HomeNew ProgramNew Program Added – Selections from Third Mess Formations


New Program Added – Selections from Third Mess Formations — 13 Comments

  1. Thanks,Dan. Just exactly what we needed to lift our spirits in the midst of this corona virus pandemic. Hope all of you are safe and healthy. Got to love Them Basses !!!

  2. Dan,
    Dan Witter here. Thx for the credit, but I bet these were done by Bruce Daggett…or Steve Rice. Bruce was truly a genius on the early hi-fi gear (reel to reel tape) and the best at secretly hanging a mic out of band barracks. Steve did the same thing, as well, I think. These recordings are especially cool for bandsmen because we never heard the band as the corps heard it—I heard Jim Bedison on drums to my front and Rod or Marlin to my left (Duke stood to my right—talk about daily audition). I trust the band represented the Corps of Cadets well, but we were always playing while on parade, and few recordings such as Bruce made (perhaps others too) exist. Lots of vinyl, but not “a day in the life of the Corps.” Wish I’d had the gear and been skilled enough to do it. Thanks for taking us down memory lane. Warmest regards. Dan.

  3. I was a 3rd class plebe in D Troop at the first 3rd mess formation with the entire corps on the main area. When it was time to pass in review, the band struck up Them Basses and I was never more impressed with a marching band as I was that evening and for three years more until graduation. This recording brings back that memory. Do you have any recordings of the band late 50’s early 60’s?

    • As of now, this is pretty much it. I have a few more items still in queue, but speaking candidly, I’m not sure what they are. Thanks for commenting! — Dan

  4. Here’s an email I just got from Bill Gower:

    “ALCON, The original recording was done by “Jake” Conrad in the spring of 1969.

    Bill Gower”

    Thanks, Bill! I appreciate the information greatly!

    –Dan Wolfe

  5. Dan, in response to Jeff’s question, the year is 1969, the year Bruce Daggett graduated from VF college. Bruce did the recordings, though Bill Gower notes that Jake Conrad (Exec in 1967-68) may have played an earlier role. There could have been snow on the ground for some of these recordings, plus car-jam on road that ran perpendicular to Main Area (folks often would stop to watch formation)–not sure–Hoffman was principal cornet–I can hear him in these “3rd mess” recordings, as well as Bruce Daggett on bass drum–he was fabulous–probably got a caution from Duke to keep the beat so the Corps wouldn’t get mixed up in their marching–cornet parts occasionally are an octave up, courtesy John. But as we all know, we played in all types of weather. War story: we marched in back of Un of Delaware band in Nixon’s inaugural parade in January ’69 (?)–temperature at inaugural parade time was 5 degrees–few bands were ready for these temps, but VF was ready. With glycerin on valves and slides (don’t know what reeds did), we blasted thru the weather, including ruffles and flourishes and Hail to the Chief past Nixon’s stand. Un. of Delaware never played a toot the entire parade–they literally froze up. He wouldn’t remember it, but I remember John Hoffman nearly KO’ing a “hippie” wearing a VF long coat who got in Duke’s face near the end of the parade. John was a world-class trumpet player (as he is even today), and helluva friend to so many of us.

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