Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hurrah, for the Red, White and Blue!

When I was a young woman...of say 17 or so. I was dating my High School Sweetheart.
Whom I ended up marrying and am still married to nearly 30+ years later.

However, rarely does the 4th of July come around each year that I don't reminisce about visiting my future in-laws home.
And quite often when I would come, they would be playing this very loud "Band" music.

Something, that my parents never listened to, and that I thought was normally for parades, or for Armed Service events.

I learned that my husband's parents LOVED "John Philip Sousa" and his music.
John Philip Sousa
(November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932)

Sousa, In his lifetime accomplished much.
He has left his work and his earmarks all over American culture actually.

He wrote some 139 "Marches," some of which include,
His most famous marches for which he is known for world wide, such as:
 "The Washington Post", "Semper Fidelis" (Official March of the United States Marine Corps), and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (National March of the United States of America).
Which was the one I was referring to in the title of this post.

You can never come upon 4th of July without hearing that particular March.

Sousa, began off his career in the Marine's Marching Band.
 When the younger Sousa turned 13, his father, a trombonist himself in the Marine Band enlisted his son in the U.S. Marine Corps as an apprentice to keep him from "joining a circus band."

Can you imagine a young man of such talent joining the Circus.....?
He must have been tempted though.

Good thing his own Father "reigned him in" and kept a sharp eye on his yet allowed him to use his talents.

This seemed to have developed him for the path that laid ahead for John Philip Sousa.

After Sousa finished his apprenticeship with the Marine Band.
He went on to join a theatrical orchestra, the kind with a pit, where he learned to conduct music.

He then returned to the United States Marine Band as it's head in 1880 to serve
as it's conductor until 1892.

Sousa, also led "The President's Own" band under five presidents.
That is the band that plays "Hail to the Chief" when he enters the room or area.

Sousa, has an entire list of things he accomplished in his lifetime.
I should be so fortunate!!!

He inspired the invention of a new musical instrument called "The Sousaphone" which is somewhat like a tuba that could be played while standing or sitting.

He wrote 3 novels, and an autobiography, he did several albums and recordings of his music. Which he was reluctant to do so at first.
He composed Operettas, he was an accomplished "Trap Shooter" which held honors in that sport.
 Having been commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he led the Navy Band at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago IL.

I personally cannot imagine what a National Holiday would be like had
John Philip Sousa not lived and added his signature to our great nation with his talents and his zeal.

This 4th of July, think of the great man who did so much to change the face of American music when you hear the march
"The Stars and Stripes Forever."


Denise said...

What a nice tribute..... I did not know all of that..... We should all know more of the history of people that made this nation (still) the greatest nation on earth.

have a happy and safe 4th..... we are staying home and just going to visit around the pool...... too hot to go out anywhere, especially where there is a lot of people.

Marydon said...

Joyce, your share is great! Knew some, not all. Love history tidbits.

May her flag fly high & proud forever over this great land ... may God see the changes we need & grant us that blessing.

Happy 4th, my friend,


Ms.Daisy said...

John Phillip Sousa's music is some of the most stirring of all band music and I especially love watching parades because of it. Thanks for all the info on Mr. Sousa that I wasn't aware of. Happy 4th to you and your family!