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The much-ballyhooed Total Show Concept in 1971 turned out to be not much more than what one might witness at a middle-school talent show.

The one thing I don't get about all the "total show" talk regarding the 1971 season is the mention of the Cavaliers as being one of those corps.

Yes, the Cavies did use customed characters that year... the clown, juggler and ringmaster.... but only in one part of their show.... their out-of-concert production "circus tunes" number, I believe it was.

The rest of their show that year was pretty much standard fare for drum corps of that era. An Irish medley for the opener, "Americans We" for the color presentation, "Eleanor Rigby" for concert, etc.

Hardly a show built on one theme.

Fran

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Mike their drum line wasn't just "very good".  They took high drums at VFW Nationals in 68 and were undefeated!  That was a killer drum line.

Ken Norman

lol I just realized this thread is 10 years old....lol

The one thing I don't get about all the "total show" talk regarding the 1971 season is the mention of the Cavaliers as being one of those corps.

Yes, the Cavies did use customed characters that year... the clown, juggler and ringmaster.... but only in one part of their show.... their out-of-concert production "circus tunes" number, I believe it was.

The rest of their show that year was pretty much standard fare for drum corps of that era. An Irish medley for the opener, "Americans We" for the color presentation, "Eleanor Rigby" for concert, etc.

Hardly a show built on one theme.

Fran

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the genesis of the "total show" concept was the 1970 Madison Scout Corps. If you think about it, the '71 Cavies show copied '70 Madison's structure to a great degree. For example, both shows were pretty stock through the ends of their respective concerts.

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Much as we like to pick AL/VFW apart, this is one thing they did. Both AL and VFW held annual state contests all over the country in addition to the nationals. And in some areas, "district" contests were staged as well. It wasn't the most elegant or efficient way to regionalize, but still, it's interesting how the corps population grew under that model, and shrank continuously the instant the national model was promoted above all else.

This is an interesting point, ......but by the late 60's/early '70s the money required to support a regional or nationally touring corps had outstriped the financial means of most local AL and VFW posts. Outside sponsorships were being sought. Remember the First Federal Blue Stars and the First National Bank logo on a Cavalier base drum?

Keep in mind also that most AL/VFW state and national music committees were manned by those with no/limit musical backgrounds. They were simply veterans trying to support their respective organizations. As the activity grew in sophistication, that became problematic. Had this model survived, the activity would have died with the veterans organizations that controlled it. Things had come to a head.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: the genesis of the "total show" concept was the 1970 Madison Scout Corps. If you think about it, the '71 Cavies show copied '70 Madison's structure to a great degree. For example, both shows were pretty stock through the ends of their respective concerts.

"Total Shows":

The "Total Show" may have actually been "Born" back in the late 1950's. The olde Archer Epler Musketeers senior coprs did a "King & I" show (Complete with the late Vince Deegan decked out in Yul Brynner threads and bare footed) in 1957, and the olde Jolly Jesters from Toronto Canada did a "Clown" production with the corps attired in "Clown" suits and releasing baloons from them on the "Starting Line". :tongue:

The olde Connecticut Royal Lancers juniors performed a complete "South Pacific" production written for them by the late great Joe Genero :smile: in 1963 & 64.

Nobody seemed to mind any of this at the time, at least there weren't any "Drum Corps Died" T shirts being hawked at contests. :devil:

Elphaba

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The "Total Show" may have actually been "Born" back in the late 1950's. The olde Archer Epler Musketeers senior coprs did a "King & I" show (Complete with the late Vince Deegan decked out in Yul Brynner threads and bare footed) in 1957

Yeah..... that very well might have been the first time a corps did a full show based on one theme. If not the first, it certainly was one of the earliest examples.

Fran

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Drum Corps hasn't really "died." It has morphed into a different, living body, one which many of us barely recognize, so we find it hard to believe it's the same creature. Imagine how the WWI Vets who formed early corps must have felt if they went to see a contest in the 1960's. They probably felt we had "killed" their military-oriented drum corps activity by then already.

Say what you will about all the newer changes in show design, instrumentation, drill design, electronics, amplification, etc. It hasn't killed the activity. We may not like all of it, but there is still enough left to consider that it is still living. It won't be "dead" until there are no more corps and no more contests at all. If that does happen, I believe it will be due more to financial consequences than any artistic or stylistic changes such as we have witnessed in recent decades.

I hope we never see that day.

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We need to get off this "drum corps died in 1971" because it didn't! It happened years later so let's speculate on the date.....I say 1982.

It absolutely did NOT die in 1971. It was unleashed. Unfortunately over the last 40 years the activity has morphed into something that not many (including probably the founding DCI Directors) would have imagined.

Those who have taken the time to read the entire thread (despite the title) are probably a little more informed.

Irrespective of the trials and tribulations, I wouldn't trade my eight years in the activity for any other period. I am thrilled to have experienced the height of veteran drum corps activity, ...and I am proud to say I am a charter member of DCI. It was a great ride.

Jeff Yeager

Argonne, 1967 - 1974

Kingsmen Alumni Corps, 2007

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This is an interesting point, ......but by the late 60's/early '70s the money required to support a regional or nationally touring corps had outstriped the financial means of most local AL and VFW posts.

Before the late 1960s, the term "nationally touring corps" was not part of our vocabulary.

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