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Sousa, John Philip

King Cotton

King Cotton
by: John Philip Sousa
Original Copyright: 1895
By: John Church

BandMusic PDF Library

Chester Nettrower Collection


Music Preservation Team:
Tom Pechnik, Senior Archivist; Mary Phillips; Wayne Dydo;
Bill Park, Director; Marcus Neiman, Program Notes

www.bandmusicpdf.org

The band is a mascot. It has pulled many expositions out of financial ruts. It actually saved the
Midwinter Fair in San Francisco. Recently at the St. Louis and Dallas expositions Sousas Band
proved an extraordinary musical attention, and played before enormous audiences. It is safe to
predict that history will repeat itself in Atlanta, and that the band will do the Exposition immense good.

Mr. Sousa and his band had great drawing power at fairs and expositions and were much sought
after. But, officials of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta attempted to cancel
their three-week contract with the Sousa Band because of serious financial difficulties. At Mr.
Sousas insistence, they honored the contract, and at the first concert they became aware of their
shortsightedness. Atlanta newspapers carried rave reviews of the bands performance. For
example:

King Cotton (march) was published in 1895 by the John Church Company and assigned to the
Theodore Presser Company in 1939. It is a curious fact of the music world that marches written for
fairs and expositions almost always fade into oblivion. Two notable exceptions are Mr. Sousas King
Cotton and The Fairest of the Fair. The former was written for the Cotton States and International
Exposition of 1895, and the latter for the Boston Food Fair of 1908.

Sousa formed his sternly organized marching band in 1892, leading them through numerous U.S. and
European tours, a world tour, and an appearance in the 1915 Broadway show Hip-Hip-Hooray.
Sousa's Band also recorded many sides for the Victor label up through the early '30s. His most
famous marches include "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1897), "U.S. Field Artillery March,"
"Semper Fidelis" (written in 1888, it became the Marine Corps anthem), "Washington Post March"
(1889), "King Cotton" (1895), "El Capitan" (1896), and many more. In addition to writing music, Sousa
also wrote books, including the best-seller Fifth String and his autobiography, Marching Along. Actor
Clifton Webb portrayed Sousa in the movie about his life entitled Stars and Stripes Forever. The
instrument the sousaphone was named after this famous composer and bandleader. ~ Joslyn Layne,
All Music Guide

Around the age of 16, Sousa began studying harmony with G.F. Benkert, then worked as a pit
orchestra conductor at a local theater, followed by jobs as first chair violinist at the Ford Opera
House, the Philadelphia Chestnut Street Theater, and later led the U.S. Marine Corps Band (18801992). Although most famous for his marches, Sousa composed in other styles as well, including a
waltz, "Moonlight on the Potomac"; a gallop, "The Cuckoo" (both in 1869); the oratorio "Messiah of
the Nations" (1914); and scores for Broadway musicals The Smugglers (1879), Desiree (1884), The
Glass Blowers (1893), El Capitan (1896; which was his first real scoring success), American Maid
(1913), and more.

Sousa followed in the footsteps of his father, a musician in the U.S.


Marine Corps, and enlisted by the age of 14. Before this, Sousa had
studied violin with John Esputa. While active in the Marines, he
composed his first march, "Salutation."

John Philip Sousa wrote the most famous American military


marches of all time, including "Stars and Stripes Forever," earning
him the nickname "the March King"; he was also known as a great
bandleader, and organized the famed concert and military group,
Sousa's Band. Born in Washington, D.C., on November 6, 1854,

DOB: November 6th, 1854 (Washington, DC)


DOD: March 6th, 1932 (Reading, PA)

John Philip Sousa

Atlanta Commercial, November 19, 1895.


Bierley, Paul. The Works of John Philip Sousa, (Integrity Press, 1984), p. 66.

Additional information on either the composer or composition would be welcomed. Please send
information to
marcusneiman@zoominternet.net

Program note researched by Marcus L. NeimanMedina, Ohio

The Sousa Band did indeed bring the exposition out of the red, and the same officials who had tried
to cancel Sousas engagement pleaded with him to extend it. King Cotton was named the official
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march of the exposition, and it has since become one of the perennial Sousa favorites.

Sousas latest march, King Cotton, has proved a winner. It has been heard from one end of Dixie to
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the other and has aroused great enthusiasm and proved a fine advertisement for the Exposition.

A great many people in South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have postponed their visit to the
Exposition so as to be here during Sousas engagement, and these people will now begin to pour in.

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

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Original Copyright 1895 John Church Co.

Transcribed part by Tom Pechnik

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Original Copyright 1895 John Church Co.

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Transcribed part by Tom Pechnik

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Original Copyright 1895 John Church Co.

Transcribed part by Tom Pechnik

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Original Copyright 1895 John Church Co.

Part

Transcribed part by Tom Pechnik

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library

Courtesy of the North Royalton (Ohio) Community Band Digital Library