In 1966 in Canton, Ohio, Timken High School band director Neal Williams teamed up with his percussion assistant Bob Robinson and a downtown Canton businessman named Art Drukenbrod, who also knew a thing or two about teaching drums, and formed a drum corps. They set up shop at the Police Boys Club with a total of 13 members practicing across the street from the club in a field.
The Canton Police Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps hit the streets doing parades from 1966 for the next few years. The first year had but only two performances, both parades: Memorial Day and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival.
In 1972 Art Drukenbrod took his experience with this first group and the relationship with the Police Boys Club to start another drum corps. Art, along with Canton police officers J. Babe Stearn and Ralph McCauley, would see the Bluecoats grow over four decades to one of the premier organizations in the drum corps activity.
Special thanks to Bill Meers, pictured in the newsletter to the left, wearing glasses and holding the baritone bugle, for providing the images and information on this page. Bill was an original member of the Canton Police Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps and today works with the Professional Football Hall of Fame Festival.
Begin the Bluecoat’s year by year history with 1972 >>
Updated August 30, 2017