MINDEN HIGH SCHOOL BAND DIRECTORS

 

The following is correspondence I had with another searcher.  I'm actually looking for information on a guy that was in Dwight Blake's band when it began  in Arkadelphia, AR.  This information comes from a book called:   "Through the Eyes of Farrar Newberry"
I remember seeing somewhere on your site asking about older information on Dwight and here's a little bit for you.
Kamille
 
 
Family68 [3:32 PM]:  No, the only date is this:  Dwight Blake was born near Prescott in 1870. When only 19 Blake began his band career at Arkadelphia. " .
I am going to type the paragraph where Richardson is listed, but in the next IM.
Family68 [3:37 PM]:  One of the early local bands comprised such young men as Charles Gale, who always played the tuba, Al Crow, Claud and Tom McCorkle, Aus Hunter, Alva Greene, John  Brown, Emmet Dooley, Jim Tom Crow, Gus Logan, John Kaufman, W.I. Keler, C.V. Juohnson, Willie Moore, Charles and Dudley Richardson, Fred Obaugh, Hubert Norman, Eugene Curtis, T.F. Collins, E.L. Fortune and Charles Atkins.
New paragaph:  In 1905 Blake  took his band to Memphis to furnish music for the Memphis Business  new IM to follow.
Family68 [3:39 PM]:  Club on a tour which included many towns in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma Territory.  In 1924 Prof Blake moved to Minden, LA., to organize the Minden Municipal Band, which he directed until his retirement 24 years later. He resided at Minden  until his death in 1951

Kamille

Dudley Hastings Richardson - b. 1879
Died between 1930 (when he and his wife divorced) and 1948 when his oldest brother died.  This was under a Wyoming Death Index

Earlene Lyle

I think that's the right man. In the 1920 Census he's married and living in Clark County, Arkansas and in 1930 he's living in Louisville, Kentucky and he's single. So if he did come to Minden it's between those years, probably after the L & A came down and the Blakes moved here.

John Agan

Thank you!  I sure hope so, I've been trying to find Dudley now for 6 years to no avail.  He and my great aunt divorced in 1928, leaving a daughter behind and the family never allowed him to see her after the divorce.  She is still living and has always wondered what happened to her father.... I hope I can find out before she is no longer with us.
Thanks again.
Kamille

 

CAN YOU HELP KAMILLE? IF SO E-MAIL MINDENMEMORIES@AOL.COM AND WE WILL PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH HER.

HISTORY QUESTION

Hi:  I've been researching a missing family member and have hit all kinds of road blocks, branching off in other directions from his life to see if I can find him that way, Anyway, the reason for emailing you.  He (Dudley Hastings Richardson), played in a band with Dwight Blake in Arkansas back in 1916, I see that Dwight Blake had moved to the Minden area in 1923 and was with your school.  I also have found that Mr Blake had also died in Minden back in 1951.  I was wondering, do you have any record of Mr Dudley Richardson with the music area of the school?  For his history, like I said, he played cornet with the Dwight Blake Band and later was a piano tuner/teacher. 
The Ouchita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR has some collection information of which I can only see a listing, but, Mr Richardson and a name of "Minden Municipal Band" are both listed as (I believe) page 4.  It costs to have this research done and I will if need be, but thought just maybe Mr Richardson went back to be with his friend, Mr Blake in 1932 when he left a quick move to Louisville, KY.
If you know of some records online that I can search I'd appreciate any direction you may have.
Thank you for listening to my question and responding, even if you can't help.
Kamille

 

Dwight Blake, the first Band Director  He was

employed until 1945/6

27 Feb. 1870-30 Jun. 1951


 That is Dwight and Molly Blake.   He was band director for many, many years. 

  I don't know when he first came--or whether he was the first director, but he

 worked with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus band at some point. 

  Clinton ("Cat") Parker played trumpet  in that band.   Then somehow the Blake's 

made their way to Stamps, Arkansas, where he had some sort of band made up of L&A

 railway workers.   Cat worked with him then.

The Blakes were a wonderful part of the musical scene---both of them real characters and

 very strong personalities.   Minden would not have been the same without them.
 
Mr. Blake also directed a volunteer band in the summers, all ages---many of them having been

 with him in other situations, and every Friday night in the summer they would come to  the gazebo

 in the middle of the park downtown and play for several house.    Everybody in town came to the band

concert, many people would stay in their cars, others got out and sat on benches, and at the end of the

 concert car horns would blow in approval!    It was a great community get-together time.

When the L&A moved to Minden, the Blake's  moved too.   I don't know exactly what the

 arrangement was, but my impression was that though he worked with the high school, he

was not a school system employee.
 
I'm sending this to my brother (who was in the band before I was!), asking him to add

what he can to all this.
 
 Submitted by: Dorothy Hurley Osborn

Monument in Section G for the Blake grave in the Minden City Cemetery

Submitted by Earlene Mendenhall Lyle

Molly Arnols Blake, 20 Apr. 1877 - 2 May 1957

 wife of Dwight Blake. She was his Marching

Director & Author of the Minden High School Alma Mater

Molly was the real force behind the marching band's routine for football games, etc.  
She planned the routines and made us do them.  I know you remember.  The first time
I remember seeing a band use a "dance" as part of half-time activities (I think
I was a sophomore) was when she had a group in the band lay down their horns,
form a circle and do the Lambeth (sp?) Walk as the band played.   She was the
real prime mover behind the marching, front-line girls and drum majors.
 
Roy Hurley, MHS alumni

 

                                                                                                  My Family During the Blake and Grambling Era

                                                                                                                              by Claire Turner Fussell


My family was very diverse.  I was in the pep squad ('65), my younger sister Nancy was in the band ('67), and my youngest sister Barbara was in the Louisiannes('74).  When we get together at Christmas, I will ask them for their memories.  I know Nancy loved the Gramblings.  She thought both Mr. and Mrs. Grambling hung the moon and stars.  Barbara thought the same of Mrs. Charles (Nannette) Cox. (Barbara had 15 years of dance lessons under Mrs. Cox.)  Along with being the "founder" of the Louisiannes, Mrs. Cox was the choreographer from their inception in the early 1960's.  Sandra Crockett Brown should be able to share many majorette memories. Sandra's mother, the BEAUTIFUL Marie Lites Crockett was a majorette during the 1930's-40's.  Sandra and her sister Judy (also, beauties) were majorettes during the 1960's.   The story I want to share is a story about my father's band experience. 
 

                                                                                                                 1938 STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM

                                                                                                                               Floyd Curry "Red" Turner
 
My father, Floyd Curry "Red" Turner, was in the MHS band in the mid 1930's--as per his mother's wishes (orders).  He played the coronet.  From stories I have heard, and from knowing my father, his FIRST LOVE was FOOTBALL, but he would not go against his mother's wishes for him to play in the band.  I'm sure he received his share of guff from both factions, being a football player/band boy!  He could not quit the band because he loved and respected his mother so much.  The following story of Red's last band practice is compliments of Dan Wigley:   The band was on the field working on a routine, with Mrs. Blake positioning each member.  Some of the other band members were picking on Red, a sort of hit and run cajoling. Red was a jokester himself, but the red hair was a true sign of his Irish temper.  It seems Red had enough of the hit and run, so had made up his mind to "Jack Slap" the next person who tapped him on the shoulder.  The next tap on the shoulder was immediately followed by a "turn and slap" from Red. You guessed it!  This tap had come from none other than Mrs. Blake, herself!  Mr. Blake, not so politely, informed Red that he was no longer in the band!  Little did Mr. Blake know that he had resolved a young man's dilemma.  Red went on to play on the 1938 state-championship football team and with the Normal (now Northwestern) Demons.
 

                                                                                         Alan Bean, grew up, became an astronaut who walked on the moon

                                                                                                                  
Also, in a famous MHS band picture taken about 1936, a little boy is sitting on the bass drum.  This little boy, Alan Bean, grew up to become an astronaut who walked on the moon.  I've been told the Beans moved here from Texas when Alan was three or four.  They stayed a short while, then returned to Texas. I've seen the picture, but am not sure who has a copy of it.  Maybe you could get a copy from John Quade.
 
Thanks, again, for all you do to keep the Tide Pride alive! Claire  

 

Robert "Bob" Grambling  (1946 /7-  1966/67)

The instrument he played the most and is holding is the trombone.

Photo by John Quade

BOB DID 100% OF THE MARCHING SHOWS HIMSELF.

  I DON'T KNOW WHO DID MAJORETTE ROUTINES EARLY

ON BUT WHEN HE LET THE MAJORETTES PERFORM AT

HALFTIME STARTING IN THE EARLY 60'S, THEY WENT TO CAMP

 AND LEARNED THEIR ROUTINES, THE CAMP AT KILGORE TEXAS

JR. COLLEGE BEING THE BEST ONE. Greg
 

Mr. Grambling also captured much of the life of the school &
town on film. Many of his pictures can be seen on this website

For more information see Robert Grambling's biography

Photo compliments of Jeannine Mobley Love
 

Following Bob was Mickey Love for the second semester 1997

Kathy & Mickey Love at "A Candlelight Christmas"  -  First United Methodist Church,
Dec. 2005.

Mickey Love 1967/68 He and Kathy are active members of First

Methodist Church where they both sing in the choir. He a State

Farm Insurance Agent in Minden, Louisiana. He is married to

Kathy Holden, a Minden High School graduate.

                Children -

 Oldest is Jeff, who is married to Mary Beth (Irving...noted in your Miss Minden info). 

 Jeff and Mary Beth have two boys and now live in Niceville, Fl. 

 Holley is the middle of Mickey's children. 

 I believe her married name is Jones.  She has two children. 

 The youngest child is Chris, who is married and lives out of La. 

                                           ----------------------------

Wow, couldn't recognize Mickey Love. He was my Jr. High Band director.

"Barney" Mr. Forester, like Wayne Ellis said, was a softy, but a great
leader. I would get phone calls in the band room from one of my
customers, he'd get me out of class to service a broken vending machine
at a gas station on I-20. He also taught me electric & stand up bass
for the jazz band. The sousaphone I normally played marching, didn't
look right in the jazz band.

                      Submitted by Art Miller, Class of 1968

                                    ---------------------------------

Following Mickey Love  in the fall of 1997 was Roy Forester.

 What about newer band directors - Mr. Forester (Barney) for my generation? 

 (That's an inside joke for the band members during Mr. Forester's years.) 

 He was skinny as a bean pole and we gave him the nickname of "Barney".

 as in Barney Fife.  He told us that if he ever caught any of us calling him that though

 we would get an "F" for the semester.  He was pretty cool though and let us get away

 with waaaaayyyy more than we were supposed to.

                                                                      EVEN HOT-SHOT FOOTBALL PLAYERS WERE IN THE BAND

Band was the highlight of my years at MHS.  Everybody who was anybody was in the band.  Even most of the hot-shot football players were in the band. 
 
I knew my mother couldn't afford to buy me an instrument (such as a trumpet or such), so I opted to learn the flute which my sister had played and quit.  I took a LOT of razzing about being the only boy in the band playing the flute.  But I just laughed back at them and responded that I was the only boy with enough GUTS to be different from all the others who played trumpet, trombone and such.  There was only one other guy in any of our competitor schools that played the flute - Pedro Fuller at Springhill.  As such, we got to know each other. 

                                                              MR. GRAMBLING GAVE ME PRIVATE LESSONS FOUR OR FIVE DAYS A WEEK

 
Most of the people in the band had played since Jr. High or elementary school.  I just started taking lessons my freshman year.  Mr. Grambling gave me private lessons (I think) three or four days a week during my lunch hour.  I got into the band my sophomore year. 
 
Mr. Forester started in the fall of 1967.  He was pretty cool.  He let us get away with murder.  The only thing he was tough on was not letting anyone call him "Barney" (as in Barney Fife).  He got that nickname because he was so skinny.  He promised an automatic "F" for the semester if he caught anyone calling him that. 

Mr. Forester, director, devotes much of his time to sectional rehearsals.

 

   Mr. Forester did some of the most incredible half-time choreography the band has probably ever done. 

 He had us doing routines that COLLEGE bands were doing.  I think we were one of the first high school

 bands ever to display the exact Time, Temperature, and half-time score with people positions on the field.

  I haven't seen the band do anything as complex any of the games I've been to since I left in 1970.  During

 Mr. Forester's days, the band got invited to a lot of incredible events including being only one of two high school

  bands invited to play on opening day at the 1968 Worlds Fair in San Antonio.

      The Louisiannes were always jealous of us and had a fit if we got invited to something that they didn't. 

 The Louisiannes leader at that time wasn't that bright.  For one game, they had Tiger outfits and did a routine

 (to the tune "Tiger Rag" - played by the band) at a game where the opponents mascot was the TIGERS! 

     Our senior year was the year that Minden started their integration program. They sent Mr. Quarrels to

Minden High School to become the new band director. Mr. Forester was still there through the end of that

year. Mr. Quarrels tool over in full in the fall of 1970.

 

                                              MR. QUARRELS WAS PRETTY COOL 

                                                                             

Mr. Quarrels. was pretty cool, but a lot of people dropped out of the band that fall because he wanted them to march

"Jive-style" like most of the black school bands do. 

                                         Submitted by C. Wayne Ellis, Class of 1970                                                                                                                                             

 

After Mr. Quarles DAVID BUTLER served one year in the 90's.

                                       Submitted by Greg Grambling, Class of 1968