Fred Kirby, Mojo Nixon, and “Atomic Power”

Fred Kirby. Image from the WBT Briarhoppers.On August 7, 1945, country singer and WBT radio personality Fred Kirby of Charlotte wrote the hit song “Atomic Power.” Kirby was so moved by the news of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima the previous day that he was inspired to write the song comparing God’s power to that of the bomb and warning of the misuse of such power.

Later popular versions of the song would also include reference to Nagasaki, which was bombed on August 9, 1945.

Described as “the song that really started the fad for atomic bomb songs,” “Atomic Power” was recorded by numerous artists over the years, including Kirby himself.

The best-selling version, released in 1946, was recorded by the Buchanan Brothers of Georgia. However, the advent of the Cold War and concern over possible nuclear annihilation kept the song’s message relevant for many years to come.

In the 1990s Jello Biafra, former lead singer for the Dead Kennedys, and North Carolina native Mojo Nixon included a version of “Atomic Power” on their collaborative album Prairie Home Invasion.

 

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