Sousa’s Band – Stars and Stripes Forever (Intro by John Philip Sousa Himself) (1931 Transcription)

December 31st, 2011

Sousa’s Band plays the famous “Stars and Stripes Forever” March, for RCA Victor. It is well-known that Sousa’s Band recorded this piece as early as 1897, but most of the time, the band was conducted by Arthur Pryor or everyone except Sousa, for Sousa never liked “Canned” music. But somehow, Sousa conducted his band to make this particular recording for RCA Victor, and what is more, he speaks (!) at the beginning of the recording. This record was made November 14th, 1931, few months before Sousa’s death. It is actually the last recording of the ‘original’ Sousa’s Band. It is also noticable that this recording was released as one of the earliest commercial (though unsuccessful) Long Playing Disc format – the RCA Victor transcription discs, which was made of very soft gray-colored vinyl and runs at 33.28rpm. The rest of the Marches presented in this record are actually dubbed from previous recordings (and one of them, “Washington Post March” is actually dubbed from 1914 acoustic version!), so I won’t post other pieces on my channel for there’s nothing special on those performances. This is a Japanese pressing dated around 1933. As far as I know, there were three or four more of Japanese Victor transcription discs, and they are quite rare. But the most surprising fact is that there is another version of this Sousa transcription, which this piece was omitted, and bears the names of other marches on the label. According to the information what I heard, the Japanese government

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