Tune of the Day: King Cotton
One of the perennial Sousa favorites, “King Cotton” was originally composed for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. The expression “King Cotton” refers to the historically high importance of cotton as a cash crop in the southern United States.
In The Works of John Philip Sousa (1984), music historian Paul E. Bierley writes:
Sousa and his band had great drawing power at fairs and expositions and were much sought after. But officials of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta attempted to cancel their three-week contract with the Sousa Band because of serious financial difficulties. At Sousa's insistence they honored their contract, and at the first concert they became aware of their shortsightedness. Atlanta newspapers carried rave reviews of the band’s performances. [...] The Sousa Band did indeed bring the exposition “out of the red,” and the same officials who had tried to cancel Sousa’s engagement pleaded with him to extend it.
Thanks to Elan for suggesting this piece!