being treated, providing for their safety here in the states, you knew you were the lucky one. Handing a flag to a family after losing their 19 or 20 year old son or husband was sickening and gut wrenching. The cost in lives………Duty at the financial center Indianapolis as a Military Policeman directing traffic, guarding the Fort during civil unrest was again much easier than many of my friends had it….. but it didn’t change the fact that after hours cranking up these songs made everything tolerable.
    Fall Creek River…………Creedence
    Evil Ways………………..Santana
    I’m Going Home…………….Alvin lee

    • admin

      Our friend Steve Piotrowski said one of the smartest things I’ve heard about Vietnam, which was that the whole system was set up to give everyone a certain amount of guilt. If you weren’t on the front lines, but in the rear; it you made it back but your buddies, didn’t; it you were stateside instead of in country. But the point is, it hit everyone, hard, in their own ways. Shell shock, battle fatigue, PTSD, doesn’t matter what you call it. The cost, as you say, was in the lives.

      Thanks for the songs.

      • Ben

        Wow, that guilt comment hit home. Being 17 in 1972 and the war coming to an end I was assigned to the 1st Cav Div at Ft Hood, many I was stationed with were guys 2 to 3 years older then me and recently home from Nam. The music you list in the article was the music you hear in the barracks at night and weekends… but back about the guilt because of going in in ’72 being called a Vietnam War Veteran brings massive feelings of guilt. Recently at work, I work for the government, some fool had great idea of honoring Vietnam War Veterans, including those that just served stateside, like me. My mind became filled with thoughts of all those guys I served with just back from Vietnam trying to adjust back to the world. All I could feel was guilt… I didn’t go in country, I didn’t deserve to be part of that recognition…I refused to wear that 50 year anniversary pin they gave us.. Those that went in country deserved to be honored, but not me. Well anyways music was and I figure still is a very important part of a soldier’s experience when they serve, it was for guys I knew back in ’72-74, for me, and I am assured for those serving today.. thanks for doing the book I hope it is well received by those that went, and help people understand part of the experiences those once young, brave men had … 1, 2, 3, 4, next stop Vietnam….

  8. Rick Benedetti

    The Doors ‘Riders of the Storm’.

    • admin

      Hell yeah. Check out the mash-up on the entry page of the web site. Love what they did with Riders on it. Got stuck in my head for weeks the first time I saw it,

  9. Nick Dontas

    I arrived at the 90th Replacement in August of 68 and was lucky enough to stay at Long Binh with the 29th GS Group. Your list was really good. We all had tape decks (I had 4 at one time) and great stereo equipment. I checked off a day off my calendar for 365 consecutive days but many of these songs made it a lot more bearable.

  10. Sam Stanley Alden

    “Crystal Blue Pursuasion” by Tommie James and the Shondells. It was always playing on the jukebox at the Pleiku AFB O Club (the hangout of choice). I was at the 71st Evac Hospital 69-70, 1LT/CPT. Though not a nostalgic choice, all the Phillipino and Korean bands did their versions of “Rollin’ on the River” – brollin, brollin, brollin ob de reeber … Always brings a smile.

    • admin

      We heard a whole lot of mentions of the Korean bands’ versions of Proud Mary, smile. Be sure to check out the solo in the book from Edgar Acosta, lead singer and guitarist with the Six Uglies, now living down South in the U.S.

  11. bob

    “Time” by the Chambers Brothers

  12. Beth Key

    Thank you to all who served. To all who suffered through those endless years of worry at home for the soldiers, for loved ones, no single song was the statement, but rather a collage of musical memories that still freeze the frames of time for us collectively. My mantra was the haunting tune Sweet Sir Gallahad sung by Joan Baez and Mimi Farina as we mourned – and prayed the body count on the evening news would end. Tonight after a day of thanks to all veterans who served I particularly remember those who paid the ultimate price. And so many for whom the price came at such a cost – Gary Eugene Fields who came back with the loss of his brothers weighing so heavily on his mind as the sole survivor and pilot of the Huey they all went down in. When he came home his plan to travel the country to visit the families of his brothers was his burning goal, and he kept up a correspondence with those families through the years to come. Gary’s life before Viet Nam was a freeze frame for me – drummer in his band and playing college basketball on a scholarship. Issac Hayes played constantly wherever Gary was – Can You Dig It?

    • admin

      Amen. And another shout out to Isaac Hayes.

  13. Ron Micetic

    Galveston always made me homesick, brought a tear to my eye, and scared me all at the same time….although I’d never even been to Galveston. I think it’s one of the greatest anti-war songs ever recorded. Here Comes the Sun, and Shaft always bring back Army memories.

    • admin

      Galveston was one of those songs I’d listened to a million times when I was a teenager without ever registering that it’s really and obviously a Vietnam song. One of those that highlights the difference between listening in the world and in Vietnam.

    • Chris

      In this year of 2017 when we’ve lost Glen Campbell, coming across this comment was particularly poignant.

  14. GEORGE

    “All Along The Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix.

    • admin

      There must be some kind of way out of here…..

  15. Lee Winslow

    “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” was certainly a big favorite when I was at Pleiku AB in 1968. Also “If You’re Going to San Francisco,” for some reason. I think because it was a traveling song and we seemed to like all of those no matter who sang them. We had a local Army guy, Lee Dresser, who came and played at the Airmen’s Club now and then. We had two Army bases close by and I don’t remember the name of his. He wrote and sang a song called “Bye,Bye Viet Nam.” There were always requests for that when he was there. Too bad he didn’t get to release that as a single. He had a couple of albums released after his discharge and was on a CMT program one night several years later. Don’t know what happened to him after that. Country Joe’s Fixing to Die Rag seemed to hit me on two levels. I heard it as protest song and also after having been in Viet Nam, I got the military humor of it. I am looking forward to reading your book.

    • admin

      Wish we’d heard By Bye Vietnam. A couple of years back we contributed to the book accompanying a 13 (!!) CD set of Vietnam-related music put together by Hugo Keesing called Next Stop Is Vietnam. The last two CDs consist of songs by soldiers and veterans. Country Joe played a central role in collecting that material, but we know there’s a ton more of it out there.

  16. Kathy (O'Brien) Dennis

    My brother John J. O’Brien was killed in Vietnam on April 15, 1968. The song I remembered so well was Where have all the Flowers Gone…. I think that was the title. It still brings tears to my eyes. My brother earned The Silver Star for his bravery . His death occurred soon after Martin Luther King’s assassination and a few months before Robert Kennedy’s death. It was a horrible time for all of us and it was the most horrible time for our soldiers. I am an older lady now with children and grandchildren. I spent 45 years as an RN many of which i had the honor of helping veterans from several wars. My husband also served in Vietnam and one of our daughters was born on Veterans Day. A bittersweet day for me. I love your book and will purchase one soon. Maybe another book could be published with the songs we remember from those affected on the home front?

    • admin

      So sorry for your loss, but grateful for the support you gave the vets.

      There’s definitely a book to be written focusing on the home front. We let one story, Pauline Laurent’s, stand in for many more. It’s a gesture, but we know that there are thousands of stories, each with their own song and their own heartache.

  17. Mike Jensen

    The Beatles… Revolution brings back memories that flood my soul. AFN radio played this, or “Hey Jude” almost every morning around 6-6:30. Grew to look forward to the songs, glad I was there to listen one more time.
    C Btry 1/8 Arty
    Welcome home brothers of mine, welcome home



    • admin

      Thanks. I’ll hand off to Doug for Rocky Bleier’s story, which connects with Hey Jude.

      • admin

        Rocky Bleier was the only NFL player to serve in Vietnam. He lost part of his right foot in an attack in 1969 but returned to the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers in 1971-72 and was part of several of their Super Bowl championships. He told me the song that kept running through his head when he was in the hospital after his injuries was “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.

  18. Richard Whorf

    Dec 13th 1968 to Dec 12th 1969. Phouc Vinh South Veitnam home of the 1st Air Cav. The Rolling Stones Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Played on every chopter everyday.

    • Doug Bradley

      Welcome home brother. The Stones, “Satisfaction,” and ‘Nam choppers is a powerful mix indeed! Glad you made it home.

    • admin

      One of the many cool things about Satisfaction is that we heard about three versions when we were talking to vets: the Stones (of course), Aretha’s and Otis Redding’s. Glad we don’t have to choose between them.

  19. Alan Abrams

    I was in the Air Force from 1969-1973 – music that stands out;
    In a gadda da vida – Iron Butterfly
    Stairway to heaven – Led Zepplin
    Jingo – Santana
    Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
    Green Onions – Booker T and the MGs

    I was in the Army during Desert Storm and OIF/OEF but the music of the Vietnam era stays with me even now

    • admin

      Man, you put in your time. Nice playlist. There are some nice Santana stories in the part of our book that focuses on Chicano vets. The point was basically that he spoke to pretty much everyone.

  20. Sheri Hoffman

    I was in my very early teens during Vietnam so, while I wasn’t there nor were any of my friends or family, what was happening there, and the political climate back home, went a long way towards forming my own political views – and must have done for so many my age. When I was a few years older, I dated a guy who had been a medic there, and his experiences also deeply affected my views and feelings. I hated the war, but I have always, and continue to have, the highest respect and admiration for those who serve(d) – my father (z”l) was in the South Pacific in WWII.
    My main Vietnam songs – those that specifically spoke to me about the war at the time – were Donovan’s “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting” (“from Andy in Vietnam fighting”), which I loved even though Donovan wasn’t American (I learned years later that people in many other countries were deeply opposed to the war), Buffy Sainte-Marie’s version of “Universal Soldier” (Donovan also did a version); “Ohio” by CSN&Y about the Kent State shootings (students protesting the war), and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” (“Stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down”), because it was so much about what was happening back home.

    • admin

      That’s the thing….the war touched a whole lot of people who weren’t there; not in the same way, but deeply.

      When we teach the Vietnam class, we always invite vets and ask them to start and end their sessions with a song. A couple of years ago, the first two vets who visited both chose For What It’s Worth. The first, Linda McClanahan (aka “Sister Sarge”) talked about having grown up in Berkeley. She was on the bus when she saw a car burning in the midst of a demonstration. At that point, she decided that she wanted to go to Vietnam and see for herself, so she enlisted (her parents weren’t delighted). The next week a guy who was a Marine talked about being home on leave, driving in a car with a buddy and a couple of girls. FWIW came on the radio and he realized that *he* was the man with the gun over there. He’s one of the most articulate and fiercely anti-war guys we talked to while we were writing the book. Like you say, there was so much happening everywhere.

  21. Tim Harnevious

    Vietnam Aug 71 – Apr 72
    Heard a lot of Vietnamese bands playing in Army clubs. Most of the bands – regardless of the type of music they “played” (country, rock, etc) seemed to know Grand Funk’s “Closer to Home” and always closed their shows with “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, with everybody in the club singing along as loud as they could. Same held true if the band happened to be from Korea or Australia (sometimes with a stripper!).

  22. The years have passed and my memories of “Nam fade along with the names (but not the faces) of the guys I served with up on the Cambodian border in the Fish Hook of III Corps. The constant memory is of AFVN and the music of our war. My main memory is when I left Tan Son Knut coming home. As the freedom bird lifted from the runway ,the aircrew ; God bless ’em ,put “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” on the intercom. I have never sung so loudly in my life! Thank you for helping me remember the best day of my life.

    • admin

      That song’s the title of the book for a reason, smile. Thanks for sharing your part of the story.

  23. ‘Smoke on the Water” — anyone who had liberty in Subic Bay, Philippines, around 1972 will most likely agree. Most of the honky tonks in Olongapo City had a bad who could cover this tune along with most others of that era.

    • admin

      Great choice, yet another one that means something really different in the context of the war. Side note, I (Craig)’m a member of the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I was really happy to see Deep Purple get elected this year.

  24. Sue Wilson

    He ain’t Heavy the Hollies …..for my brother Tim Wilson…..USS Waddelll….US Navy……I Miss Him….vsmeyer@hotmail.com



    Please go to youtube THE PROMISE BY JACK MURPHY
    Please share with all Veterans.
    Thank you

  26. Dennis

    I was lilly white in a mostly black platoon in danang south vietnam in 1970. Every song on reel to teel tapes was jimmy ruffin, the temps, and otis redding. Ill always love that music!

    • admin

      Great great era for soul.

    • whoah this blog is wonderful i like reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of iniudidvals are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  27. Pat Northern, First Sgt, USAF (Ret)

    For years, my daughter, now 30, refrained from asking me about my tour in Nam…A couple of years ago, I began to tell her bits and pieces, and to open up my heart and feelings to her…At times, my Grandaughter, 6 years old, would ask me “what is Vietnam”, and I would try to put it in words she could understand…She heard the song, “Still in Saigon” by Charlie Daniels, one morning on the way to school…She said, “PaPa, that song is about you”…and from that point forward she wanted to hear it every day…Now, she knows it by heart, and sings along with it…She said just the other day, “PaPa, I sure am glad you made it home”….brought tears to my eyes… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvc0Quq5x8c

    • admin

      Beautiful story. Really happy for you and for her. We talked to the songwriter, Dan Daley, for the book–check out that section. Song didn’t start out being about Vietnam.

  28. Richard Zastrow


    I agree with I gotta get out of this place as the number one song. Heard it a lot and wished it were true til the day I left. But 2 other songs I remember as being significant for me, Born to be Bad, and In the Year 2525. When I left on the Freedom Bird; in 69 as we lifted off the pilot came on the intercom and said “ok guys say it loud GOOD BYE VIETNAM, we all shouted until we were horse.

  29. Dale Foss

    CCR’s “Proud Mary” along with “We Gotta Get Outta This Place” were the 2 standards of any South Vietnamese band in 1970/71.

  30. Ed Walker

    I’m a Marine Vietnam Veteran. I agree with every song you have listed, but there are two we sang at every gathering where a beer could be had. Cold, hot or more likely warm. Silver Wings by Merle Haggard and the Strangers as well as Tammy Wynette’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden after we moved from Vietnam to Phnam Foung Thailand (aka The Rose Garden in ’73). Went in and volunteered in 66. Got out in 81 after a lot of beliefs were changed. I grew up and aged a lot as we all did.

    Thank you for your efforts. There is still a lot of healing that is going on. A lot of us have groups and brothers we talk with but what we share we don’t even speak of. There are still things I don’t think of anymore but the music takes me to better times I could share with friends that made it and some I just remember. Most names I have blocked out out of kindness to them and me.

    It is and was the music.

  31. Mark Barker

    The song that still to this day that sends me back to vietnam is “Who’ll stop the rain” by CCR. The monsoons didn’t keep charley from doing their thing so it couldn’t stop the brown water navy either. I still don’t mind getting wet but it plays hell with hearing aides.

    • Charles (Chuck) Johnston

      Hello Viet Nan by Johnny Wright and Detroit City by Bobby Bare. Like someone stated before I am a Countryr Western Fan and I feel there wasn’t enough Country Western Music played during my tour in Viet Nam. Also liked Bob Dillan and all songs by the Temptations especially, “Too Proud to Beg”.

      (435MMS Phan Rang AB)

  32. Mark Barker

    AFVN and cassette tapes from home were very high priority.

  33. John

    Fortunate Son. 101st AIRBORNE 501st PIR. KOO SING South Vietnam

  34. John

    In addition to my earlier comment, the only girl born on my side of the family is my granddaughter who was born on Veterans day. She always asks why I cry on her birthday?

  35. Bill Weber

    I served as a helicopter mechanic in the 335th assault helicopter co. from Mar’68- oct’68(ETS & DEROS same date as my time ran out,lol) .We gotta get out was most popular and my favorite album was “Flowers” by the Stones. I still can’t believe that it took me 47yrs to finally buy the album,lol. Still remember Chris Noel as a d.j. on the arm forces radio over there. What got me through Vietnam was really my faith as I still made it to Sunday Mass whether it be in a conference room or 5 miles away in an actual church at Toi Hua airbase (hitched a ride occasionally)…(and yes, I arrived there as theTet offensive ended)

  36. Dan Greenberg

    I was in the 9th division in 1968. Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman always moved me and when I hear it now it brings me back to the delta again.

  37. Dick Kirtley

    NAvy advisor to VN riverboat division…nothing like blasting CCR’s PROUD MARY!!! Never hear it without traveling back in time!

  38. Mike Fredrickson BM2(DV1)

    VIetnam started for me on Yankee Station in 1969 aboard the USS HJ Thomas (DD-833). Besides plane guard duty we often gave a lot of gun support for the grunts in country. I often wondered if we really helped them or if we were just wasting a lot of rounds. Hopefully we helped save a life or two.
    1970-71 I was in Country, Dong Tam, Saigon and Vung Tau (spelling?).
    A song that resonates to this day is Barry McGuire and Eve of Destruction.
    Welcome home my brothers and sisters. We did what we were asked to do and we should always walk tall and be proud. Hoo Yah Deepsea!

  39. Matthew Keenan

    I am a U.S. Army Veteran and served in Da Nang in 1971 – 72 and have a medical illness from Agent Orange exposure. I am currently in Da Nang as a volunteer at a day care center helping children who suffer from agent orange related illnesses. I actually have a recording of a visiting band at a Da Nang military club singing We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. What is amazing is the Army Guys singing and cheering louder then the band. Singing Short, Short, Short We gotta get out of this place, girl there’s a better life in the USA. After the band stops the guys are yelling more, more, more and the band comes back and everyone is singing Joy to the World- All the Boys and Girls – Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me. It just may be the only live recording of this unique Vietnam War experience. I would be happy to share it with you upon my return to the U.S. in a few weeks.

  40. Walter J Tuss Jr

    I on the Kitty Hawk, CVA 63, VAW 114, worked on the E2A aircraft. Of my three trips to Nam I spent 90% of my time on the flight deck. Seen a lot of planes come or go for twelve hours a day or longer. During the tet in 68 we were launching planes 24 hrs a day. The song I most listen to was Neal Diamond’s Sundown and Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Leaving on a Jet Plane. I will never forget watching the sunsets off of the fantail. I believe they kept me somewhat sain. I left the Navy in 69 in Japan during the Peplo thing, and never look back, and what I came back to in San Fran while getting out at Treasure Iland still gets to me.

  41. Barry Lee

    “We Gotta Get Outta This Place” by far the most popular….interesting that when I got to see the Bob Hope show…none such songs were played or heard. We appreciated Hope but by 1970..all those swing music renditions of “top 40” hits..kinda fell flat. All we cared about were the girls on stage.

    Barry Lee
    2/5 H&S 81’s USMC

  42. T. Cuthbertson

    Going though the wire, Locking and Loading to “Time of the Season” by The Zombies III Corps 69

  43. Simon Webb

    I was only nineteen by REDGUM, an Australian band who wrote the song for Australian Vietnam veterans. a great song that expresses the feelings of Aussie Vietnam vets.

    • admin

      Very cool to hear this. We don’t get a lot of songs that we haven’t heard before. We’ll definitely run down a copy of this one….

  44. Steve Rosenow

    I was 20 years old and served in the infantry in Vietnam in 1971-72. This was a relatively quite time. The war was winding down, and we were the last combat brigade left, the 196th Light Infantry, in Danang. But, even in “quiet” times, the shit occasionally got real. I’d heard a lot of the war-related songs, Leavin’ on a Jet Plane, Fixin’ to Die Rag, etc. But once, while in the rear, I heard Graham Nash’s “Military Madness.” Finally, a song that really spoke to me. From a Brit no less. I still listen to the song frequently. It’s more real today than it was in 1972. Sadly so.

  45. clint Whitmer

    Clint Whitmer here. I was a Combat Medic at Chu Lai, B 1/6 198th Inf Bde at LZ Bayonet 1968-1969. Music on AFVN: CCR, Proud Mary; Cream(I bought “Wheels of Fire” on R&R), on to Led Zepplin I, The Animals had the Vietnamese National Anthem “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” and my all time favorite, “Sky Pilot.” I went on a pass with a fellow recruit during basic at Ft Lewis in 1968. We went to this hippie bar under the freeway where his friends were all glad to see him. “Sky Pilot” was playing on the jukebox. Little did I know the import of that experience and how I was to be forever linked to that song. They talk about “lost in the ’60’s” and the time now gone but living on in the memories of all of us veterans are the tunes of the Viet Nam War. I have many of those albums, the heart of my collection. Some bring tears, some remind me of the bush, some remind me of war. Thank you for this opportunity to express my feeling about those magical tunes.

  46. Zankowski Louis O

    I remember Armed Forces Radio I (eye) Corps – I was in Country from July 68 -July 69 .The AFRN played C&W and top 40 I developed an appreciation for the genre. I have a reel to reel tape of AFRN shows play every now and then .. I served in two units first deployed with – A Btry 2Bn 82 FA Americal Division then – with infused into B Try @Bn 138 FA Kentucky Army National Guard two kinds of music Country and Western .. Went to Nam as a Complete BN – and it was split up such that the BN would go to zero as we left. A practice not repeated in OIF/OEF.
    Now to the Music – Last Train To 67 Clarksville – Monkees – Clarksville is the Home of the 101st.Airborne andmy Basic Training Center, 69 CCR Suzie Q long version – heard it every night for a Month – will at Phu Bai, 69 Beattles Get Back also Phu Bai this song was so impactful that I had a PSD events 2 years after my tour – stateside in vehicle @55 mph song came on the Radio1970-71 I opened the door and tried to get out the car my wife “where the hell are you ” I said Phu Bai leaving our hootch – .

  47. Dale Griggs

    I was in 169th Engineers, 20th Brigade 1970-1971, at an outpost near the village of Dinh Quan. We were building the class “A” highway, QL 20, by day and being mortared by night.
    One show we all listened to on AFVN at 7pm was “A Date With Chris”, by Chris Noel. Her sexy “Hi Love” sign on was always a highlight. Her playlist always included a song not yet mentioned in this blog. It was a blues song by B.B. King, “The Thrill is Gone”. The heavy bass and drum lead in was in keeping with the music of the day and the title and lyrics were in keeping with our attitude about life in the middle of a war. We didn’t know Blues or B.B. King at the time but the song, bass and B.B.s guitar solo resonated with us in that faraway, inhospitable place. Today I play blues guitar and “The Thrill is Gone” is my warm up song along with the Stones, “House of The Rising Son”, which was also played a lot on AFVN. Every song on your playlist is a favorite and each takes me back, plus many more.
    Just a side note. Chris Noel gave up her dream to be an entertainer and devoted her life to helping veterans of the Vietnam War. She currently runs two shelters for homeless veterans in Florida. She welcomes all veterans of all wars.

  48. Joe Footer

    Helicopter pilot, 67-68 and 71. Eve of Destruction and Galveston.

  49. Theresa Ruiz

    My husband who was in country from March 67 to March 68. Survive TET. Past away Jan. 31,2016. He volunteered so he did 3 yrs. He was in Plieku and Chu Lai. But I remember in 67 he send be the 45 of I can’t take my eyes off you by Frankie Valli. He and couple other Vietnam Vets would start sing We gotta get out of this place at VFW Post. It was hard.

  50. Lee Winslow

    Since I left a comment on here in November 2015, I have found on You Tube video of the Lee Dresser I had mentioned. He was an Army guy who wrote and sang “Bye Bye Vietnam.” He is still entertaining. Not sure where he is based out of.

    Lee Winslow

  51. robert m

    Nice article. It was Country Joe and the Fish …..”whoopee we’re all gonna die” and, Suzie Q

  52. Don Fineran

    My song was one that was playing on the radio in 1970 just before I left for my tour in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot with the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). It was Edwin Starr’s “War”. Between that anti-war song and the anti-war book “Johnny Got his Gun” by Dalton Trumbo that I was reading, I was sure I would not make it home. Well I did, but not after a year, but after one month after I was injured in a crash and took six months to heal up. I felt bad about not being able to finish my tour, but at least I survived. There was so much great music during that era that seemed to address the climate and attitudes that the soldiers dealt with each day, still listen today.

  53. Sherry Hoyt-Cline

    As a USAF flight nurse assigned to the 56th AES Yokota AB Japan 1970-72, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” still is my most memorial song. Like John Denver: “Not so much from feeling that way for someone, but from the longing of having someone to love.” Flew 91 missions and continue to wonder what happened to all those wounded young men. I pray God gave them some peace and joy.

  54. Chris

    I’m not a veteran and in fact was not born until several years after the war ended, but after watching the Ken Burns documentary I’ve come away with a whole new respect for those who served, and to all veterans who may read this comment, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. You are loved and you are appreciated. My mother’s cousin served in the Navy in Vietnam and I’m rather ashamed to admit that I never took the time to get to know him because he always kind of freaked me out… somewhat brusque, brash, etc. Now that I wish I had the chance to find out more about his experience, he’s no longer here to tell me, as he died of heart failure a few years back. The most I was able to do for him was to find a copy of the Navy Hymn for his funeral Mass, as the church where his funeral was held did not have it and his wife specifically wanted that song.

    Incidentally, I recently heard a rerun of an episode of Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” from 1987 in which a Long Distance Dedication letter writer dedicated Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” to her brother who was a vet. Although the song was released in 1986, I have the feeling the refrain of “Take Me Home” would have become an anthem for the troops if it were released in the late ’60s. But more importantly, if you listen to the lyrics, they speak to the experience many vets have with PTSD, which the letter writer said her brother was dealing with. So that’s an interesting bookend to the 1984-1985 time period when Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Huey Lewis & The News’ “Walking on a Thin Line” and Paul Hardcastle’s “19” – all dealing with Vietnam – were hit songs.

    This book, by the way, looks awesome and I will definitely get a copy.

    Christopher Bubb
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    In memory of Steven Depa 1949-2015 – U.S. Navy 1967-1971

    • admin

      Thanks so much Chris. Great insights on your part. Yes, a number of 1980s and early 1990s songs have definite Vietnam abd Vietnam veteran connections. You can add Curtis Mayfield, Billy Joel, John Prine, and othjers to that list. Hope you enjoyed the book!
      – Doug

  55. Ed Callahan

    Not my experience, but here is a recording a friend of mine and his buddies singing in a bunker in Vietnam in ’69. With snapshots from the time. Joe Spado is since deceased, which is a shame because he’d be a great interview. But I think some of you will enjoy this:


    • admin

      Thanks for sharing. Great stuff. Where are you based Ed? I was with an Ed Callahan in Vietnam . . .
      – Doug

  56. Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

    I’m not a veteran, but the war had a lasting impact on my family. My older brother, Steve, served in Chu Lai from 1969-72. He left a happy go lucky 17 year old and came back profoundly changed. I don’t know what music got him through the war, but he was a lover of music and loved any rock and roll. He instilled in me my love for music. He eventually died in an alley, homeless and broken in November 1999. That loss forever changed our family. When I think of my brother, I think of a black and white photo I have of him taken after he came home, sitting with our long haired dachshund mix, Chu Lai, holding up the peace sign. He loved Cat Stevens and his music and bought me Teaser & The Firecat cassette and a cassette player for my 9th birthday when he came home in 1972. So, when I remember my big brother, I always think of “Peace Train.” I think he would like that. I cannot wait to read your book. I am also an author and wrote a book about Steve’s life and struggles, “No Immediate Threat: The Story of an American Veteran.”

    • admin

      Thanks so much for sharing Steve’s story and songs. So very sorry that he never made it back home. Hope you enjoy our book, I’lll check out yours. – Doug

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit