Really awesome video - First singing of "God Bless America" - Irving Berlin Never published, 22 years before - way back in 1917. He gave it to Kate Smith and she worked with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both they would not take any profits from God Bless America . Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.