Posted by Bruce Kahl on May 19, 2000
In Reply to: To Beat the Band posted by BK on May 18, 2000
I saw the phrase used on many sites to mean "Out does anything around"!
"It was raining to beat the band."---In the early 1900's band concerts were popular and bands often played at ceremonial events. The band would be the most audible and conspicuous entity around. Any action or performance which out did the band was remarkable.
I have no back up on this so my explanation might be called a big maybe!