The saga of a giant in popular music history is told in the long-awaited book, P.S. Gilmore: The Authorized Biography of America”s First Superstar written by Gilmore sleuth Rusty Hammer. Performer, promoter, innovator, Irish-American; Gilmore”s “monster concerts,” nationwide and international tours, and popular concerts established his band as the greatest in the land and himself as the “Father of the American Band” in the later 19th century. Best known for his World Peace Jubilee, which featured a 20,000-voice chorus and 2,000-piece orchestra for a series of concerts in Boston in 1872, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore was born in Ballygar, County Galway, Ireland in 1829 and emigrated to America after learning to play the cornet in Athlone. Near the start of the American Civil War, he attached his band to the Union army. After seeing action on the battlefields of North Carolina, Gilmore wished only for Peace. Using the pseudonym Louis Lambert, he wrote the anti-war anthem When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Gilmore and his band played for presidents from Buchanan to Cleveland. He was the star at the Philadelphia Centennial celebration and music director for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. He put the “Garden” in Madison Square Garden and was the toast of New York City for almost 20 years. He was also instrumental in establishing St. Louis as the “Carnival City” and was a regular attraction in Chicago, as he triumphantly toured across America, Europe and Great Britain. Gilmore”s Band was not only the greatest in the United States ” it was an equal to the best in the World. His popularity was so widespread that the crowds which filled New York”s Fifth Avenue for Gilmore”s funeral procession in 1892 rivaled that of presidents. Pat Gilmore returned to Ireland in 1878 when Gilmore”s Band played in Dublin”s Winter Palace. He also supported numerous Irish causes including New York”s Emerald Ball and the campaign of Charles Parnell. P.S. Gilmore: The Authorized Biography of America”s First Superstar is written as an historical work of biographical fiction. The story is told from the perspective of Gilmore relating his life to a writer. “It has always been my wish to tell the story of this astonishing man,” relates author Rusty Hammer. “I wanted it to be an enjoyable read while maintaining historical accuracy.” The 377-page book includes 139 images that help illustrate the people and places of the era. In addition to the history of bands and popular music in America and abroad, the narrative incorporates politics – both domestic and international – a wide variety of sports, fashion, architecture, transportation, war, food, journalism, religion, and general history. Hammer first became aware of Gilmore”s exploits from the liner notes of Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops” album of Strauss waltzes entitled Mr. Strauss Comes to Boston. This is in reference to Gilmore”s recruiting of Johan Strauss to lead the great orchestra at the World Peace Jubilee for a fee of $100,000 (equivalent to $1.6 million today). Being in symphony management at the time, Hammer was completely aghast at the idea of 2,000 musicians in an orchestra. And being a band person, he was intrigued by the history of the man John Philip Sousa called “the father of the American band.” His curiosity piqued, Hammer began a 30-year mission of discovery. What he found was that unlike his contemporaries, P.T. Barnum and Sousa, Gilmore didn”t write autobiographies and journals or leave voluminous letters telling his story or explaining his actions. Quite the opposite. Gilmore actually invented the circumstances surrounding how he came to the United States, amongst other details, for his program biography. Perfect-bound books, inscribed by the author, are available at www.psgilmore.com.

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