Barry Sadler (November 1, 1940 – September 8, 1989) was a Green Beret medic who became a musical phenomenon in 1966 with his hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets."
Sadler joined the U.S. Air Force and after a few years, he joined the Army and was sent to Viet Nam where he was wounded on a patrol in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and medically evacuated in 1965.
Sadler recorded the "Ballad of the Green Berets," as a ballad/narrative. Robin Moore, author of the novel, ‘The Green Berets,’ wrote the lyrics to the song and encouraged Sadler to record it. Moore’s book became a successful movie starring John Wayne, even though the film was panned by critics. “Ballad of the Green Berets” was the title song of the movie. The score of the movie was finally released by Film Score Monthly in 2005.
The "Ballad of the Green Berets" was signed by RCA Records in early 1966 and became a fast-selling single, reaching #1 on the yearly single charts. It was the number one hit in the United States for five weeks in 1966 and was the number 21 song of 1960s. It has sold over nine million singles and albums and was the top single of the year in which the British Invasion, led by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, dominated the charts.
Sadler wrote the first books of the "Casca" series, centered on the title character, Casca Rufio Longinius. ‘Longinis’ is allegedly the Roman soldier who stabbed Christ during the crucifixion. He was cursed to forever remain a soldier until the Second Coming.
Sadler co-authored his autobiography (Macmillan, 1967).