Two years ago I saw an interview on a P.B.S. show in which a gentle interviewer talked with Roberta McCain. This 90+ year old sat bolt upright and answered each question forthrightly. When asked if her son was qualified to be president, she replied brusquely, “Of course I think he’s qualified; I’m his mother. You should ask someone else this question because I am too close to have any perspective.” I feel the same about choosing articles and photos for this 65th anniversary feature. I have been there as much of it unfolded, but my perspective is distorted by being involved.
Because necessity dictates that choices be made, we have made them as best we could. Our collective reaction is amazement over the breadth and variety of past issues. We finally decided to print only a short excerpt from articles and to post the entire article from which each was taken online; these are available to paid subscribers. Some of the paragraphs are memorable for their wisdom, others are the words of notable musicians, and still others stand out for their humor.
In the process of reviewing many articles, the absence of interviews in all of the early years stands out. An exhaustive search may unearth earlier interviews, but Fisher Tull’s interview with Paul Creston in October 1971 may be the first. During the 1970s there were a few interviews, and during the 1980s they became common. During the past 15 years they have become a regular feature.
Our covers have featured John Philip Sousa 8 times, baton twirlers 6 times and presidents once (Eisen-hower). Photographs of instruments have included 38 trumpets, 37 flutes, 28 each of violins and percussion instruments, and so on down to one each of an alto flute and English horn among others.
From the first issue in September-October 1946 until May 1954, the covers had fixed artwork with the color changing each month. From September 1954 on the covers have changed each month.
In this anniversary issue, we have included some of our favorite excerpts from past issues. We have intentionally favored articles and covers published over 10 years ago because fewer current subscribers will have seen these. So jump in and enjoy, and our hope is that you will have half as much fun as we did putting this remembrance together.