A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 11, 2013
“All gave some, some gave all”

"all gave some and some gave all” is a popular saying about those who served in war. “Some Gave All” (official video of 1992 song) was written and performed by Billy Ray Cyrus, According to Cyrus, he was performing at the Ragtime Lounge in Huntington, West Virginia, when Vietnam War veteran Sandy Cane (often spelled “Kane") told him:

“When I got back from ‘Nam, they used to tell us in rehab camp, ‘All gave some, but some gave all.’”

The saying dates back to before the Vietnam War. “All gave some and some gave all” has been cited in print since at least 1952.


Google Books
December 1882, The Nineteenth Century, “Instructions to My Counsel,” pg. 988:
The Egyptian people have made heavy sacrifices for the sake of (Pg. 989—ed.) securing to their country liberty, justice, and independence; some gave all they possessed, others the half, but all gave some mite to the National cause, as can be proved by letters and telegrams to the War Minister.

8 June 1952, Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, TX), “Electra Plans Vets Memorial,” pg. 3D, col. 6:
ELECTRA, June 7. (Special)—The Electra Memorial Board is arranging a group of activities to raise $7,500 for a new memorial to be placed in the new addition of the Electra Cemetery. The addition will be a perpetual care cemetery.

The monument will be 14 feet, 10 inches in height and will bear the insignia of the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Corps and will be in memory of veterans of all wars. It will have the inscription, “Dedicated to those who rendered service to our country. All gave some and some gave all.”

8 December 1988, Appeal-Democrat (Marysville-Yuba City, CA), “Viet vets to gather to dedicate memorial” by Kathleen Grubb (Associated Press Writer), pg. A-4, col. 6:
At the north, is a dedication plaque that reads:

“The people of the state of California dedicate this monument to the memory of those Californians who died or remain missing in the Vietnam War, 1959-1975, and in doing so, honor all the men who served during that war. All gave some. Some gave all.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Some gave all
Author: Billy Ray Cyrus
Publisher: New York : Mercury, 1992.
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : Country music : English

Rock Genius
Billy Ray Cyrus – Some Gave All Lyrics
(...)
[Chorus]
All gave some some gave all
Some stood through for the red white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me think of all your liberties
And recall some gave all

Los Angeles (CA) Times
BILLY RAY’S BIG BREAKY : An ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ Brings Billy Ray Cyrus to No. 1, and a Date With Crazy Horse Fans
June 11, 1992|MIKE BOEHM | Mike Boehm covers pop music for The Times Orange County Edition.
(...)
Cyrus said he wrote the song in 1989, after meeting a Vietnam War veteran named Sandy Cane at the Ragtime Lounge.

“This guy was huge, with long red-silver hair, tattoos on him, and an old hat that said ‘POW/MIA’ on it. He asked if we could play some Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival. I bought him a drink and played him 30 minutes of Creedence and 40 minutes of Skynyrd that ended with the best ‘Free Bird’ we ever did in our life.”

Before Cane left, he offered Cyrus the hat. Then, “he started walking across the dance floor and stopped, turned and walked back to the stage. He said, ‘When I got back from ‘Nam, they used to tell us in rehab camp, ‘All gave some, but some gave all.’ “

Cyrus isn’t sure why the veteran chose to say those words at that moment, but he wrote a song around the idea the same night.

3 September 1992, Aberdeen (SD) American News, “Cyrus to perform ‘On Stage” tonight on TNN” by Lee WInfrey (Knight-Ridder Tribune News Wire), pg. 4B, col. 4:
Cyrus wrote “Some Gave All” after meeting a Vietnam War veteran, Sandy Cane, one night at the Ragtime Lounge (Huntington, WV—ed.). Cane told him that in Vietnam, “all gave some, but some gave all,” and Cyrus immediately realized that the phrase would make a powerful song hook.

9 December 1992, Chicago (IL) Sun-Times, “Singer Cyrus Lives for Fans, Not Critics” by Michael Norman (Newhouse News Service), pg. 4:
He handed me the hat and he said, ‘All gave some, but some gave all.’ “I wrote the song that night on my way home.”

17 February 1993, The Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads, VA), “Give Billy Ray credit for having some talent,” pg. B1:
His song that has become the unofficial anthem of the Vietnam veterans - ``all gave some, some gave all’’ - is a better song than “Achy Breaky Heart,” and ..

OCLC WorldCat record
All gave some--some gave all.
Author: Military Order of the Purple Heart. Department of Mississippi.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 2000.
Edition/Format: Book : English : Collector’s ed
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
A collection of biographical sketches describing the World War II service of Purple Heart recipients living in South Mississippi.

OCLC WorldCat record
Houston County Veterans Memorial : let us remember their sacrifice, all gave some, some gave all, learn from our history freedom is not free
Author: Ronald R Levendoski; Veterans Memorial Committee (Houston County, Minn.)
Publisher: Caledonia, Minn. : s.n., 2005.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 2nd ed

Twitter
Billy Ray Cyrus
‏@billyraycyrus
“All gave some...Some gave all.  Some stood through for the Red White and Blue ...Some had to fall “. Thank you to all our Veterans.
9:49 AM - 11 Nov 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, November 11, 2013 • Permalink