Forgotten American Music

about the composer

James M. Fulton (1873-1940)



About James M. Fulton

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(Image from cover of a music book "Fulton's American Band Book" published in 1901.)

James Melville Fulton was born in Washington Pennsylvania on 1873. He studied Cornet and Violin at the age of 8 and by the age of 12 was performing solos on both those instruments as well as Euphonium and Tuba. [from William H. Rehrig "Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music" Vol. 1, A-N Integrity Press.]

In 1899, Fulton became the conductor of the American Band in Waterbury CT. He changed its name to the "Fulton American Band" which it remains today.

This is the Fulton American Band in 1939

(Image from an undated newspaper article, compliments of the Waterbury Library, Waterbury, CT)

James left the band with his brother, Bert Fulton, to lead the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.

He began his composing career by transcribing orchestral works for Band. This brought him to become good friends with the composer Victor Herbert. Over the course of his life. James wrote at least 233 known published works. 142+ Marches, 8 Overtures, 5 Polkas, 5 Schottisches, 4 Cakewalks, 4 Gallops, 22 Waltzes, and 43 other miscellaneous works. For a complete list of works, please visit our complete works page.

James Married Catherine Fulton (?-1971), as far I can I know, they did not have any children.

James M. Fulton's true date of death has been determined. After a year of conflicting dates (1930 or 1940) I am able to officially say that James M. Fulton died on May 6th 1940 in Belmont, MA of a Heart Attack and is buried in the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA. (Thanks to the Town Clerk, City of Belmont, MA)

It's unclear why the music of James Fulton has become scarce, but I hope to bring them back to life.

It is our hopes that the works of forgotten American Composer “James M. Fulton” once again are performed by bands across the country.