Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band

Buffalo Bill Cody's Cowboy Band
Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Cowboy Band”

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show created an image of the Old West that lingers today.

One of the forgotten but most important aspects of the show was the cowboy band, which was led by William Sweeney from 1883 to 1913. Sweeney composed and arranged almost all the music, including the grand march that accompanied the performers into the arena.

He also led the playing of the Star Spangled Banner prior to each show, popularizing the song for the first time. Many believe that played a major role in the piece becoming the National Anthem in 1931.

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