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I’ll watch this music anytime, but it’s one of my favourite to watch in the summer. It’s acquired that small town, patriotic vibe, blended with a tiny romance and also the clues of long-gone era. Brass bands, U.S. Flags, capitalism in ~ its ideal (and worst), and a neighborhood library – this has gained to be among the standard American musicals!

Let’s talk about The Music Man…and you’ve to be warned: spoiler AHEAD.

You are watching: 76 trombones led the big parade

A short Plot Synopsis

“Professor” Harold Hill is the bane of traveling salesmen due to the fact that he’s a swindler who’s constantly coming up v schemes to gain money. Hill decides to “give Iowa a try” and climbs turn off the train in the tiny town of flow City whereby he receives a it will be cold welcome indigenous the city citizens. After meeting up v an old friend, Hill sets off to produce trouble in town and a market for his boys’ band sales parcel which consists of instruments, uniforms, accuse books, and also music lessons.

His setup runs into trouble once the regional librarian and music teacher – Marian Paroo – isn’t conveniently won over by his scheming and also wooing and quickly figures out that he’s a fake when it involves reading and teaching music. However, Marian’s tiny brother – who’s been a sad, shy child ever because his father died – becomes friends v Harold Hill.


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“Seventy-Six Trombones” – Harold Hill (Robert Preston) sells his idea the a regional band on 4th of July (IMBD photo)

Hill selling his huge ideas to the townfolks, division up the neighborhood gang, organizes a dance committee because that the town’s busybodies, and also keeps trying to capture Marian’s attention. Together the city changes and draws with each other as a happy, excited community, Marian start to autumn in love through “the professor.”

Then, it falls apart. Simply when Hill is all set to suggest to Marian, another traveling salesmen arrives and tells everyone the Hill is thief and also exposes his swindling system of the “boys’ band.” Hill it s okay hauled turn off to the city hall, but just together the mayor starts a trial, the boys’ band arrives and attempts come play the track Hill has actually been “teaching” them. The parents and also townspeople space so impressed that they skipping the faulty notes and also poor uniforms, finding out a beneficial lesson that love can blind faults and kindness and great intentions can pull a community together.

On phase & In Film


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Poster for the film version

The Music Man was Meredith Wilson’s first music and was influenced by his boyhood in Iowa and his memoir And There i Stood through My Piccolo (1948). After years of writing, re-writing (it took over 40 drafts!), and working with others in the music industry, Wilson’s music was all set for theater, opened in December 1957. 3 years later, the display hit Broadway and ran because that 1,375 performances. The won numerous awards – including five Tony Awards, including ideal Musical.

The show went on national tour, starting in 1958, and later appreciated international success and also continued revivals in the unified States, consisting of several Broadway returns.

The musical has actually been adjusted for movie twice. In 1962, Robert Preston and Shirley Jones starred in the production and it won 6 Academy Awards. In 2003, the musical came to be a tv movie which was nominated for 5 Emmy Awards.

Some that the hit song include:

Goodnight, my SomeoneSeventy-six TrombonesPick-a-little, Talk-a-littleMarian, The LibrarianWells Fargo WagonTill There was You

Early 20th Century

The Music Man is claimed to be set in around 1912, though a couple of details in the script were cultural references from a slightly later on time period. The early years that the 20th Century in America to be times the prosperity. Culture reached new heights as households had money and also more leisure time. Materialism had actually started through unending advertisements, sales catalogs, and – yes – travel salesmen bringing assets to the home’s doorstep.

Patriotic feelings ran high. Civil battle veterans to be still alive. The Spanish-American War had actually just passed right into history. The world was no afraid of worldwide conflict, epidemics, or atomic bombs yet. It to be an era the excitement. Cars hit the streets. Railroads crisscrossed the country. Flight had been achieved and was still a novelty.

The feelings of the era and also small-town, Midwest America to be well captured in the script and scenes that this musical.

The Wells Fargo Wagon


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An 1870’s advertising for Wells Fargo

In 1852, the Wells Fargo agency emerged together a joint-stock venture, giving transportation across the continental joined States, with an emphasis on transportation from the California yellow Fields. Three years later on the company expanded into carrying the mail and also went right into the stagecoach business. After the polite War, they began taking over various other stage lines and also the firm grew quickly.

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By the early on 20th Century, Wells Fargo readily available one that the many recognized and also reliable refer shipping suppliers in the unified States.

The tune The Wells Fargo Wagon bring the actors of townsfolk together and also they sing about local and also exotic items they have actually received once the express wagon involved town. Maple sugar, curtains, “salmon native Seattle,” “raisins indigenous Fresno,” the D.A.R.’s cannon for the courthouse square, and grapefruit from Tampa are several of the items listed in the song. The iconic Wells Fargo Wagons connected tiny town communities to the commerce and also material acquisition opportunities throughout the nation!

Inspired by History

The Music Man is no a background lesson or a documentary, but through entertainment the brilliantly caught the excitement, the patriotism, the trusted innocence, and emerging materialism of American culture around 1912. Loosely based on Meredith Wilson’s own childhood and also memories, this wonderful musical is a classic favorite because that its setting, songs, and brilliant, old-time humor.