The Band that Played On, by Steve Turner, is an original twist on the historical story of the Titanic, the luxury ship that went down in 1912 that has forever haunted the minds of many Americans. Upon the coming of the 100th anniversary, Thomas Nelson publishers suggested this subject to author Steve Turner; it put a new spin on the tale, which generally focuses around stories of the survivors, or those ticketed elite passengers who didn’t survive. This one tells the story of eight musicians who were aboard to entertain the passengers and yet were a few of the bravest of them all.
The book delves into the lives of the musicians and their families prior to, during, and after their time on the ship. Turner, a biographer, of course does grand research and is able to give such a clear portrait of each individual in the orchestra and what brought them together leading up to that fateful day. Seemingly strong in courage, they kept playing entertaining music for two hours even after people where drifting in the ocean, until finally playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as the ship went down. What courage this must have taken to not be running for their lives, but thinking of others and blessing their last minutes on Earth with the sound of music.
A highly researched and historical account, this non-fiction is well-written and an inspiring tale. For anyone that loves history or biography, this one is one you don’t want to miss. It is a proud memorial to those musicians for their strength and fortitude as they stayed at their “posts” until the final moments while other people, from rich to poor, screamed in many languages as they were confronted by death. This book is a great living, tangible documentary in book form of these eight men who died doing what they loved, and be intrigued by their lives and their fascinating story.
Steve Turner is a journalist, a poet, speaker and author with a special interest in music. He lives in London.
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