The Battle Of The Bands: 1970 (Custom Fidelity)

Here’s a recording of an 11th annual concert hosted by the Hollywood Bowl to showcase teenage musicians and singers. The participants are either independent or associated with high schools. There’s your standard horn heavy stage band numbers from Montebello, Dorsey and Pico Rivera High Schools, as well as contributions from folk duos, such as Two Far Out with “Dynamo”. There are a few standouts here. One is a version of “Burning Spear” by the Byron Davis Quartet, with its organ, flute and driving jazz groove. Oddly enough, this Byron Davis has no relation to the 80’s electro hip-hop Byron Davis of Fresh Krew fame, who was also from Los Angeles. The another one is the District Of Evolution’s killer version of Dyke and the Blazers’ “We’ve Got More Soul”. What made this one surprising is that I am convinced I went to high school with the drummer’s son, who shares the same name and looks identical to the picture in the gatefold. Chuck, if you’re reading this, your pops tore it up on this one! There’s also the band who took First Place in the Combo Division, The Pete Jacobs Quartet, with “Feud In G Major” and “Little Visitors”, as one very out-there hard bop jazz tune. The concerts wraps up with what I assume was an elaborate stage production. The New Revelation Gospel Choir and Production Band with a couple of dance groups, not heard on the record, from Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes perform a four cover song medley with “Oh, Happy Day” and “God Bless The Child” being the mellow tunes before it picks up with punchy drums on “Let It Be” and “Let The Sunshine In” (again?).


  • weird, i live in pico rivera. is it the El Rancho High School band?

  • The only info on the Pico Rivera Stage Band is that they were an all-white 16-piece band who received first place for the Stage Band Division (opposed to the 1st place winning School Stage Band Division of the all-black Dorsey High School for their versions of “1974 Blues” and “Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In”)

  • Sounds a lot like the Soulful Strings version of ‘Burning Spear’

  • I was the leader of the district of evolution


  • Your band sounded great. Thank you for the information. Did you and the other District members record anything other than this? I like that name, “Scooter”.

  • update the drummer of the district of evolution name is charles crable senior class 1970 Los Angeles high school

  • Hi Stan / Ryan, if you see this message I am most interested in talking to you about the above record, please get in touch.

  • STAN / RYAN…I too am interested in speaking to anyone who has a copy of this recording, or a 1970 Los Angeles High Year Book. Please contact me at STAN, If you are looking for contact information for “Scooter”, contact me.

  • My mom is on this album! She competed in the vocal division and got 2nd place! how do I listen to it???

  • And let’s not forget, ‘The Seven Card Studs’ from Whittier, a seven-piece Dixieland group and finalist competing in the stage band division. I still have the trophy.:) I played cornet.

  • This is a historical record in that several young people who would found the rock group “Toto” were in the production band, notably Jeff Porcaro and David Paitch. Jeff Porcaro just plays like a brilliant animal on this.

  • I got a couple copies of the 1968′ pressing….amazing versions of “2001”, “Mercy Mercy Mercy” and Larry Farrow’s “Funky Farrow”…any interested?

    Fourteenth Annual
    Battle Of The Bands -Hollywood Bowl
    Custom Fidelity records Cat#CFS3277-2

  • Sorry, the record is from 1973’….not 1966′, hence the funk!

  • If you have the recording or a link I would love to get it. I was in the Dorsey Jazz Workshop that won the Band divion and Sweepstakes. 1969 and 1970

  • Hello Everyone,

    A few years ago, my girlfriend first played the recording of our band and at first I didn’t recognize my old group, although it sounded pretty awesome. I must say that hearing that brought back some of the best days of my life. Many thanks to Ryan who, as a music cultural efficianado, dug up our work. And again Ryan, it was great meeting with you that night at Chili’s. Keep up your great work!
    I get a little saucy that a few people remembered me and somewhat regret not pursuing a fulltime career playing in a band. To hear me referred to as “Scooter” still makes me feel younger even though I no longer have my big hair.
    I’m doing OK, all things considered. I graduated form USC and did some graduate work. I’ve been a real estate broker for over 20 years with mixed results. I bought a big farm in New York state where I go as often as I can and, and of course, there is a nice set of Yamaha drums there. In fact, I have three houses throughout the country where I live and all have drumsets. My daughter has her master’s degree and my son is still pursuing some objectives. A lot more than you may want to hear on the personal side, but just an update.
    And to you Stanly Hodkins, our band leader was actually the lead singer Joseph Dobbins III, along with Walter Pittman, Harold ?, Stanley Hodkins, and Charles “Scooter” Crable IV. We did have a hot little band….I really don’t know why I’m writing all this, it just somehow popped up on my screen and this is a good time for reflection and lament.
    Last week I visted Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Waters” home in Pennsylvania and as I told one young recent graduate there….”Whatever you do follow your passions, if worthwhile you’ll never regret it and success will come. Be happy within yourself.
    Thanks so much for all of your comments.

  • A few other things: During that era we had the Hollywood Teenage Fair, every summer where bands would play in different venues. I met Jeff Pocoro then when came up and admired my drumming and we talked a little. We ran into each other again when he was the production drummer for the Battle of the Bands in 1970 where we also played. And again, when he was with Boz Scaggs and invited me backstage to meet everyone. That was very cool. I’ll also say, for quite a while, I was devestated when Jeff died. I considered him a friend and an inspiration. He was very bright extremely talented and had the advantage of a teacher at home in his dad, Joe.
    The reason I mention all this is that we no longer have anything that resembles the great society which many had envisioned and hoped for during that time. But during those days for a short window we all lived it…Perhaps I’m still looking for its return. Through these conversations and people like Ryan, we can keep it alive. Anybody want to start an old school band?


  • Hello, Charles! It’s interesting that you brought up Pocoro. A coworker and friend of mine, who is a drummer for a local ‘progressive’ rock band (ex.: Yes, Toto, Rush and so forth), and myself were talking about him recently during my lunch break. I hope that the both of you have a great holiday season and a happy new year. I want to hear from you again; it’s been a while.

    clavinet27 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Nice to see this. I danced in this as part of the Palos Verdes dance group.

  • This is Walter the bassist. Wow, how fortunate we were for that experience. Most of the time we don’t realize the gravity of our adventure when we’re right in the middle of it. I thank God for technology! This is almost better than the first time as we listen with our old souls. Thanks so much for posting this golden link of my life. It was a blast sharing it with my daughter and grand kids.

    Shortly I’ll forward some still shoots from that day 44 years ago.

    God Bless

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