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oaklandcrusader

40th Anniversary of 1977 Oakland Crusaders Winning DCI Top Drums ( Sort Of )

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Since DCI is just around the corner, I thought I'd selfishly take this opportunity to remind and or inform everyone that this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Oakland Crusaders winning Top Drums at DCI Prelims in 1977 in Denver, Colorado but unfortunately, our Corps didn't make Finals that year...A distinguished feat that was never accomplished either before or after in the history of DCI...

The Blue Devils who had a solid Drum Line that year went on to win Top Drums in the Finals posting a score of 18.80 which was still lower than our Prelims score...I was on the Bass Line and if memory serves me well ( I'm 57 yrs old now so it might not ) we only lost once that year and it was to the Blue Devils...Everyone knew that we were the Best Drum Line that year but you know what they say-- If ifs and buts were candy and nuts my Aunt would be my Uncle lol...In other words, that's the way it goes...

We were in the stands watching the Finals and during Retreat when they announced that the Blue Devils took Top Drums, our entire Drum Line ran down onto the field to congratulate and shake their hands...I'll never forget the shocked look on long time Devils' Drum instructor Scott Johnson's face who was on then marching on the Devils Snare Line -- I think they thought we were going to jump them lol

Our Drum Line staff had a distinct Anaheim Kingsmen flair to it with 3 former Snares at the helm...Al Murray was the builder and architect of the Line in 1975 then 2 DCI Hall of Famers came on board for the 1976 - 1977 seasons --  Tom Float who became our Head Instructor and Ralph Hardiman who wrote some music for us as well...Funny, but when Tom left after the '77 season a 4th former Kingsmen Snare Drummer took the line over for the "78 season named Sammy Kays, who in my humble opinion, was one of the best Drum Line music writers ever in the history of DCI...

The Corps had made Finals 3 years in a row '74 ( De La Salle Oaklands ) '75 and '76 with no reason to think any differently in '77...For a variety of reason which are too boring to get into details the Corps got off to a rocky start and we basically re did the entire show 2 weeks before Finals but we fell just short...Another couple of days and we would have made it for sure!...

The Drum Line worked their way from the middle of the pack in '74 and kept getting better every year after that to the point where we only finished a couple ticks behind Blue Devils in the '76 Finals...We weren't music majors like the kids are today -- We just a bunch of kids with no real musical backgrounds that just liked the thought of banging drums and being able to hang out with girls that were in the Corps lol...Once we got a taste -- We wanted to be the best and were willing to work as long and hard as we could to do it!... With the invaluable knowledge and direction from the Kingsmen guys we were well on our way...The Bluecoats Drum Line of today actually reminds me a lot of our Lines from back in the day -- just inching closer and closer every year...

Our Drum Line left our mark in many other ways as well even to this day -- We were the first Drum Line to use the "Down Stroke Style" which Tom Float developed based on the flawless drumming style of our Lead Snare Doug Bass ...We were one of the first Drum Lines to start singing Dut! Dut! Dut! Dut! before Attacking...A lot of the exercises that Drum Lines use today have been tweaked from our exercises, warm ups, etc from back in the day...They say that imitation is the best form of flattery lol...

We also like to think that we were one of the last Drum Lines to play all 26 rudiments in a Book -- Don't get me wrong, the drummers of today are fabulous the stuff they play is fast and amazing but a lot of the stuff that some Drum Lines play today are basically just Taps and Diddles...Just saying -- Don't hate!...I give tons of credit to the drummers of today -- I can't imagine how hard it is to do all that running around out there and still try and play clean!

Below, is the Recap of the Top 12 Scores from Prelims...Back in those days they used the Tick System...2 Execution Judges on the field and one GE Judge in the stands...The Total Execution Scores were made up of 20 points  -- 15 points for Execution and 5 for Exposure to Error ( Basically, how difficult your book was ) they then took the Avg Score of both Judges for a Grand Total...The GE Drum gave you a score out of 10 points ( which I didn't list )...I think we were either 9.9 or 10 in GE

We had an Avg Score of 18.85 in Prelims which was 6.5 Tenths ahead of 2nd place Blue Devils -- Believe me, that is a huge gap in the Tick System...That gap is kind of equivalent to the way Tiger Woods basically lapped the Field at The Masters that one year... 

At the end of that year back in Toronto, the Drum Line had a BBQ and Tom Float brought a huge cake for us... He was very emotional and had some very kind words about us then he said he had this cake specially inscribed that was befitting of our accomplishment... We thought it would say " Congratulations Champs" or something along those lines -- Instead in only Float's humorous way, it said --  "YOU SUCK!"  lol 

 

A big Shout out to DCI who acknowledged our achievement over the PA system during the DCI Buffalo show this past weekend...

The Recap is an interesting read...There are 6 Corps on the list who aren't around anymore and Santa Clara Vanguard probably had one of the their lowest placements ever at DCI for Drums

 

DCI Prelims / August 18, 1977 ( Denver, Colorado )

Drum Judge #1 : J. Blair

Drum Judge #2 : P. Wojtena

 

Drums                        #1      Exp   Total        #2      Exp    Total        AVG

Oakland Crusaders     14.2    5.0     19.2       13.6     4.9      18.5        18.85

                                       1        1        1            1          1          1              1

Blue Devils                   13.5    4.8     18.3       13.4     4.7     18.1        18.20

                                       6       2          2           5          2         2               2

Freelancers                  13.8     4.5   18.3        13.6     4.5     18.1        18.2 

                                       2        5         2            1         5         2               2 

27th Lancers                 13.7    4.5      18.2      13.5    4.5     18.0        18.10

                                        3         5         4           4       5          5               4

Bridgemen                     13.6    4.4      18.0      13.6    4.5      18.1       18.05

                                        5         8          5          1       5          2               5

Phantom Regiment       13.3    4.6      17.9       13.1    4.6       17.7      17.8

                                        8         3         6             9       3           6            6

Madison Scouts            13.4      4.5       17.9      13.2     4.5       17.7    17.8  

                                        7          5          6            8        5          6           6         

Kilties                            13.2       4.6       17.8       13.1    4.6      17.7    17.75

                                         9          3           8           9         3        6            8

Anahiem Kingsmen       13.7        4.1       17.8       13.3    4.0      17.3    17.55

                                         3           18          8           6         19       11         9

Santa Clara Vanguard   12.9        4.4         17.3       13.3     4.4     17.7    17.5

                                         13           8        11               6         10       6        10

Blue Stars                      12.6        4.4       17.0         13.0     4.4     17.4     17.20

                                         17           8         14              11       10      10       11

Cavaliers                          13.0       4.3       17.2         13.0       4.2      17.2    17.2

                                          11          15         12           11          15       12       11

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recap of 1977 DCI Finals ( Drums )

     ( Drum Line Scores are outlined in Overall Corps standings )        


                       Perc.   Perc.    Perc.     
                        #1      #2       Avg.      
Blue Devils            18.6    19.0     18.80     
Phantom Regiment       17.6    17.8     17.70   
Santa Clara Vanguard   18.0    17.7     17.85     
Bridgemen              18.7    18.4     18.55     
27th Lancers           18.6    18.1     18.35     
Madison Scouts         18.7    18.6     18.65    
Blue Stars             16.8    17.0     16.90     
Cavaliers              15.8    16.1     15.95     
Seneca Optimists       15.6    15.3     15.45    
Freelancers            18.7    18.5     18.60     
Kilts                  18.2    18.2     18.20     
Crossmen               17.8    17.4     17.60     
Garfield Cadets        15.0    14.8     14.90
                     

.7 18.6 18.65 19.1 17.8 18.45 Blue Stars 16.8 17.0 16.90 17.1 17.9 17.50 Cavaliers 15.8 16.1 15.95 18.5 19.0 18.75 Seneca Optimists 15.6 15.3 15.45 19.3 17.8 18.55 Freelancers 18.7 18.5 18.60 17.1 15.7 16.40 Kilts 117.8 17.4 17.60 16.3 16.1 16.20 Garfield Cadets 15.0 14.8 14.90

 

Edited by oaklandcrusader
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