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Livin’ in the Wild Wild West

The theme for North Manchester’s town festival Fun Fest this year is Wild Wild West. The band will be joining in the fun playing in the annual parade wearing western clothing such as cowboy hats and boots, and playing several well known songs celebrating the American West. However, at the same time one thinks of the Wild West they cannot help but think of The Escape Club’s 1988 number 1 hit Wild Wild West. This song featured a four part horn section, including a alto sax, trumpet, trombone, and mellophonium.

Wild Wild West Music Video Horn Section with Guns

Yes, you read that correctly, the Conn 16E Mellophium made famous by Stan Kenton’s big band in the early nineteen sixties.

Conn 16E Mellophonium in Wild Wild West video

This excellent instrument was originally designed in 1957 in Elkhart, Indiana, at the Conn Instrument factory. After it’s use with Kenton’s group, it went on to be played in hit singles (okay… maybe just one), in marching bands, and in various brass groups. Civic Band member Eric Bradley is a proud owner of a 1972 Conn Mellophonium, playing it with the Bad Dog IV Brass Band from 2000 to 2006 (pictured second from left).

Eric Bradley with Mellophonium, second from left

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a fan of the west, 80’s music, have a pony tail, or play a mellophonium to join the Civic Band. The band is working up plenty of other tunes right now, and are always looking for new or long lost members!

See you Wednesday, cowboy!

Posted at 6:04 pm on August 1st, 2008. RSS Feed

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