The Heritage of John Philip Sousa: Volume 7
Altissimo! Recordings is proud to present the Robert Hoe Heritage of the March Collection. It remains the largest single march music record series in history, featuring almost 3,000 different marches! This series has been highly sought by music collectors everywhere, and now for the first time ever, you can own these rare marches from the one and only March King, presented as 2-disc volumes digitally mastered for optimal sound quality and faithfully reproduced. These are digitally re-mastered from vinyl, and were originally recorded between 1974 and 1976.
Volume 7: Elections of an eligible person to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans is the culmination of a long and arduous effort, usually extending over several years, by an interested person, or group.
The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is the original, the genuine and the prototype of all "halls of fame" for such athletes, entertainment personalities, educators, engineers, or whatever. After 76 years of its existence, only 102 people have been elected. Such outstanding persons as Jefferson Davis, George Eastman, George Gershwin, Henry Ford, and Samuel Gompers are not yet elected members.
The Hall of Fame is located in the city of New York, in the Bronx, and provides a wonderful place for young people to visit to gain an appreciation of the their Heritage as Americans.
Each member is represented by a bust, although some of the recently elected ones have not yet been "enshrines." After election, a sum of money, in excess of $30,000 must be raised by the sponsors of the electee to provide not only the busy, but to pay for a ceremony of "enshrinement."
The man responsible for the election of Sousa was Raymond Dvorak, who was for many years band director at the University of Wisconsin, and a friend of Sousa. His amazingly untiring efforts over many years led to the election of Sousa as a member in 1973.
After the election, the bands and music lovers of America combined forces to insure a speedy and suitable ceremony of enshrinement for Sousa.
Never before had any person been installed as a member of the Hall in a more fitting ceremony. Previously, all ceremonies were held in New York, usually in a theater, but the Sousa ceremony took place in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The outstanding feature of it was the presence of the U.S. Marine Band playing a considerable program of Sousa compositions.
On August 23, 1976 the Kennedy Center concert hall was jammed with people come to witness the ceremony, which most properly took place on the "John Philip Sousa stage." The stage, in fact, was financed through contributions of hundreds of bands, and other musical organizations, and individuals, who together raised over $150,000 for its construction.
The speed with which the backers of Sousa put together the needed funds and plans for the ceremony was exceptional; some of the people elected to the Hall were not actually enshrined for as long as 25 years after their election.
All Sousa descendents were present, and the bust was unveiled during the ceremony by his grandsons, John Philip III, and Thomas Sousa, while the Marines played "Stars and Stripes Forever." The bust was sculpted by one of the world's leading artists, Karl Gruppe.
After the ceremony, the bust was transported to New York, and placed in its proper niche at the Hall, where it many be seen at any time. To give an indication of the type of people who are elected to the Hall of Fame, these were chosen in the same election as Sousa: Franklin Roosevelt, Justice Louis Brandeis, and George Washington Carver.
- Robert Hoe, Jr.