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Iowa Parade Honors Opening of "Music Man"

June 19, 1962 - Marching bands, 119 loud and strong, took over Mason City, Iowa, today in the accompaniment of cheers and applause from a crowd estimated at 75,000. The occasion was the parade launching an all-day celebration that included the 24th annual North Iowa Band Festival, a national high school marching band contest, and the press premiere of the film version of “The Music Man,” the musical by Meredith Willson (pictured). Mason City is Mr. Wilson’s hometown and the “River City” of his musical. A silver baton in hand, he led the Mason City High School band. The band played “76 Trombones,” and the crowd clapped to the beat of the big bass drum. Stars of the movie, including Robert Preston and Shirley Jones, and Gov. Norman Erbe and U.S. Senator Jack Miller of Iowa were on the reviewing stand as the kaleidoscope of colorfully costumed bands marched by.


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