United States Air Force Band

The United States Air Force Band

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This long-player contains 11 selections displaying all of the pomp and patriotism of the United States Air Force Band. The National Cultural Center Presents the United States Air Force Band is one of four respective collections -- one for each military branch -- issued by RCA Victor in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense. The project was designed as a fundraiser supporting the National Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., later rechristened the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in memory of the late president. The Air Force Band are joined by the Singing Sergeants on the opening "U.S. Air Force" (aka "Off We Go, into the Wild Blue Yonder"), "Oh, Men Who Fly," "U.S. Air Force Blue," and an inspired reading of the popular Broadway tune "Seventy-Six Trombones" from Meredith Willson's The Music Man (1957). Among the instrumentals are the John Philip Sousa marches "Fairest of the Fair," "Bullets and Bayonets," and "Liberty Bell." The latter is undoubtedly best known to modern listeners from its adaptation as the theme to Monty Python's Flying Circus television show, although the version heard on this disc is not the same one used by the British comedy troupe. Similarly, college football fans will distinguish the upbeat and rousing "Falcons' Victory March" more by melody than name recognition. Particularly notable is the rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," as it is the only song included on all the Armed Forces recordings in the series. However, the performance found here is arguably the most impassioned of the lot, capturing the composition's inherent pride and essential vitality. In 2004, Collectors' Choice Music gathered The National Cultural Center Presents the United States Air Force Band alongside the Marine and Navy titles onto a double-CD compilation entitled Three Hit Albums from the U.S. Military Bands -- making each available for the first time in several decades.

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