Scout House Announces 2016 Field Show Music
Spectators at Preston Scout House Band field shows will enjoy a bit of musical mayhem this summer, with duelling horn sections highlighting the action during Zoot Suit Riot, one of the songs that helped rekindle world wide interest in swing music in the late 1990s. The other landmark selection in the Band’s 2016 field show is St. Louis Blues March, the Glenn Miller adaptation of the popular blues standard that revolutionized military marching music during World War II.
Other field show selections for the coming outdoor season included Waterloo Fanfare, Miserlou and updated arrangements of Waltzing Matilda and Johnny One Note. The percussion section feature is Buckle Up, created by late Scout House percussion writer Lee Buckley.
The Glenn Miller band was the top-selling North American recording group from 1939 to 1943, the hey-day of the swing band era. He was earning more than $15,000 per week by 1942 when he gave up his career to join the United States war effort. He volunteered to serve in the United States Army specifically to produce a modernized military style of band. Miller quickly set a new standard for military marching music with his arrangement of St. Louis Blues March, combining blues, jazz and traditional military marching styles.
He initially served in the United States Army before transferring to the United States Army Air Forces. He formed a large marching band that became the central group of a network of armed services orchestras. The plane he was on disappeared over the English Channel on a flight to Europe just before Christmas, 1944.
Zoot Suit Riot, sounds like the jump blues style of music of the 1940s. It was written by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies frontman Steve Perry to help fill out a full-length album of swing tracks compiled from the band’s first three albums. The group had until then been part of the west coast ska punk scene, with strong swing band influence in the music. The title and lyrics refer to the street gang brawls involving U.S. service men and Mexican youth that originated in Los Angeles, eventually breaking out in other major cities.
The Scout House field show will open with Waterloo Fanfare, which has identified the Band instantly to audiences since 1949, when the Waterloo Music Festival was the largest event of its kind in North America. Johnny One Note is the novelty song introduced in Rodgers and Hart’s hit Broadway show Babes In Arms in 1937. Listeners are most familiar with Judy Garland’s version, with lyrics proclaiming the limited range of a band singer.
Waltzing Matilda has been the Band’s signature tune since the early 1950s. Although most listeners relate to the sunny, upbeat feel of the melody, the current Scout House version is more in keeping with the solemn lyrics. The melody of the Australian folk song is known around the world but few know all the lyrics, which tell the story of a livestock rustler who jumps into a pond to evade capture by rangers. His ghost later returns to haunt the area.
Miserlou (originally spelled Misirlou, a Greek word referring to a Muslim Egyptian woman) was performed by many North American swing bands in the 1940s and was widely used as an accompaniment to mid-Eastern folk dances. Written to portray a desert love affair, the lyrics describe a cross-faith, cross-race relationship, which would have been very controversial at the time.
The song reached a wider, younger North American audience when guitarist Dick Dale’s blazing up-tempo rock and roll version was featured in one of the beach blanket movies of the 1960s. Dale’s instrumental version received another boost in popularity when it was included on the soundtrack of the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction.
Since the original band was formed in 1938 as an innovative new activity for members of the 1st Preston Scout Troop, Scout House has presented more than 200 songs to audiences across North America, including traditional military marches, hymns, Broadway and movie songs, radio hits, dance songs and original compositions by instructors of the day.
Preston Scout House Band Inc. offers anyone of any age the opportunity to “Arrange the soundtrack of your life” in marching arts activities starting at age 10 and continuing throughout life. Units within the Scout House Band Inc. family include Preston Scout House Cadets drum and bugle corps for young people up to age 22, Magic of Scout House competitive winter guard, Scout House Band for adults over 18, Silver Leaves brass ensemble and the Scout House heritage drill team. Non-performing members are welcome to join to help offer important support services to the organization.
Preston Scout House Band, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with registered charity status able to issue tax receipts to donors, incorporated under the Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario on November 29, 1956.
For more information about all Preston Scout House activities, contact Activities Coordinator Nancy Weiler at telephone (519) 653-3376, email prestonscouthouseband [dot] adm [at] sympatico [dot] ca