The 11 patriotic melodies and marches on this volume include the collective talents of the United States Navy Band under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander Anthony A. Mitchell. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presents the United States Navy Band (1963) is one of four titles by the various branches of the United States military as part of a fund-raising project to aid in the creation of the National Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. The venue would be rechristened as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts following the President's passing in November of 1963. The LP jacket notes that this platter is the first to feature the Presidential-appointed combo, which had been designated in 1925 by Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States and concurrent Commander in Chief. The contents -- recorded at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium -- spotlight the Navy's musical aggregate, which was less than four decades old at the time. Joining the instrumentalists are the Sea Chanters chorus on the "Pledge of Allegiance"/"Star Spangled Banner" medley, as well as the fitting opener, "Anchors Aweigh." In addition to a host of marches penned by John Philip Sousa -- such as "King Cotton March," "The Thunderer," and "El Capitan" -- the disc also contains one of Lieutenant Commander Mitchell's originals, the stately "National Cultural Center March" aka "John F. Kennedy Center March." Another zenith is Richard Rodgers' "Allies on the March" suite from the soundtrack of the made-for-TV documentary series Victory at Sea (1952). Surprisingly, this long-player struck a chord with pop music consumers and became an unexpected hit, landing in the Top 40 during June of 1963. In 2004, Collectors' Choice Music reissued The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presents the United States Navy Band alongside the Marine and Air Force entries onto the Three Hit Albums From the US Military Bands (2004) compilation -- making each finally available on CD after several decades out of print.
Share this page