History

Black Knights in the 1950's

Written by Dave Scott
1954 Black KnightsThe Black Knights were formed in 1953 by Forrest Creson and Vern Poole who first met while marching in the Ainad Shrine Drum Corps. They envisioned an all male corps drawing from the membership of the local Belleville Tancred Chapter of the Order of DeMolay.All corps members were required to join the DeMolay.

Forrest Creson was the corps director, brass arranger, instructor and bus driver. Verne Poole was the corps manager and instructor.

1957 Black KnightsThe corps first performance was April 6, 1954. They wore black pants with black satin tops with a white left sleeve. 

They were the AmVets National Champions in 1954, 1955 and 1956.

In 1957 they went with a black cadet style uniform with white trim and a white cumber-bun. The jacket had a reversible breast plate with a white sash on one side and the corps crest on the other. The distinctive white left sleeve concept was kept from the original 1954 uniform designed by Forrest Creson. 

1956 Black KnightsThe Knights were in the upper echelon nationally from 1956 to 1962. National placements:  5th @ 1956 VFW Nationals, 3rd @ 1957 VFW Nationals, 6th @ 1958 VFW Nationals & 3rd @ 1958 AL Nationals, 2nd @ 1959 VFW Nationals, 6th @ 1960 VFW Nationals, 5th @ 1961, 9th @ 1962 VFW Nationals.

Drum Majors: James Bailey 54, 55. Larry Aud 56 - 58. Roger Kaiser 58 - 59. 

The corps was sponsored by:  Fairview Memorial Post # 8677, East St Louis, IL  , American Legion Post #53, East St Louis, IL, AmVets Post # 207, Belleville, IL 

Musical repertoire from the 50's included: No Business Like Show Business, National Emblem March, On The Mall, Wiffenpoof Song, Onward Christian Soldiers, Three Little Words, Bye Bye Blues, March of the Toy Soldiers, September Song, Me and My Shadow and Battle Hymn of the Republic.

 

Black Knights in the 1960's

Drum Majors

Sam Gilley - 1960
Dick Ishmael - 1961 - 1962
Robert Poole - 1963
Clyde "Butch" Kelly - 1964 - 1967
Bill Ackermann - 1968 - 1970

Contest Results

60 VFW Nationals - 6th
60 VFW State - 3rd
61 VFW State - 2nd
61 VFW Nationals - 5th
62 VFW State - 3rd
62 VFW Nationals - 9th
63 VFW State - 3rd
63 AL State - 3rd
64 VFW State - 3rd
64 VFW Nationals - 26th
65 VFW State - 5th
65 VFW Nationals - 22nd
66 VFW State - 5th
66 AL State - 7th
67 VFW Nationals - 13th
68 US Open - 11th
68 VFW Nationals - 13th
69 AL State - 4th
69 IL Association - 7th
69 US Open - 7th
69 VFW Nationals - 22nd 

Check out these great 1960s Black Knight Photos!

Black Knights in the 1970's

Info coming soon!

Black Knights in the 1980's

Info coming soon!