Saturday, June 25, 2016
Sousaphone solo by Herman Conrad
Conrad was often listed among the soloists in Sousa's band, but I have yet to find any record of him actually playing a solo in concert during those years (1892-1903). But in the July 25, 1905 edition of the Asbury Park Press, Conrad is listed as playing the solo "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep" on the Sousaphone with Pryor's Band.
Whether Conrad was a regular with Pryor at that time is yet to be determined. As far as I can tell, from 1903 onward he was part of the elite group of musicians known as the Victor Orchestra (among other names), making records for the Victor Talking Machine Company, first in Philadelphia, and then in Camden, NJ.
An interesting question would be what Sousaphone Conrad might have played in 1905. Was it the one he had played while with Sousa, or did that remain with the band? Or could he have been reunited with the Pepper Sousaphone? Who knows!