Karl L. King (21 February 1891?31 March 1971) was a United States march music bandmaster and composer.. Karl Lawrence King, a native of Paintersville, Ohio, grew up as a self-taught musician with very little schooling of any kind. At eighteen, he began a career playing in and directing circus bands, including those of Barnum and Bailey, Robinson Famous Shows, the Sells-Floto Circus, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. King settled down in Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1920 and for the next fifty-one years conducted the city's municipal band, which featured future ABA president Joseph Hermann on clarinet.
King the composer published more than 300 works: galops, waltzes, overtures, serenades, rags, and 188 marches and screamers. He seemed to like composing under pressure and often composed in tight spots (such as by oil lamp in cramped circus tents). His name appeared on the sheet music as Karl King, K. L. King, and sometimes Carl Lawrence.
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