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TOWN:The 'Fuzz Band' is back in town

ON THE

July 18, 2007|By DAVID LAURELL

In 1953, Burbank resident Ben Porter had an idea — to form a local boy's band to represent the city at local and regional events, including the Tournament of Roses Parade. While Ben Porter was the idea man behind the formation of the band, it was his wife, May Porter, and her friend, Rosemary Glenn, who brought his idea to fruition.

"Rosemary and I went to see Burbank Police Chief Rex Andrews and asked him what he thought of forming a boys' band," May recalled. "He thought it was a great idea and he arranged for some of the officers in his department to help us get started. Rosemary and I then went to the City Council to ask for some money for uniforms. It was a fight, but we got it."

And thus the Burbank Police Boys Band was formed. Supported by the police department as well as the city's Park and Recreation Department, the band recruited boys between the ages of 14 and 21 to showcase their musical talent in precision, military-style marching and concert performances. The organization also gave young women the opportunity to participate as the band's color guard and majorettes.

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This past Saturday evening, the Crystal View Lounge atop the Burbank Holiday Inn served as the venue to reunite members and supporters of the Burbank Police Boys Band. Throughout the sunset cocktail hour, individuals whose talent and support were a part of the band that represented Burbank for three decades, reminisced and caught up with one another.

Among those in attendance on Saturday was Ray Firkins, a drummer in the band from 1973 until 1975, who now serves as the organization's musical archivist. Over the years, Firkins has applied his technical wizardry to clean up the band's old concert recordings and burn the remastered offerings to CD.

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