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 Karl Lawrence King

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Karl Lawrence King

  • Birth 21 Feb 1891 Paintersville, Greene County, Ohio, USA
  • Death 31 Mar 1971 Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa, USA
  • Memorial ID 16275979

Composer and Conductor. Karl King played with a number of bands in his teenage years, before joining the Barnum and Bailey Circus. His gift for composing was apparent from an early age, and he had several compositions published while still in his teens. In 1913 he wrote “Barnum and Bailey's Favorite,” which became a popular march. Very quickly, the song was adopted as the theme song of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. In 1920 he saw an ad in a national musician’s publication for a conductor of the Fort Dodge Municipal Band in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and was accepted for the job. Giving up the traveling circus life, he settled in Fort Dodge, and conducted the municipal band there for the next 50 years. Through his leadership the band became a popular fixture at state and regional fairs, rodeos, and expositions, as well as performing their weekly local concerts. He and his son, Karl Jr., established a successful music publishing business in Fort Dodge as well. He wrote and published more than 200 marches in his lifetime, earning him the title of America’s March King. He also composed waltzes, overtures, intermezzos, serenades, dirges, rags, and gallops, totaling nearly another 100 selections.

Bio by: Burt


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Burt
  • Added: 21 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16275979
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Karl Lawrence King (21 Feb 1891–31 Mar 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16275979, citing North Lawn Cemetery, Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .