Composers Datebook®

with host John Zech

Tuesday, January 1

On the Mall with Goldman

Synopsis

We’d like to start the new year with some upbeat music to honor the American composer and bandleader Edwin Franko Goldman, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on today’s date in 1878.

At the tender age of 14, Goldman attended the National Conservatory of Music in New York City, where he studied composition with Antonin Dvorak. At 15, Goldman became a professional trumpet player, performing with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.

In 1911, he founded the New York Military Band, later known simply as the Goldman Band. They performed hundreds of public concerts around the city, including on the Mall in Central Park. In the 1930s, radio broadcasts made the Goldman Band famous nationwide. Their catchy signature tune, entitled “On the Mall,” was composed by Goldman himself, and invited the audiences to sing—or whistle—along.

Goldman composed about 150 band works of his own, and prompted the commission of many more, including wind band classics by American composers such as Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston, and Howard Hanson. The Goldman Band, led by Goldman, or his son Richard, also premiered new works by leading European composers as well.

Goldman founded the American Bandmasters Association in 1929 and served as its Second Honorary Life President after John Philip Sousa.

Edwin Franko Goldman died in New York in 1956. For his contribution to the radio industry, he has a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, and The Goldman Bandshell in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is named in his honor.

Music Played in Today's Program

Edwin Franko Goldman (1878 - 1956) On the Mall Eastman Wind Ensemble; Frederick Fennell, cond. Mercury 434 334

Additional Information

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