Sousa (1854-1932) was not only nicknamed the "March King" but this composer and conductor was also considered to be the first American musical superstar. After a 12 year stint as the leader of the U. S. Marine Band, Sousa enjoyed his greater success as the leader of his own band. The Sousa Band as it was called, during a 39 year period, mostly before TV, movies and even the radio, played to sold-out houses throughout the U. S. , Europe and the world.
In addition to being patriotic, Sousa's music is up-lifting as well as motivational . The tune for his most famous march, "STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER" came to him while sailing back from a European tour. He wanted something that would inspire people to appreciate being back in America. You may not recognize the piece by its title but when you hear the crashing cymbals, bombastic brass and chirping piccolos, I'm certain you'll agree that Sousa not only succeeded in reaching his inspirational goal but that he far exceeded it.
The Stars and Stripes Forever is recognized by our government as the official march of the United States. It even has original lyrics by Sousa which were unfortunately unavailable at press time. However, most of you should be be familiar with some of the other words ...that were DEFINITELY not by Sousa, ("Be Kind To Your Web-Footed Friends").
So with today being Memorial Day and with the beat of Sousa's music coursing through my brain, I wish to thank those who have fought...and in far too many instances paid the ultimate price, to keep our America the best damned country on the planet. And please, regardless of your politics, support our brave men and women fighting overseas...specifically in Iraq.
For more information about John Philip Sousa or to hear several samples of his work for free, please visit...
You won't be disappointed.