The Fleetwood Drum and Bugle Corps Story
In 1958, from a converted supermarket in Revere, MA, Fleetwood Recording Co. was born. Richard I. Blake, the future editor of Drum Corp News walked in to his cousin, Raymond G. Samora’s supermarket with an idea for recording Drum and Bugle Corps competitions. Here are the actual liner notes from the first album ever produced by Fleetwood. From that day on Fleetwood traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada every summer for 20 years producing over 300 albums. Along the way we began publishing Drum Corps News and ran our own major competition, the “World Open Championships” and a favorite winter escape, the exhibitions called “An Evening with the Corps” at Carnegie and Symphony Halls. No one would dispute that Fleetwood Records was a major force in developing the popularity of Drum and Bugle Corps in those early days.
Over the years many people have called and written asking if we are the Fleetwood from the “old Drum Corps days” and do we have any of the old records? A fire at our company in 1975 destroyed all of the original masters, along with artwork. So the idea was to take the original albums and combine them with modern technology, take the old Fleetwood Recording Co. technology of the 60’s and incorporate the new Fleetwood digital technology of today to produce a CD that faithfully re-creates the original album right down to the cover and liner notes, only with better quality. The albums on this website are the result of that idea.
We hope you enjoy these memorable albums as much as we enjoyed making them. We want this site to be more than a place to purchase albums. We hope you will find this website to be a place to exchange information and reminisce and remember long ago summers. We hope this site will bring old Drum Corp fans together to correspond and interact. Fleetwood is proud to present our CD collection.
The Fleetwood Sports Story
Fleetwood’s initial foray into the world of sports recordings began with the basketball album Havlicek Stole the Ball, chronicling the first eight years of the Celtics dynamic championship run of 11 championships in 13 years. The success of that Celtics album convinced Fleetwood that there was a market for such a product and their next release, The Impossible Dream, was just that. The recording was originally a radio special put together by radio station WHDH and highlighted the Red Sox incredible season of 1967.
The success of the first two albums convinced Vinnie Giarusso (then owner of Fleetwood) that he was onto to something big. Fleetwood began developing albums for every team that won a championship over the next several years. Soon to follow were albums of a biographical nature on the life of Hank Aaron; when he broke the all-time home run record, and Babe Ruth, perhaps the greatest name in athletic history. Fleetwood was paving the way for what we know today as Major League marketing. Now, today, some forty years after it started, Fleetwood is finding a new generation eager to share in the accomplishments of those who make today’s accomplishments meaningful.
Over the years many of the great baseball voices graced the Fleetwood Studio to lend their assistance which made the endeavor all the more successful. Those voices ranged from Ken Coleman, Lindsay Nelson, Ned Martin, Monte Moore, Chuck Thompson, Bob Prince, Bob Murphy and Phil Rizzuto to the Hall of Fame pipes of Marty Brenaman, Ernie Harwell, Curt Gowdy and Harry Kalas.
It’s amazing how a suggestion made at a cocktail party can turn into such an enduring legacy. Yes, that’s how the Fleetwood Sports recordings came into existence when an enterprising small recording company’s owner got caught up in a conversation with Celtics voice, Johnny Most, and with the exchange of a few ideas they gave birth to an industry that started the ball rolling for what you now witness in the various Major League Marketing divisions that grace the athletic landscape.
The CD’s available here are the result of many inquiries over the years asking to replace old and worn albums that had great sentimental value to their owners. The answer was to take the original recordings, digitally re-master them and reproduce the actual cover and liner notes. We hope you continue to enjoy the Fleetwood Sports catalog now on CD.