mkcarlson

A Look Back at 1971-1972

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Good Evening from the Comstock,

I am working on a look back at the 1971-1972 drum corps period for an upcoming article for Drum Corps World, and looking for memories from drum corps members and fans of that period to incorporate into the article.

This period was not only the kick-off of Drum Corps World, it also marks a time of what may have seem like minor changes at the time, but looking back have had strategic implications on our activity.  Yes, DCI came into existence and the first shows kicked off in 1972, but there was a lot going on the East Coast, the West Coast, the Midwest, and Canada that often doesn't get covered.

So, if you were engaged as a performer or a fan at that time what do you remember most about the period?  Your favorite show venue?  What about the crowds?  Do you remember the small town shows?

Your input is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for sharing the memories!

 

Michael Carlson

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On 2/26/2018 at 10:08 PM, mkcarlson said:

Good Evening from the Comstock,

I am working on a look back at the 1971-1972 drum corps period for an upcoming article for Drum Corps World, and looking for memories from drum corps members and fans of that period to incorporate into the article.

This period was not only the kick-off of Drum Corps World, it also marks a time of what may have seem like minor changes at the time, but looking back have had strategic implications on our activity.  Yes, DCI came into existence and the first shows kicked off in 1972, but there was a lot going on the East Coast, the West Coast, the Midwest, and Canada that often doesn't get covered.

So, if you were engaged as a performer or a fan at that time what do you remember most about the period?  Your favorite show venue?  What about the crowds?  Do you remember the small town shows?

Your input is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for sharing the memories!

 

Michael Carlson

1971:

The "Drums Along the Rockies" shows were resurected.  Sell out crowds at al three venues  (Casper & Cheyenne WY & Denver CO) to see some of the Westenr powers go head to head each night.  A "Threepeat" for the series by Santa Clraa Vanguard.   Madison's and Argonne's wins over the Troopers.  We attended the Cheyenne show, which was held in a rodeo arena, and the Denver show which was held in a stadium in Lakewood.  Great "Up close" vies of all the participants.

The "Nationals Tour" of that season  (CYO, World Open, Danny Thomas, Mid American, VFW , US Open, and American Legion) had different winners and some upsets along the way.   Blue Rock, 27th Lancers,  Anahiem Kingsmen, Santa Clara Vanguard and Argonne Rebels all came away with National Championships that season.  

"Year of the Gimmick":  Chicago Cavaliers "Greatest Show on Earth", complete with clowns and ringmaster, Blue Rocks "Camptown Races" with the horses, Troopers "William Tell" with the Lone Rangers 'ridin; their contra's, St Rita's "Woodstock" complete with smoke bombs, and Madison Scouts "Scouts in Wonderland", with Bill Howard's daughter as "Alice".   For 1971 these field shows were extemly "Avant Garde", and raised more than a few  eyebrows. Compared to what's going on in the current offerings of DCI, these programs would not even bat an eylash

"Rising Stars":  St Ritas Brassmen, St Andrews Bridgemen, and the Hawthorne Muchachos all starting to make their moves into contenders.

"Comeback Corps":  The Racine Kilties recovery after an absoultly disaterous opening night.  Another return was the DesPlaines Vanguard, comming back into their own with the "Planets" show.  All boding well for 1972.   :guinesssmilie:

"In the News":  The "October surprise"  at that years Legion Rules conference.  The discontent that many of the top corps of that era felt with the VFW's and American Legion's "Control" of their  activity led to the formation of DrumCorps International.   Two seperate regional entities the "Combine" from the West & Mid West  (Santa Clara. Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Blue Stars  & Troopers) and the UOEJC (United Organization of Eastern Junior Corps): Blessed Sacrament, Garfield Cadets, 27th Lancers, Boston Crusaders & Blue  Rock along with the Anahiem Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, and DeLaSalle Oaklands banded together and established "DCI".

Elphaba    :flower:

Edited by elphaba01
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19 hours ago, elphaba01 said:

1971:

The "Drums Along the Rockies" shows were resurected.  Sell out crowds at al three venues  (Casper & Cheyenne WY & Denver CO) to see some of the Westenr powers go head to head each night.  A "Threepeat" for the series by Santa Clraa Vanguard.   Madison's and Argonne's wins over the Troopers.

The "Nationals Tour" of that season  (CYO, World Open, Danny Thomas, Mid American, VFW , US Open, and American Legion) had different winners and some upsets along the way.   Blue Rock, 27th Lancers,  Anahiem Kingsmen, Santa Clara Vanguard and Argonne Rebels all came away with National Championships that season.  

"Year of the Gimmick":  Chicago Cavaliers "Greatest Show on Earth", complete with clowns and ringmaster, Blue Rocks "Camptown Races" with the horses, Troopers "William Tell" with the Lone Rangers 'ridin; their contra's, St Rita's "Woodstock" complete with smoke bombs, and Madison Scouts "Scouts in Wonderland", with Bill Howard's daughter as "Alice".   For 1971 these field shows were extemly "Avant Garde", and raised more than a few  eyebrows. Compared to what's going on in the current offerings of DCI, these programs would not even bat an eylash

"Rising Stars":  St Ritas Brassmen, St Andrews Bridgemen, and the Hawthorne Muchachos all starting to make their moves into contenders.

"Comeback Corps":  The Racine Kilties recovery after an absoultly disaterous opening night.  Another return was the DesPlaines Vanguard, comming back into their own with the "Planets" show.  All boding well for 1972.   :guinesssmilie:

Elphaba    :flower:

That's a pretty good summary of the junior corps scene, right there!!!

1971 was my first season marching in junior corps. Saw both the World Open and U.S. Open finals that year.  Since our local-circuit corps didn't make the finals cut at either.  :tongue: Two great shows, with many memorable performances. At the U.S. Open, two corps in particular... De La Salle Oaklands and St. Rita's Brassmen... really lit the place up that night. "On fire" would be an understatement. LOL.

 

 

 

Edited by Fran Haring
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My first full year in The Royal Coachmen (NY). I remember doing a lot of contests in Upstate NY starting with Endicott, NY where the Watkins Glen Squires were starting their climb into the big leagues. 

July 3, 1971
Endicott NY
1 Squires 67.350
2 Shoreliners 62.250
3 Mello-Dears 60.000
4 Mark Twain Cadets 56.200
5 Royal Coachmen 48.250
6 Barons of Steuben 43.750
7 Gauchos 41.200

For some reason, I thought the White Knights from Baltimore were there too.

Contests went from May to about the third week of September.

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After eleven years in the Farmingdale Regimentals, I marched my last show at the World Open. Had to back to college early. Three of us stayed to watch the big guys. Ray Zamora let us stay in the Fleetwood Record Studio. Hitchhiked to Logan Airport and spent a night sleeping on the floor of the Eastern Airline Terminal. Took a bus back home the next day. Great memories.

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On 2/28/2018 at 6:10 AM, Fran Haring said:

That's a pretty good summary of the junior corps scene, right there!!!

1971 was my first season marching in junior corps. Saw both the World Open and U.S. Open finals that year.  Since our local-circuit corps didn't make the finals cut at either.  :tongue: Two great shows, with many memorable performances. At the U.S. Open, two corps in particular... De La Salle Oaklands and St. Rita's Brassmen... really lit the place up that night. "On fire" would be an understatement. LOL.

 

 

 

About 71 - we've talked about this before Fran-- probably the most competitive year ever in Drum Corp.  The World Open 13-25 would have been one helluva show.  Of course what happened after the season  was over was a real game changer also with the formation of DCI.

About 72....I know this is a DCI category....but in DCA was again probably the most competitive year ever.  If any of the top 5 had won I would have not complained.  They were all worthy.  Although I still think Reading should have won that is just one mans opinion and I freely admit I'm a homer and very prejudiced...lol

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On 3/9/2018 at 1:22 PM, Bucbari said:

About 71 - we've talked about this before Fran-- probably the most competitive year ever in Drum Corp.  The World Open 13-25 would have been one helluva show.  Of course what happened after the season  was over was a real game changer also with the formation of DCI.

About 72....I know this is a DCI category....but in DCA was again probably the most competitive year ever.  If any of the top 5 had won I would have not complained.  They were all worthy.  Although I still think Reading should have won that is just one mans opinion and I freely admit I'm a homer and very prejudiced...lol

George, for my money that top 5 in '72 is still the best top five in DCA history.  Five great corps, five different styles, five corps that were good enough to win it all.

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I want to thank everyone for their contribution!  There are a lot of great memories here.  This was the end of my performance time, but it made for memories of a life time.

Thank you all,

 

Michael

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When DCI started, the intensions were good but it turned a hobby type activity into "Big Business". As with everything, the corps with the most money got the best of everything. The small corps that used to feed them with talent were crushed.

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1971 US Open scores Finals

Prelims had St Ritas and the Bridgemen traded places,,6th and 8th

1 Blue Rock 84.600
2 Madison Scouts 83.150

3 DeLaSalle Oaklands 82.150
4 Cavaliers 81.550
5 Des Plaines Vanguard 77.750
6 St. Rita's Brassmen 77.450
7 St. Joseph's of Batavia 75.950
8 Bridgemen 73.200
9 Nisei Ambassadors 73.100

 

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