The marches of John Philip Sousa (1854–1932) are as much a staple part of any American light music collection as Strauss waltzes are of any European. The son of a Spanish-born father of Portuguese parentage and a Bavarian mother, Sousa was born in Washington DC. The Washington Post
(1889) was one of his earliest worldwide hits and has remained one of the favourites. It was commissioned from him, as leader of the US Marine Band, by the newspaper of the same name for a ceremony attended by President Harrison on 15 June 1889 when awards were presented to winners of a schoolchildren’s essay competition run by the newspaper. The composition’s suitability for the fashionable two-step ensured its rapid worldwide fame. This recording uses an orchestral version by the British arranger Aubrey Winter (1870–1955).
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1998