Cooper Music’s History Features John Philip Sousa And Boxing

 In 1920’s one of the best known Victor Red Seal Record’s celebrities was John Phillip Sousa. John E Cooper,had been able to sell out several concerts to raise money for Liberty Bonds Tunney Dempsey fightduring the "War to End All Wars", he was sure he could do it again, with the Marine  Band.

Through Victrola Phonographs, Cooper Music, was one of their prize winning stores, a local performance of Sousa’s band was set up. But there were two catches, The night of the concert coincided with championship Heavy Weight fight , between Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey  that was to be, broadcast on radio, a first time event, also that same night.  A World’s First. What to do? The store’s radio repairman, "Wink" Winslow Nealy a former wartime merchant marine wireless operator was convinced that, that the fight could be piped over to the theater stage on telephone wire lines, with his helper, they started setting up the circuit. That too would be a first.

The tickets sold out like wild fire. The night of the concert the Band started as usual with the Washington Post March, Hail to the Chief, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Then John Cooper stepped out, and said, "We have a promise to keep, We want to share a fight with the Marine John Philip SousaBand." He turned to the orchestra and said, "Gentlemen!" The Band stood up as one, in a silent
salute, then took off their waistcoats, hung them on their seats,and sat back to listen to the radio. That brought down the house, and the applause continued till the final gong. Then the second half of the concert finished the evening. What a night. The Tunney Dempsey fight
was one of the most famous Boxing Matches in history, known as the famous "Long Count", Sousa closed the show with "Sempre Fideles", the Marine Hymn. After the concert there were autographs, David Cooper’s mother received a personal autograph from John Phillip Sousa, Which Cooper Music has kept to this day.

As years went by it always meant something special when the store would sell a Hohner "Marine Band Harmonica" with the photo of the band on the box, and especially to listen to a world heavy weight championship fight on a "Sonora Radio" with John Cooper.







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