the 5 note rif is part of the US Army bugle call for signalling a charge to mounted troups. The rif was also in use by a couple television shows in the 1950's and 60's, most notably 'Boots and Saddles'.
Mon 15 Apr, 2013 04:04 pm
It was created in 1928, in Los Angeles, by a military school cadet as a signal
to "charge" during polo matches. The cadet was an accomplish trumpet player who would blow the quick 6 notes while on his horse. Over the years he would sometimes bring his horn to USC games.
In 1949, the USC Trojans were traveling by train back to South Bend to play
Notre Dame. This train was made up of several "special" cars for the team
and some of its biggest supporters, along with the local sports news beat guys,
including Jim Murray.
One of the guys bought a $5.00 bugle as a noise maker. It didn't take long before the bugle ended up in this former "cadet's" hands who had gone on be a jazz trumpeter in Los Angeles during the '30's & early 40's. His name was Henry Church. His family had [ and still does ] a big connection to USC including his father being a member to the Skull & Dagger.
During the ride back east, Henry came up with many different calls, but the one everyone love the best was the "charge". When the train hit Chicago,
Henry departed the train to find a better "mouth piece" for the bugle.
As their cars were being changed to another engine, Henry had time to go
to a music store he remembered from his playing days.
When it was time to roll, Henry was still not back so they held the train [about a half hour] till he arrived. On the bugle was a new custom made
"mouth piece" that cost 5 times what the bugle cost. $25.00.
At the game , the snow was falling and the small USC group huddled up
in furs to keep warm. The game was not going well for the Trojans with
all the snow & cold weather. But this didn't stop Henry and USC faithful
from cheering the boys on. Henry would stand up, blow the charge and the
rest would stand and yell "charge". This fun with the horn and "spirits"
might have gone unnoticed if not for the fact that the game was being broadcast live all across the country with the cameras focusing , from time
to time, on this small USC group and all the fun they were having with
"this little ditty" trumpet charge thereby bring it a country's ears for the first time. Within weeks, the SC band picked it up and the rest is history.
There are many sources that confirm this, including the cream of USC's
boosters & Los Angeles writers, that this was the first time it had ever been used. Sid Ziff, of the Mirror, wrote a piece confirming it back around 1960 or so. The owner of the bugle was a young writer with the Times-Mirror names Chuck. Last name, maybe, Chambers, Courtney, I think. He, also, confirmed the facts. I wonder if his family still has that bugle? The Church family has the "custom" mouth piece.
Mon 1 Dec, 2014 11:19 am
(written from vague memories - just out of my head) In the late 1950's a Hollywood composer Leo Arnaud [Google Leo Arnaud - Wikipedia] wrote a suite of songs commissioned by conductor Felix Slatkin the 'Charge Suite' which includes "Buglers Dream". In 1959/ a vinyl Hi fi record was produced with this [bugler's Dream} and other martial marches, fife music and drum pieces. The record was later released in Stereo and in the late 70's - early 8o's a few CD's were released - these are excellent and considered by many to be the best military brass music available. I've heard that the original parts were too high and difficult for any brass players and that they were recorded in a lower key[s] and then sped up to the current pitch - see Wikipedia for John Williams involvement and attempts to improve and add to the original - if you can find a copy of the CD it is a rare and rewarding experience, happy dreams!
Mon 1 Dec, 2014 11:30 am
You learn something new every day. I thought it was just something Scrappy Doo said.
Mon 1 Dec, 2014 11:35 am
This is what we sing at sporting events. (This is the only copy I could find.)
Sat 29 Apr, 2017 10:13 pm
I believe this is correct, but as I recall, the Dodgers moved into the LA Coliseum and in their first season in LA, there was some guy in the stands who would play that fanfare and his friends would respond with CHARGE! to try to get the Dodgers going. Maybe he was Tommy Walker. But it is possible Tommy got the fanfare from the German WWI bugle calls documented in this thread. They had a slightly different rhythm, but the notes were identical. A year of two after the Dodgers arrived, Magnolia Records put out a 45 record in which Bob Grabeau sings a song that uses this chant over and over again at the end of each verse, ending with an imagined Dodger pennant victory. It did not happen that year, however.
Mon 9 Dec, 2019 04:48 pm
As I understand it, the "Charge" heard at stadiums across the country started back in 1944 with a small group of 8 USC students (including one with a bugle and another with a sword) running down the aisle at a football game yelling "Charge" to mimic a movie they had just seen the night before. The movie was "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Cary Grant directed by Frank Capra. In this movie the crazy old man thinking he was Teddy Roosevelt repeatedly ran down the stairs in his house waiving his sword and yelling "Charge". The USC students picked up on this and decided to do their rendition at the next USC football game. The USC music director and drum major Tommy Walker picked up on these students and their fanfare routine and the rest is history! My mother was one of these 8 students.