Happy 159th birthday to John Philip Sousa.

Sousa began his musical education learning the violin at age 6, and when he was 13, his father enlisted him in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice.

Before he became “The Mark King,” Sousa composed parlor, minstrel, and art songs; parade, concert, and medley marches; schottisches, waltzes, and polkas; and incidental music, operettas, and descriptive pieces.

Sousa’s early career is covered in the forthcoming Press book The Making of the March King by Patrick Warfield.

The bandleader’s storied career is also covered in the 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award-winning¬†The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa by Paul Edmund Bierley.

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