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Karl King Score Collection

Abstract

Title:
Karl King Score Collection
Author/Creator:
King, Karl L.
Collection number:
14-131-ABA
Size:
4.5 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1909-1955
Inclusive dates:
1909-1955
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Repository:
Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Contact the curator: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact
Abstract:

Karl L. King was an American bandmaster and composer of band and circus music. A baritone player in several town and circus bands, King served as Bandmaster for Barnum & Baileys Greatest Show on Earth from 1917 to 1918, and became leader of the Fort Dodge Military Band in 1920. In addition, King was one of the founders of the American Bandmasters Association, and was named honorary life president in 1967. King composed many pieces, most notably the march Barnum & Baileys Favorite, as well as pieces for many American universities and school bands. The Karl King Collection consists of 245 manuscripts published by K.L. King Music, C.L. Barnhouse, J.E. Agnew, and the Fillmore Bros. Co., among other publishing houses. Manuscripts date from 1909 to 1955, with the bulk of manuscripts published by K.L. King Music being undated. Also included in the collection are biographical materials, photographs, a program, and correspondence donated by Mrs. Shirley Ryon.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Preferred citation:

Karl King Score Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/25008
Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Karl Lawrence King (1891-1971) was born in Paintersville, Ohio. His family moved to Xenia a short time later, and later Canton, Ohio. After receiving some instruction on the cornet, King switched to baritone. His first band experience was with the Thayer Military Band of Canton, while in his teens. In 1909 King spent some time as a member of bands in Columbus and also Danville, Illinois. While a member of these bands, King began to compose marches and other works. Beginning in 1910, King began a decade-long career as a circus musician, spending one season each as a baritone player in the bands of Robinsons Famous Circus, Yankee Robinson Circus, Sells Floto Circus, and the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show On Earth. He continued to write music while a member of these bands, and in 1913 wrote what would become his masterpiece, Barnum and Baileys Favorite.

In 1914 King accepted the position as bandleader on the Sells Floto/Buffalo Bill Combined Shows, a position he would hold for three seasons. In 1917 and 1918 he returned to the Barnum and Bailey Circus band, this time as its leader and conductor. After marrying, King ended his circus days and returned to Canton in 1919, where he led the Grand Army Band. In 1920 King relocated to Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he assumed leadership of the municipal band and operated his own publishing company, the K. L. King Music House. As a composer, King was one of the most prolific and popular in the history of band music. He composed at least 291 works, including 185 marches, 22 overtures, 12 galops, 29 waltzes, and works in many other styles. It was during his time as director of the Fort Dodge municipal band that King became a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He served as ABA President in 1938 and was later named an Honorary Life President. He lived in Fort Dodge for the remainder of his life, passing away on March 31, 1971. His Fort Dodge band was subsequently renamed the Karl L. King Municipal Band in his honor.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Karl King Collection covers the period from 1909 to 1979, with the bulk of the materials from 1909 to 1955. The collection consists primarily of 245 manuscripts published by K.L. King Music, C.L. Barnhouse, J.E. Agnew, and the Fillmore Bros. Co. Also included in the collection are biographical materials, photographs, a program, and correspondence donated by Mrs. Shirley Ryon dating between 1917 and 1979.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

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Processing Information

Processed by:

Nicole Horstman, May 2014

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Nicole Horstman, January 2014.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is arranged into five series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1964-1971 and undated (1 folder)

This series contains biographical materials regarding Karl L. King. Included is a biography signed by Ruth King, An obituary notice published in the NBA Journal, an article about King originally published in The Iowan Winter Issue 1964, and a complete list of Kings band compositions.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Biographical Materials, 1964-1971 and undated series 1box 1folder 1

Series 2: Correspondence, 1979 (1 folder)

This series contains one letters from Ruth King addresses to Mrs. (Shirley) Ryon thanking her for a recent visit to Fort Dodge, Iowa.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence to Mrs. Ryon from Ruth King, September 4, 1979 series 2box 1folder 2

Series 3: Programs, 1979 (1 folder)

This series contains one from of the Windjammers Circus Concert Band in conjunction with The Karl King Band on August 18, 1979 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The Program is signed by Ruth King.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Program: "Golden Days," The Windjammers Circus Concert Band in conjunction with The Karl King Band, August 18, 1979 series 3box 1folder 3

Series 4: Photographs, 1917 and undated (1 folder)

This series includes two photographs, one of Karl. L. King and the Barnum & Bailey Band, and another mounted headshot of King autographed to Shirley Ryon from Ruth King.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Photographs, 1917 and undated series 4box 1folder 4
Karl L. King and the Barnum & Bailey Band, 1917 series 4box 1folder 4item 1.0
Mounted headshot of Karl L. King, undated series 4box 1folder 4item 2.0

Series 5: Scores, 1909-1955 and undated (245 items)

The Karl King Score Collection consists of 245 manuscripts published by K.L. King Music, C.L. Barnhouse, J.E. Agnew, and the Fillmore Bros. Co., among other publishing houses. Manuscripts date from 1909 to 1955, with the bulk of manuscripts published by K.L. King Music being undated. An inventory of the scores is available upon request.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.