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70's Youth bands of Long Beach CA
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Author:  Greg Odell [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  70's Youth bands of Long Beach CA

My name is Greg Odell and I am interested in any information regarding marching bands whose drum section was performing in the syncopated style such as Long Beach Junior Concert Band.
I know most of the Long Beach Unified School District's High Schools were all performing in this style between the mid 1960's - late 1970's. Wilson, Jordan, Millikan, Lakewood, even Downey, El Toro, and John Muir.

I have set up the Society for Syncopated Drumming whose mission is to preserve and promote the traditions of this drumming style by not only teaching and performing, but reaching out to drummers who have defined this style in their junior years.
I am interested to hear their stories, collect audio tapes, video & film, photographs and any kind of memorabilia for this short lived but colorful style of drumming.

Word is that Dave Schafsma might be of some help with this.

Where did this style develop? Simply with the addition of a tenor drum? High sticking influenced by Ted Reed or Frank Arsenault? or was there more to it?
Was this style strictly located in Long Beach? Or was there other parts of the country where this style was practiced?

So many questions. Looking forward to hearing from anyone with knowledge or is interested in this topic of drumming.

Thanks in advance.

Greg Odell
Portland, Oregon

Author:  Bandmaster [ Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 70's Youth bands of Long Beach CA

Hi Greg, sorry I am so late getting back to but I don't read the Percussion forum that regularly. I would not call syncopated drumming a short lived phenomenon. As I understand the history, being that I am not a drummer, it started in the early 1950"s after Marvin Marker spent time at Lackland Air Force Base as part of his training for the Air Force Reserves. He saw the percussion section of the Lackland Base Band perform a show where they played a beat that that one of their members wrote, and he loved it. When Marvin came home from the training he wrote the first syncopated street beat for LBJCB and he named it "Lackland" and added the tenor drum to the instumentation of the drum section.

The LBJCB drummers took it from there and started cranking out more cadances over the years. Their drum section has over 50 different cadances on file. They generally have 20 to 25 memorized at any one time. When I was in high school in the late 1960's countless school bands copied their style and that lasted until the early 1970's when the rudimental drum corps style started becoming popular. Syncopated drumming seemed to be isolated to the southern California area and was based in Long Beach. The largest section I remember performing, without the assistance of alumni, was around 1975-6 when they had 14 snares, 9 tenor drums, 5 bass drums and 7 cymbals. The adult spin-off groups started in the late 1970's, I believe there have been 3 or 4, and they continue to this day.

If you want to get the scoop straight from the horse's mouth check out these links and logon and feel free to ask them questions.

Huell Howser did a show on one of the adult groups in 2005

There are countless videos on YouTube and Vimeo, just search for LBJCB drummers, Long Beach Junior Concert Band drummers, Last Generation of Syncopated Drummers, LGSD, Long Beach Royal Syncopated Regiment, LBRSR, RSR drummers.

My favorite videos of the adult groups are: - RSR - LGSD

Author:  Greg Odell [ Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 70's Youth bands of Long Beach CA

Dave, Thanks for this info. I got your name from Glenn Stacy of RSR. I have been conducting interviews with drummers of this genre and have talked with Lonnie Daquiado about visiting this April. As it turns out he's invited me to drum with LBJCB in Las Vegas. I have been in contact with the head drummer and find this to be quite an honor. If you are still involved with LBJCB I look forward to meeting you in person.
Greg Odell
LB Woodrow Wilson Alumni 1983-1987

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