This collection of marches and patriotic melodies features the United States Marine Band under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Albert F. Schoepper. The United States Marine Band is one in a series of long-players from each respective branch of the military, issued in 1963 by special arrangement with the U.S. Department of Defense to help fund the National Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. Eventually the facility would be renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in honor of the late president's commitment to the arts. The tracks were recorded at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium and spotlight all of the pomp and regalia of the United States Marine Band's full instrumental ensemble. According to the notations on the back LP jacket, the combo's origins actually predate the Declaration of Independence and they have been referred to as "the President's Own." Fittingly, the effort commences with "Marines' Hymn," a tune often referred to by the opening lines "From the halls of Montezuma/To the shores of Tripoli." Among the other selections are "Semper Fidelis" -- which John Philip Sousa adapted from the Marine Corps motto "Always Faithful" -- as well as "Stars and Stripes Forever," "America the Beautiful," and "The Star-Spangled Banner." There are also a few comparative obscurities, such as "March of the Women Marines," "The Chimes of Liberty," and "American Patrol." As a side note, the popularity of the disc was unexpected -- if not unprecedented -- resulting in the platter placing at a respectable number 22 on the pop chart during June of 1963, shortly after the disc was released. In 2004, Collectors' Choice Music compiled The United States Marine Band along with the Navy and Air Force titles onto the double-CD Three Hit Albums from the U.S. Military Bands compilation, making them finally available on CD.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer