John Erickson

John Erickson taught vocal and instrumental music in Gilmore City and Bode, Iowa starting in 1954 and then taught band for 25 years in Carroll, Iowa.  He played first trumpet in the King Band from 1955 until he retired from teaching in 1987. John returned to perform with the band on special occasions.

Karl had heart trouble off and on, and sometimes if we performed when he was not feeling well he would take my arm while climbing the steps to perform at the square. I was proud to help him. Sometimes he would have me finish conducting the performance if he felt ill.


Once when we saw Karl on the street in front of a hotel where the band was playing, we went over and said, You want to go with us to the Key Club? A Key Club was what they called those joints that charged $1 membership to get around the state liquor laws somehow. This was back when the state ran all the liquor stores.

Karl's reply:
There was this Englishman who asked his Butler, "Go see why the bushes over there are shaking so much." The butler reported back that the chauffer and the maid were in the bushes making love. "Don't tell me that old pastime is still going on!"


Once when we were playing at the State Fair we were really disappointed at our hotel accomodations. After complaining to each other about the ratty condition of our rooms, we were on our way to ask Walt Engelbart to move us out when ten or twelve girls from the midway moved into our hotel. We turned around and had no more complaints!

John Erickson, left, and Marty Crandall pictured in Washington D.C. in 1996

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