Monday, September 1, 2014

John Philip Sousa and Louise Brooks

A while back, I purchased a CD of John Philip Sousa's music for wind bands. The disc contains a track of some interest, The Atlantic City Pageant March (1927). According to the linear notes, "During Sousa's final years, beginning in 1926, the band often played summer engagements at Atlantic City's Steel Pier. The Atlantic City Pageant March was written at the request of the city's mayor, and honoured the famous Atlantic City Beauty Pageant." That's a little less then two years after Louise Brooks and Famous Players-Lasky were in Atlantic City (during the first week of September in 1925) filming The American Venus, whose story centered on the pageant.

Curiously, this is not the first time I have come across an instance of Sousa "shadowing" Brooks . . . . I noticed 
- while looking in the Independence Daily Reporter - that Sousa and his band performed in Independence, Kansas just a week or so after Brooks and Denishawn had danced there in January, 1924. (The paper reported that the band concert was the next big happening in town after the dance recital.) Another time, I came across a screening of Evening Clothes in Chicago. At that 1927 event, Sousa's band performed onstage prior to the film being shown!

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