As we all prepare to take off for a midweek Fourth of July celebration that will feature hundreds, if not thousands, of bands around the nation playing John Philip Sousa marches including Stars and Stripes Forever, Id like to thank my Dear Old Dad for his patience.
Whats that got to do with the price of piccolos in Poughkeepsie?
When I was six years old, back in the Mad Men era, we had a big Magnavox stereo in our living room and a decent collection of LP records. One of them featured John Philip Sousas Stars and Stripes Forever as played by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.
As little kids sometimes will, one evening I enjoyed hearing Stars and Stripes Forever so much that I asked my father to play it again. He obliged.
And then I asked him again.
And at this point even I knew I was pushing my luck again.
Well, after the sixth hearing he politely said wed probably heard that particular piece enough for one night. And he left me with a lifetime appreciation of his parental patience and the ability to whistle Stars and Stripes Forever in my sleep.
If youd like to prep for whistling along with tomorrows live playings, heres a recording of that piece as played by the March Kings own band, courtesy of the Library of Congress National Jukebox, a delightful site that streams vintage recordings from the Victor Records collection.
Whats your favorite patriotic band music?