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Dick Jennings

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Marched - 12 years, Admin - 3 years
  • Your Favorite Corps
    St. Joe's-Newark, Reilly Raiders, Troopers
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Casper Troopers
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season

Dick Jennings's Achievements

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  1. I really appreciate what the young people are doing in Drum Corps but I'm afraid that history is being forgotten. With all the alumni people out there, how fare back do you go?
  2. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I thought that this would be a great forum for all the "retired" drum corps folks would voice their opinions on new and old corps. Hope more will participate
  3. I would be the last one to say this era's competitors are not as good as the past, that would be a very dumb statement. Just the instruments are far better and especially the participants are much better. What I'm saying about the past is that we had so many durm coorps from the same areas. Just the Boston area had over Class A corps and most if not all had a Class C filler corps to pull from. Most were sponsored by their local parish but that didn't mean that all the corps members were catholic or even members of the CYO. It's just that the corps now don't seem to have the commadery that we had back then and how could they. We practiiced at least 3 nights a week. 2nights instruments and Friday night was drill at some local armory (wnter time) and school football field in the summer. Now I'm no expert in this eras corps but I can't see how they can be that close if they only get together during the summer. Now I know they are together for 2 months but back in the day, we all went to school together and would talk drum corps during study periods, lunch and the walks home. I feel that's the number 1 change from past to present.
  4. Didn't know about the Carolina Corps but I was based in S. Carolina and I really never thought there were that many youngsters to field a corps, thanks for clearing that up. I understand what your saying about bringing in people from all over the nation but don't you think then Drum Corps has really changed from what it started out to be? Not that it's wrong but I would think the local schools have some pretty good musicians that could field a corps. Maybe it's just wishful thinking or I'm stuck in the past.
  5. Don't blame the "kids" because a lot of people don't want to remember or just can't. I would hope this forum would change a lot of this and some of the youngsters would come on board and ask some questions. We don't have all the answers and I imagine we probably disagree on some things but what makes "this thing of ours" is that we don't forget and we move forward with this age of greatness.
  6. Don't stop turning the cards over.........5 could be, Joe McNaught, and then 6 would be "Buzzy" Bergdahl and wait, how about 7 being Red Wallace and on the back side would be Jimmy Murphy. 8,9 and 10 would be Paul DeBasio, (can't remember 1st name) Dagastino and then of course jerry Shelmar (not a bad drum line) and then the man who put drum corps on the records from Fleetwood and we just lost him.........Dick Blake. Now how's that for a pretty good cards?
  7. You know back in the day when the "Dream Contest" was the greatest show on the east coast, it was a well known fact that any Boston Corps coming down for the show would never finish higher than 3rd in either catagory. Mickey Patrone, the greatest patriarch of all time and a dear friend of my father's and mine told us this. It wasn't that big a thing in the junior ranks but the senior show was always Reilly or Hawthorne and Archer Epler 3rd and Prince always last. Now the top 2 corps were great but when you beat the PA corps all year long and then lose to them at the "Dream" hard to handle. I asked my father once why we would go there if you knew we'd lose........."You just have too if you want to be with the big boys. It's not winning or losing but look who hasn't been invited."
  8. Wanted to reply to Andyroo regarding the "pretty good" distribution of finishers in the national competions in the 50's. Jersey was well represented in the finals along with the othe "east coast" corps and of course we did have the "few" from the midwest. Now remember back then and as you stated, the Jersey corps were dominate and a few from the midwest were there but not a lot. Boston area corps were in mass. If you listen to the mdi-westerners they dominated back then and with Madison, Des Plaines and a few others they were in the finals but no one were better than the Jersey corps and this coming from a true believer of the Boston Corps.
  9. I really don't know if your kidding or not about if I ever heard of the Princemen? Well, let you bring you up to speed regarding Prince and my family. My father, Robert K. Sr. was the Businsess Manager for the Princemen from 1955 to 1967. He was instramental in having Prince being the first drum corps to fly to a National Championship. VFW Nationals in Miami chartered National Airlines. He was responsible for getting Prince into their first Dream Competition.. He also was responsible for putting together the ultimate inventational contest in Boston for the Propagation of Faith and he was the one who came up with the name "Mission Drums." My brother Bob marched in drum corps from 1952 (St. Thomas More, Queesmen and Princemen) taught a number of corps throughout Mass. both in drums and marching. Had one of the best (not only my opinion) wedding bands in the Boston area and died much to young (44) in 1981 of cancer. Left a wife and 2 children. For myself, I've been involved since I was 9 or 1952. (St. Thomas More, Queensmen, Christ Church, St Thomas More (again) Boston Crusaders, Princemen) and left for the Marine Corps in 1963. Got to march with the US Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps for about 5 months before being send to Vietnam for 2 years. When I got out of the Marines, Norman Prince was in disaray and they were about to lose their VFW sponsers. They needed a new headquarters and a new Commander. I became the youngest Commander at the time at 24 and they moved from Malden to Melrose. Also, took over for my dad as GM. Had big run-ins with members about the DCA and when Ed Trainor (financial secratary) voted for it, against the general membership I left and I believe they didn't field a corps for many years after. Haven't been involved with Prince since 69'. I also wrote a number of Marching manuevers for many prominent corps throughout the country but haven't done anything for about 20 years. When I was a wee teenager I decided along with marching with a drum corps, I would try my hand in writing about some. Back then you didn't have to have a degree or even credability to get a column, so I started writing in the Drum Corps New, Off the Line and the Eastern Review. Now if you remember those "rags" then you're as old as I am. It was a lot of fun and I got to give my opinions almost every week and for the most part, I didn't get any hate mail. I loved drum corps and I still do. Has it changed......Yes indeed. Is it for the good......all depends who you ask........will the old days ever come back...........not what we new of it. so I'd say.....NO............Is this a good thing...........Probably, you never can go back. One thing about the new to the old.......I don't think the new corps really play to the ordiance. Do the "Popecorn Eaters." (old saying) really know what the new corps are playing? I don't and I've been around music all my life. Is it good? It's greatly played but I wonder how many people actually know the name of the piece. Not many I'd bet. So this is how I remember Drum Corps from 1952 to the present and how I remember Lt. Norman Prince. How about yoou?
  10. Sitting here and thinking "What Happended?" and who is to blame. Like anything, football, baseball, basketball, etc....Drum Corps was going to change and how soon it happened is what surprised me. Remembering back "in the day" watching college football games on Saturday afternoons and watching the half game shows (that's when they showed them) and seeing the college bands running around like headless chickens was kind of funny. We in drum corps saying "where is the military deportment, the company fronts and the cadane and here was a band of say over 100 members entertaining and the crowd loving it. I marched with the Crusaders when we would go to a Patriots game ( when they first started) and folks (no many in the stands back then) would get up and get there food. Now drum corps is like these bands of years gone bye. No military deportment, running instead of marching, but they do the triangles, boxes, circles, etc very well. Musically there is absolutely no comparison but look what they are playing.....trumpets. They call them bugles but how many valves? I don't think this caused the demise of drum corps in the East Coast. I really think what caused it was the surge of drum corps in the Midwest, DCI, and the extreme travel commitment put upon the individuals. Now before you try to hang me, let me explain. Most of the DCI competitions are in the Midwest or Southwest and it is very easy for the corps to get too. To come out of the East Coast and do that kind of travel is a huge commitment. Another thing is opening up membership to whomever wants to "audition" no matter where they are from. I know everyone does this but look how many corps are left in the East. To be fair......Illinois used to have a number of corps but now only a few. I really believe members of corps now want to hear about the past corps but they don't want people saying it was better back then than now. Apples and Oranges but to call this Drum Corps and call the past Durm Corps.....Apples and Oranges. What I would love to be able to do and hopefully use this forum is to educate and discuss some of the greatest Drum Corps that ever took the starting line. Not only Junior Corps but also the Senior Circuits. Stay in touch and please lets hear your views. You don't have to agree with me but lets start some comminication. Dick Jennings Simi Valley, CA
  11. I realize that there are some people out there who are sick and tired of "we" old folks talking about the "good old days." But I beleive there are many "new" drum corps people who don't know what went on in the 50's and 60's that helped make this great activity of ours what it is today. Has anyone ever thought "what happened to drum corps in New Jersey?" New Jersey was the center of junior drum corps in the 50's. There were 2 different types of drum corps.....junior corps, age till you were 21 and then senior corps.......21 and up. I may be wrong but there isn't one top junior corps from New Jersey, What happened to the foks who marched with Blessed Sacrament of Neward, St. Joe's of Newark, St. Vincents of Bayonne, St. Lucy's, Audubon Girls Corps, etc. We all know about Holy Name Cadets and they are the only one that kept going but they are now out of Pennsylvania. Massachusetts also was huge in the 50's but right now there is only the Boston Crusaders, what happened to the others. I would love to get some interest in the past but never forgetting how great the present is. Thanks and I hope I hear from all of you.
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