Herbert L. Clarke Speaking



Herbert Clarke: "I've done all ...I can talk ....after what {Frank} Simon has said. We were good pals together. And when he joined the band, first time he left his home I think his mothers apron strings ...and he was just a wholesome boy....with great ambition. He had something in him. But I heard him play before he joined the band and he had a good recommendation from my old .......another old side partner of mine who went to Europe with us, he's Hermann Bellstedt, you've all heard of him. I think that Frank was, uhh, one of his greatest students.

We had lots of fun together. Only, uhh when you're in a high position like that, you can't humor anybody and uhh, it's, it's business, that's all. You have to make good! And I remember Frank came to me one time....I have to tell on him a little bit too, I forget where it was, Willow Grove perhaps, wasn't it ? Anyway"

Frank Simon says : "Pittsburgh..."

Herbert Clarke: "Pittsburgh, one of those of those expositions, I know I played 18 years at Pittsburgh Exposition and 17 years at Willow Grove And .....the first time you set side of me.After we'de played the overture, and couple of encores of marches, Frank says "How do you do it?" His lip was hanging way down here, he's breathing hard, he's lost several pints of perspiration....and was becoming discouraged. I didn't uhh, I didn't exactly laugh at him, but I kind of chuckled to myself to have him have the experience of being broken in. and uhh, he was going to get discouraged I think he said to me "If you have to do this kind of work, every day", he said "I might as well go home". It does require a great deal of thought, .....a great deal of thought for.... how to play the cornet ..easily. And I might say that cornet playing, correct cornet playing is just as easy as ordinary deep breathing if you practice right.

To speak about the early days, I remember when I became soloist with Gilmore's band. I don't think many of you here ever heard Gilmore's band. But he was the pioneer bandmaster of this country. He started a little band in Salem, Massachusetts, and went to Boston and he gave the greatest festival there. In 1851 the Peace Festival. {Peace Jubilee} They had 1,000 in the band and 20,000 in the chorus ..a special building was being built to hold 50,000 people. He wrote to every government in the world to have them send a representative band.."