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And There I Stood with My Piccolo
And There I Stood with My Piccolo, originally published in 1948, is a zesty and colorful memoir of composer Meredith Willson’s early years—from growing up in Mason City, Iowa, to playing the flute with John Philip Sousa’s band and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to a successful career in composing for radio and motion pictures in Hollywood. It was apparent to everyone ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 28th 2009 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
(first published 1948)
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I enjoyed reading Meredith Willson's first autobiography, And There I Stood With My Piccolo, which was first published in 1948. The book isn't an organized biography by any means, but each chapter contains a sketch or two about his life and experiences. Some of these experiences are from his youth and childhood in Mason City, Iowa, but, many are from his experiences as an adult musician. Readers learn about his time in New York City, San Francisco, Hollywood, Pasadena, etc. The book is about his ...more
I first read this little book back in 1965 and loved it. I've wanted to reread it all these years and this Christmas it came to me as an unexpected gift. Meredith Willson of "The Music Man" fame wrote this back in 1948 as an offhand autobiography. While not a great writer, he delivers humor and gee-whiz enjoyment of his past that wins you over in the first few pages. His asides, digressions and time shifts somehow add to the whimsy of his writing rather than detract from it. I just loved this bo ...more
As a native of Mason City, I loved reading about the way things were in my hometown before my time. But I especially enjoyed learning more about Meredith Willson's personal history in his own, carefree words. While not composed like a traditional biography, it is the work of a creative individual who skillfully strings stories together to give readers an entertaining view into his life before The Music Man.
I loved this book. I was reading it as research for the Music Man, so i would have liked to see more about his hometown, Mason City. Otherwise, this was an amazing autobiography, both infomative and very, very humorous. As to his other books, "But He Doesn't Know the Territory" is next...