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John Philip Sousa
Date Issued: 1940-05-03
Postage Value: 2 cents

Commemorative issue
Famous Americans-Composers
John Philip Sousa

In addition to his 136 marches--which earned him the title "The March King"- -John Philip Sousa wrote 70 songs, 15 operettas, and 27 fantasies, as well as 132 articles, seven non-fiction books, and three novels. He enlisted as an apprentice in the U.S. Marine Band at the age of 13, leaving five years later. He re-enlisted in the Marine Band in 1880, at age 26, as its leader. His first hit march was The Gladiator (1886) and his Washington Post March (1889, the only musical score honoring a newspaper) was a ballroom rage associated with a new dance, the two-step. He left the Marines in 1892 to form his own band. When the United States entered World War I, he again enlisted--this time to lead the Navy band. Sousa's best-known march is The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Topics: Military (456)  Music (176)  Portrait (895)  

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