What’s not to love about the Bicentennial Celebration of 1976?

Forty years ago, America was full of patriotism. Having discovered drum and bugle corps the year before, I remember well the trip from south Georgia to Whitewater, Wisconsin for the big drum corps show.

Several of the corps had patriotic themes that year. And the Madison Scouts, defending DCI champions, had one of the best! The corps started the season with one show, and then halfway through, they scrapped “The Theme from ‘Shaft'” and replaced it with a great rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” which even included a cheesy re-enactment of the iconic Iwo Jima flag scene.

Though the Blue Devils were steamrolling their way to the first of their many titles, and there was no stopping them and their groundbreaking show, the Scouts tried hard, and ended up a close second.

Forty years later, here’s the audio of that great classic: