Sunday, January 25, 2009

March Madness in January

In a telephone conversation yesterday, my friend Richard Feder from Fort Lee suggested that I write the following Blog. He also strongly suggested the Blog title (which I used out of deference for him). Thank you, Mister Feder.

Several months ago I was watching the movie “Protocol” with Goldie Hawn. I’ve always liked Goldie even though she married Bill Hudson, a second rate musician, in the mid 1970’s, instead of me (this might have had something to do with the fact that I was married). Nonetheless I enjoy most of her movies.

I always watch the closing credits of a movie. Because the music is usually good and not because I want to know who the Best Boy or Key Grip was. The music for the closing credits of the movie Protocol was a March song that I have heard thousands of times. At least one band in every parade that I have seen has played it. This is my favorite March music.

As I watched the music credits at the end of the movie credits line I did not see the name John Phillip Sousa. I wonder why they would omit this credit. I checked Amazon for a Soundtrack listing for the movie – none available.

So the next day I called my friend Feder (I recalled that he had played in a High School Marching Band in the late 1950’s). I then hummed several passages from the March. He remembered the March even though he said that I had hummed it off key (I should have played it on my Kazoo). I sez “Name that tune” He couldn’t, but he said that he would listen to his albums of Sousa Marches and get back to me.

A few weeks passed and I once again asked him to name that tune. He said that it was not on either of his Sousa Albums. I said “Oh well” and we dropped the subject.

That is until last Tuesday, when I heard two different Marching Bands play it in the Inaugural Day Parade.

Again, I called Feder, last Wednesday and he suggested that I try to get the play lists of the bands that were marching in the parade. I did, to no avail. The result was three hours of Google searches and the watching of many news station videos of the Parade.

This was pure madness; I had to know the name of that March. Why? I don’t know (Third Base), but at this point it was becoming an obsession.

On Thursday, I did even more searching on the internet (listening to sound bytes of more than 60 Sousa Marches) and made a few telephone calls; no luck. By this time it was so bad that I couldn’t fall asleep, I was hearing the March in my head. I had to know the name of that March.

Shortly before one in the morning I was again searching on the internet. Forty five minutes later I found it. I immediately sent Feder an email, knowing that he was in the arms of Morpheus I didn’t dare call him, with a link to the full version of the March.

Feder didn’t get my email because it was stuck in the Postini trash filter (whatever that is). By this time, it (or perhaps I) was driving him to the brink madness. Friday morning, at work, he remembered that a co-worker had been in a Marching Band. He found him and hummed a few bars for him. Voila, in last than 5 seconds the March was named.

The name of the March is National Emblem and it was written by Edwin Eugene Bagley and not John Philip Sousa. There are several videos on Youtube of Marching Bands preforming this March.

The Beach Bum

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7 Comments:

Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Ax7MZsYOc
Or as my dad would sing "Oh the monkey wrapped his tail around the flag pole."

But This Sousa march is the most recognizable march.

The Liberty Bell March
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNpkQhaXnC0

Tue Jan 27, 01:37:00 PM  
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