MINDEN HIGH SCHOOL BAND DIRECTORS
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.
CAN YOU HELP KAMILLE? IF SO E-MAIL
MINDENMEMORIES@AOL.COM AND WE WILL PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH HER.
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
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
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
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
compliments of Jeannine Mobley Love
Following Bob was Mickey Love for the second semester 1997
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.
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
MR. GRAMBLING GAVE ME PRIVATE LESSONS FOUR OR FIVE DAYS A WEEK
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.
"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