Karl Lawrence King Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Karl Lawrence King

Birthday :

February 21, 1891

Died On :

March 31, 1971

Birth Place :

Paintersville, Ohio, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Karl Lawrence King hailed as the most influential composer of circus marches. Before then, he joined several bands in his teenage life. I guess this is what gave birth to his incredible talent. One of his major works includes the circus music called as Bailey’s Favorite and Barnum. Aside from his brilliance, Karl was one and all when it came to cornet and baritone playing. Subsequently, tons of Circus Company’s employed his style of music. His talent in the field earned him a title famously known as March King with whom he shared with John Sousa. When it comes to his composition, Karl was one of a kind.

Karl Lawrence King brought forth immense quality and marched rhythms that welcomed him to the world of fame. He led countable of circus bands including Bailey as well as Buffalo Bill and the Barnum. Throughout his career, Karl opted to focus on the circus band music, unlike other composers. Though he went from a world of no return over a decade ago, Lawrence left an indelible mark globally. He will forever be recalled as the most humble and decent man in the world of entertainment.

Childhood And Early Life

On 21st, February 1891 duos called Anna Lindsey King and Sandusky S. were blessed with their first child in Paintersville, Ohio. He was none other than Karl Lawrence King whose father hailed as a Tuba player, and his mother was an excellent homemaker. At eleven years of age, Karl and his family went to live in Canton. After some time he started to work as a newspaper carrier. Being an intelligent boy, he used the money to purchase a musical instrument called cornet.

Under Emile Reinkendorff guidance, Karl Lawrence King learned how to play several instruments. Although he dropped out of school in the middle, he never let go of his dreams. It was nothing else than being a promising composer. He joined a band club where he learned how to play piano and other musical instruments.

With a never give up soul, Karl King started to receive tons of invitations from famous composers. Some of them include a band called Thayer Military Band and Band of Columbus.


Karl’s Partnership With Circus Bands

In 1910 when Karl Lawrence King was 19 years of age, he started to lead the circus bands as well as playing the baritone. It was his innate talent that made him team up with Robinson Famous Shows. It was there that he met incredible composers such as Woodring Anda. In 1912 he was summoned to perform with the Yankee Robinson Circus band by the Theo Stout. His zeal and thirst for greatness led him to work with a famous composer called W.P.

Karl Lawrence King remained in the position for three years where he resigned to join the Barnum and Bailey's band. Under a directive role of Ned Brill, Karl managed to write countable of circus music. One of the most sand music was called Barnum and Baileys Favorite. In the mid of 1915, Karl served as a bandmaster under Sells-Floto Circus. He also played as a band teacher in 1917.


Later Career

In the course of the WWI Karl King’s wish was to team up with the Great Naval Training Station. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to get a permanent position. It was there that he traveled to Canton where he began to lead the Grand Army Band. He also established his own company called King Music House. In 1920s Karl Lawrence King directed a famous band called Fort Dodge Municipal Band. He remained in the position for three decades.


Major Works

Throughout his career, Karl Lawrence King managed to compose over 400 compositions. Some of the major ones include the waltez, gallops, rags, serenades, and overtures among others. He will forever be remembered for introducing school bands.


Awards And Achievements

From 1929 to 1971 Karl Lawrence King received several accolades and recognition. Some of them include the Academy of Percussion arts and wind, the Kappa National Honorary, Edwin Franco Goldman Award.He was later appointed as the American Bandmasters Association, as well as the member of the Society of European Composers and Stage Actors.


Personal Life And Legacy

In 1916 Karl Lawrence King tied a nuptial knot with Ruth Lovett, a composer. The couple had one child called Karl L. King. According to sources one of the most memorable events in Karl’s career was when he led the Barnum and Bailey Band at the Madison Square Garden.

On 31st March 1971, at 80 years of age, Karl Lawrence King breathed his last at Iowa hospital. He was interred at North Lawn Cemetery. His dearest wife called Ruth I. King died in 1988, and his son took his last breath in 1987.In his honor, the Fort Band Shell was named after him followed by the National Band Association. Karl’s statue was also presented at the Circus Ring of Fame early in 2006.

February 21 Horoscope

More Composers

More People From Ohio

More People From United States of America

More Pisces People