by Mike Denaro
We are particularly fond of the first recording, The Star Spangled Banner, from 1898, the oldest we present here - a bit blurry, affected by time but no less touching.
John Philip Sousa Band - The Star Spangled Banner (1898)
John Philip Sousa Band - Stars and stripes forever 1913 (Edison Cylinder)
John Philip Sousa Band - Liberty Bell March (1904)
Ironically, Sousa himself was not enamored with the emerging recording industry: "These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy ... in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape." (Sousa's sumission to 1906 congressional hearings, quote published after Wikipedia article on John Philip Sousa).