Birth of the Stardusters
I remember it was August 1961, Miami, Florida, the VFW
Finals. The New Orleans Cadets/Southernaires placed 23rd
out of 25 corps but the trip home was the story.
In my room in Perry, Florida, some of the members gathered
to talk and complain about management. Joe Beasley (tenor
drummer), Walter Montgomery (French horn) and Tank Thorson
(soprano) along with many others voiced their opinion
about everything. I remember Montgomery pacing the floor
and pounding his chest saying, "They give us heavy
donuts, just before we take the field and they stick
right here" and "We can’t take L.A. Gilmore
My room mate, C.J. Christina said what are we going to
do about it, and the reply was "We will start a
new Corps, based in Arabi, be blue and white and called ‘The
I said to myself if they have the name, colors and meeting
place they must have been planning this for a while.
Never the less, when we got back to New Orleans the September
meeting at City Park L.A. Gilmore called for horns up
and half the corps said no. L.A. said drop your horns
and drums and leave. The group said upon leaving, we’re
going to Arabi and start the Stardusters.
And my friends this is how I remember the start of the
Stardusters in 1961. They marched the 1962 Mardi Gras
season in white pants and shirts and blue berets and
of course, you all know the rest of the story.
Submitted by Elroy Ingersoll
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