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Now for the rest of the story:

The cadence judge was a crony of VFW Contest Chairman Tony Schlecta. And there was no way to ensure his integrity. So a corps sometimes was penalized in this caption when Tony desired to adjust the final outcome of his contest.

Tony even told me after the announcement of scores one year "I could have got you one place higher. But that would have been about all I could do."

So, could a corps named after an American Legion post (Argonne Post #180) do well in VFW national competition? Maybe only Tony knows! ; ) As was the case with many things, Argonne's relationship with the vetrans organizations was a little unique. Argonne was clearly and American Legion drum corps. However, our rise as a national power was driven by our participation in the VFW National Championships.

In 1968 our "bus ticket" to VFW Nats in Detroit was a thank you card to Argonne Post #180. Literally, each member had to turn in a thank you card to get on the bus. Having said that, most of our fathers had dual memberships in both the AL and VFW. The bigger issue was having to explain to the Kansas State AL Music Committee why we turned down the prize money ($5,000) for winning the AL State Championship and went to Detroit. They were not pleased. Of course, the American Legion had a tendancy to schedule their national conventions to coflict with school start times. That, often times, made it easier to justify.

Jeff Yeager

Argonne, '67 - '74

Kingsmen Alumni Corps, '07

Edited by jkyeag
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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 "combines" were not national organizations. There was no "combine" championship. DCI was not formed until the fall of 1971.

DCI was not a national organization in the fall of 1971 by my definition except that the organizing 13 drum corps were from all over the United States. You need to study your history. DCI was organized when the 13 drum corps who were in the various "combines" during 1971 met in the fall of 1971 to analyze their previous year and to discuss how they (meaning these 13 drum corps, not the activity) were going to proceed in 1972. There was no concern for the rest of the drum corps activity, no input by the rest of the drum corps activity nor was there any chance of any drum corps ever joining this elite group except by winning their way in by making finals at a future DCI Championship. DCI most certainly was not an all-inclusive, national umbrella organization for the junior drum and bugle corps activity nor was it founded to be such an organization. National organization to me means all-inclusive where everyone is able to join. No junior drum corps was ever able to join the DCI organization then and participate in any sort of a meaningful manner like they could with other organizations such as the Illinois Drum and Bugle Corps Association or Badgerland Drum and Bugle Corps Association, etc., that were still in operation and very viable organizations at the time. Anyway, it was decided at this meeting in the fall of 1971 to merge the "combines" into one 13 drum corps organization called Drum Corps International. They (these 13 organizing drum corps) decided to hold (use the rest of the drum corps activity for their benefit) a championship at Whitewater, WI, in August of 1972 for two very selfish reasons: to make money for their organization (DCI) and to prove or justify their position to drum corps contest promoters that they were still the best drum corps which, in turn, would justify their new philosophy of large appearance fees, rather than competing for prize money as the rest of the activity still had to do at that time. Also remember, DCI member corps boycotted the World Open (one of the sponsors was Fleetwood Records) and some other major contests in 1972 (Danny Thomas Invitational, South Milwaukee's "Spectacle of Music," etc.) for two reasons: they had to compete for prize money like everyone else did (no guaranteed large appearance fees) and they were at war with Fleetwood Records, among other recorders, and wouldn't let themselves be recorded or sold on records by them as had been the practice for the previous two decades. During 1972 these 13 DCI member corps were very selective about which contests they would appear in. You either had to pay big money to get them to appear in your contest or they had to feel that your contest was worthy enough to have them in it. Some national organization!

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DCI was not a national organization in the fall of 1971 by my definition except that the organizing 13 drum corps were from all over the United States. You need to study your history.

Where did I say DCI was a national organization prior to 1972?

DCI most certainly was not an all-inclusive, national umbrella organization for the junior drum and bugle corps activity nor was it founded to be such an organization. National organization to me means all-inclusive where everyone is able to join. No junior drum corps was ever able to join the DCI organization then and participate in any sort of a meaningful manner like they could with other organizations such as the Illinois Drum and Bugle Corps Association or Badgerland Drum and Bugle Corps Association, etc., that were still in operation and very viable organizations at the time.

To say that DCI was not inclusive is not totally correct. While there may have been only 13 corps directors that met and formed DCI, there were 39 corps that participated in the first championships. To my knowledge every corps that wished to participate did so. While it is true to be a voting member you had to achieve top twelve status, every corps was given equal opportunity. 13 corps met in the fall of 1971 to from DCI. Of those 13, three did not attend the first championships and two did not make finals. If the intent was to be an exclusive organization I would have expected them not to allow other corps to compete and if you did allow other corps to compete, make sure the criteria was stacked in favor of the founding members. Clearly that did not happen. Five of the new voting members were not of the original 13.

Edited by DAvery
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The reality is that both the Madison Scouts and the Chicago Cavaliers did nothing out of the ordinary in 1971 except introduce the drum corps activity to its newest general effect goimmick and that's all it was viewed as at the time, a general effect gimmick. The gimmick was the use of costumes and characters in costumes. I find it difficult to think that this was some great leap in artistic evolution, in fact it was widely despised in the activity during 1971. The only reason that the Cavaliers show is even being discussed today is because of their novel use of a clown during part of their show. This was nothing more than a copy of the Racine Scouts wedding scene which they played out while playing "I'm Getting Married in the Morning" only a year or two prior.

my recollection could be faulty but wasn't Madison required to ditch all the costumes worn by the members except for "Alice" at VFW? They had Pinocchio, the 7 Dwarves, the Alice in Wonderland rabbit...but I dont think any of those costumes were worn at VFW.

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my recollection could be faulty but wasn't Madison required to ditch all the costumes worn by the members except for "Alice" at VFW? They had Pinocchio, the 7 Dwarves, the Alice in Wonderland rabbit...but I dont think any of those costumes were worn at VFW.

Yes, costumes were banned at '71 VFW.

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Yes, costumes were banned at '71 VFW.

Interesting. Was that the first year for this ban? How did they determine a costume from a uniform? Did anyone try and fight it?

Edited by DAvery
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Interesting. Was that the first year for this ban? How did they determine a costume from a uniform? Did anyone try and fight it?

From what I've read: the costumes were the girl dressed as "Alice in Wonderland" and a young man dressed as "Pinocheo"(sp!). So kind of easy to say what was a uniform and what was a costume. Also Madison had some non-military type moves that went with the show that had to be dropped (hope some memebrs can help me with what the moves were).

As far as first year, understand this was the first time anytime like this was attempted at VFW so never covered before. But that sure didn't keep the VFW czar Tony S from making a quick "NO!" decision.

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From what I've read: the costumes were the girl dressed as "Alice in Wonderland" and a young man dressed as "Pinocheo"(sp!). So kind of easy to say what was a uniform and what was a costume. Also Madison had some non-military type moves that went with the show that had to be dropped (hope some memebrs can help me with what the moves were).

As far as first year, understand this was the first time anytime like this was attempted at VFW so never covered before. But that sure didn't keep the VFW czar Tony S from making a quick "NO!" decision.

I understand. In the case of the clown in the Cavies show. What if the DM dressed up as the clown. Since DM's usually wear a different uniform, or costume, what would have happened? It's just the way I think.

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I understand. In the case of the clown in the Cavies show. What if the DM dressed up as the clown. Since DM's usually wear a different uniform, or costume, what would have happened? It's just the way I think.

LOL, well if it was the VFW it all came down to what the czar said..... :laughing:

Funny thing is there was a Canadian military corps that wanted to do Senior shows in the early 60s or so. Army wouldn't let them represent the military in this way so they "created" a corps with a new identity so they could compete. Corps was called the "Jolly Jesters" and they had clown outfits.

Wish I had pics or audio. :laughing:

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LOL, well if it was the VFW it all came down to what the czar said..... :laughing:

Funny thing is there was a Canadian military corps that wanted to do Senior shows in the early 60s or so. Army wouldn't let them represent the military in this way so they "created" a corps with a new identity so they could compete. Corps was called the "Jolly Jesters" and they had clown outfits.

Wish I had pics or audio. :laughing:

I saw a picture on the pic thread. What a riot. Could they have competed in VFW in 1971? LOL

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