The Colonel Bogey March

Episode Air Date: October 21, 2020
Artist: National Military Band
Recording Title: Colonel Bogey March

When British army bandmaster Lieutenant FJ Ricketts was stationed at Fort George in Scotland, he…did as the Scots do, and played a fair amount of golf. The story goes that he came across a certain nicknamed colonel who, rather than yell “Fore” to warn others of his wayward shots, would whistle…a descending minor third.

It stuck in Rickett’s mind like a high-lob to a soft green, and the “Colonel Bogey March” was born, with that whistle…

…serving as the opening line to the melody. The march would be published in 1914 and had already sold millions by the time it was famously included in “Bridge on the River Kwai” in 1957. Which…didn’t hurt sales one bit.


Photo: [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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One Response to “The Colonel Bogey March”

  1. August 29, 2016 at 06:56 #

    Loved this segment!

    As a young trombonist playing in a local town band, this was always one of my favorite marches.

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