The coffee shop talk following the parade organized to publicize the Kamloops Blood Donor Clinic centered on the brass band leading it. Bizarre, weird, odd, were words used to describe the strange assortment of "uniforms" worn by the musicians. One person summed up the feelings of all present when he announced, ".... they look like a bunch of rubes".
From this humble, and certainly embarrassing beginning over fifty years ago the Kamloops Rube Band was formed, a marketing triumph of form over function. For what the founding members had correctly identified was that this was an opportunity to create a musical group different from any other.
Capitalizing on the colorful and unique "un-uniforms" and stressing superior musicianship, the Rube Band became an instant hit in the Kamloops area. Soon their horizons would shift to the world stage, for in 1967 the band received an invitation to perform at Expo in Montreal. On the strength of their successful World's Fair debut, other invitations lured the Rubes to uncharted locales.
What had begun as a basic marching band had evolved into a highly disciplined group of talented musicians, performing a variety of jazz, dixieland, ethnic and even classical pieces. Stage shows now became the norm as the band reached out to embrace all aspects of musical show business.
Growing popularity demanded more ambitious and elaborate routines to be developed, and the band responded with a fifteen performance stint at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan, followed by a six city tour of that country. Then it was to the home of dixieland jazz for an unprecedented two week gig during Marti Gras in New Orleans.
As the Band's reputation grew and the musical versatility honed over the years became better known, the band added Europe to their agenda, attending the 35th anniversary of the liberation of Holland Commemoration, during which they delighted audiences in Amsterdam and other cities on their tour.
The second largest Oktoberfest in the world was the next stop, as the Band entertained the crowds in Kitchener, Ontario during that city's annual fall celebration. The experience in Kitchener has prompted the Rubes to prepare for yet another invasion of Europe... this time to the largest Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
The success of the Band over the years has been achieved by the spontaneity developed by the members and encouraged by the audience. It could best be described by the Rube Band's theme song .. "Happy days are here again", for when the Kamloops Rube Band gets it together, that's what it's all about..... fun through music for everyone.