MY HIGH SCHOOL DANCE BAND
My sister Glenda was involved in the band at Culver High. She not only was an excellent flute player, but the Drum Majorette as well. Glenda was 6 years older than me so at that age she was not so easy for me to relate to. By the time I got to High School, I wanted to be in the band. As I had not played for three years, most of the kids of my age were a bit ahead of me in their musical skills. I did manage with a little brushing up, to get to be 2nd chair 1st trumpet. The first chair player was Tony Kortick. We were pretty good friends back in elementary school and we didn't know each other much in Junior High. We immediately became great friends again and we got along fantasticly. He had developed into a terrific musician and we enjoyed jamming and screwing around together.
When the Marching Band had to perform at football games, I usually hung around with the same crowd. Tony Kortick, Bruce Smolen a tuba player, Perry Valentine a Tenor Sax player and maybe a few others. We had a great time. These were the days of the Viet Nam war so we often discussed the politics of the time. All of us were against the war, there were only a few students that were not. The Pep Band was an offshoot of the Dance Band, or was it the Dance Band was an offshoot of the Pep Band?
Carl Radusch, was the band director and also a good friend of my sister Glenda. I got along pretty well with Mr. Radusch as well. Though I lost touch with him after leaving Culver, I did bump into him on the street once in the early 80's in Marina del Rey. Then later in 2003, I found him on his boat in Marina del Rey. We still share an occasional email today.
The Dance Band was the group I remember the most, though the Marching Band was what brought us all together. Carl was always into photography, music and sailing. He was a terrific trombone player and taught us much about dixieland and small ensemble playing. I talked him into sponsoring a small group we formed. We met after school and Mr. Radusch would work with us. He let us play a number at our year-end concert and I was the leader. I was so excited, I stood in front of the group, played my trumpet and led the piece. I felt like Doc Severinsen, it was a thrill. I think that is the time that I first caught the show biz bug. I was a Junior in High School.
Sometimes, after football games, we would all go to Shakey's Pizza Parlor and play. I think we must have been OK but who knows. We did have a good time.
I didn't do much else at Culver except play in the bands so it stands to reason that I don't have much else to write about!
Several of us joined the Westchester Youth Band. It was some sort of "side gig" for Mr. Radusch and we all got extra credit for participating. The truth was, if you goofed off too much in regular marching band, you got "points off" - too many "points off" and it would effect your grade. Therefore, if you joined the Westchester Youth Band, you could "goof off" more and get away with it. I remember that if we goofed off too much at Westchester Youth Band, we wouldn't get credit for attending.
In 2004, I got an email from Ralph Walter (class of 71). Ralph knew a great deal about many of the people in the pictures I have on this section. Within a few days, Ralph and I had named just about every person in the pictures. THANKS RALPH!
Ralph, actually, was not even in the band, but played in the CCHS Orchestra. As a result, we started attempting to name people in the Culver City High School Orchestra picture in my 1969 yearbook. We did pretty well but could use any help. If you are reading this page and can pitch in, drop me an email.
The band room is still there, under the big tail of the Robert Frost Auditorium. I drive by from time to time and see kids going in with their instruments just like I did almost 40 years ago.
Today, July 2006, I am updating the band page.
I still have my Olds "Recording"
trumpet and believe it or not, I am playing it regularly. As
it turns out, the Olds company went out of business a long time ago and
good trumpets, like the "Recording" model are worth a good deal of money.
Mine is is perfect condition. I am not sure how I kept it that way
with all the banging around it went through with Marching Band, Dance Band
and the Pep Band.