Ozzie's Music Store • 6875 El Cajon Blvd


I played the flute in Ozzie's band 1960-62.  We practiced marching at John Muir elementary school.  I remember going to Disneyland twice for Fourth of July parades.  We were at the start of the parade and had been given free tickets, so off we went to the donkey ride, which usually had enormous lines.  I remember the Bakersfield Fair and the early Charger games, which were held at the old San Diego High School stadium.  When they began the half-time displays for the Chargers, the group was given a set of huge white fibre-glass tubas.  This was probably their introduction to the world of music.  The idea being to  bring them to the attention of the nation -- Barbara Whilldin ‘67

I played drums in the marching band at about age 12-14. We rehearsed with Ozzie Wissell in the store back room, then went out to the ally behind the store to practice marching. My Dad, Marshall Sleet, taught at Ozzie’s. Ozzie later led a famous life as an underwater photographer and made many films. Dick Ambrose with the other partner at the store, and I took drum lessons there, maybe with Myron Collins. Dena and Dick Blackwell were there at the time, too. Dick and I played in the NOMADS -- Dave Sleet ’61

Sandy Lindem Bowman ’63 and I twirled baton for Ozzie's band in the first game the Chargers played in at the old Balboa Stadium up until they replaced us with actual cheerleaders. I started marched with the band from 1957 thru 1962.  I remember marching at San Diego State for practice and in the large lot next to Ozzie's.  Other members of the band from Crawford that I can remember are Ronnie Van Horn '60, Jim Snead '60, and Dave Hyatt '61.Ozzie, Dottie (his wife) and Dick treated us all like we were their kids. They were wonderful. It was a great time to grow up -- Beverly Swaim Wickstrom ’62

I took guitar and clarinet lessons there.  That sure looks like my '57 Ford parked in the lot -- Sylvia Wicke Ryerson '68

I remember "Ozzie's Marching Chargers Band" very well. My brother Rick Watson played the drums in the band. They used to practice in the parking lot at Grossmont Center. They were thrilled when they followed the Chargers to the San Francisco area to perform at half time. They were looking forward to having their parents see them on TV. But what did we see??? Baron Hilton's teenage sons putting on a very lame skate board demonstration at the side of the field. The parents were disappointed and the kids were fit to be tied that they were up staged by a couple of rich kids on skateboards. They jumped off the bus all happy and excited. "Did you see us?" And we had to tell them that we hadn't seen them. They were so upset that a lot of them wanted to quit the band. Since the local games were blacked out, and since we never went to a game we never got to see the band perform. They had practiced so hard and so long for their TV debut and we couldn't even hear them over the chatterbox announcer -- Nancy Watson Wingo (Horace Mann ’59)

The band in question was Ozzie's Band (I played clarinet in that band in the mid-50s). The music store, of course, was Ozzie's Music -- John McMullen ’63

The answer to Don Roger's question is -- Ozzie's Marching Band, which became Ozzie's Marching Chargers. My sister, Michelle Silver Walker '71, later became a baton twirler for the band. I would send a picture, but I'm afraid she would never talk to me again -- Mark Silver '69

(Oh, c'mon Mark -- send the picture. She'll never know -- JF)

I remember the band mentioned in the Memories page -- Ozzie’s Marching Band. I was a trumpet player in the band for several years. My older brother was a trombone player. I am not sure if my little brother was playing saxophone when Ozzie’s was still around. I got my first trumpet from Ozzie’s (still have it)! -- Rick Leu ’71

I sent an email today to Don Rogers regarding the question he asked about the band who played for half times for the San Diego Chargers when they first came to San Diego. That band was Ozzie’s Marching Band/Ozzie’s Marching Chargers and I was so lucky to be part of the band. I twirled baton in the corps from 1964-1969 and have been trying to connect with others in the band for over ten years now. I would love to have a reunion before Ozzie leaves us. He is still alive and is about 90 some years old now, so time is of the essence. Maybe you can post something to the website to see if anyone has pictures etc. Mine have been lost/stolen over the years and when I tried to find out what Ozzie’s did with the old pictures that use to be on the wall in their El Cajon Blvd store they had no clue. I have visited Ozzie’s Music store in Poway, the only one left, and they stated Ozzie probably has them. I have left my name and number several times for Ozzie but no communication from him yet. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do, John!! -- Lanette Theoldore Proulx ’71

In regards to Don Rogers '69 question about the half-time band at Charger games, it was Ozzie's Band. Ozzie's Music Store was near 70th and El Cajon. So you are asking yourself how I would know such a fact? Well, I just happened to be an old member of Ozzie's Band, playing the clarinet. I was a member from 4th grade up until 10th grade. What years would that have been? 1966-1972? Of course only the Advanced Band did the half-time shows, parades, band reviews etc. I did many a Charger game and held first chair clarinet for many years -- Terry Appleby '74

Greetings from snowy Rochester NY where we're getting a late winter storm. I've shoveled eight inches already with more on the way. The band that performed half time shows up until the 1970s was Ozzie's Marching Band, and was known in the ‘60s as Ozzie's Marching Charger Band. I remember marching in at least two half time shows in the "new" San Diego Stadium, the first of which was October 26, 1969 when the Oakland Raiders played the Chargers. I still have the ticket stubs that my parents used to see the game. Each Field Reserved seat was $6.00. Thanks for the email each week. I look forward to reading the continuing adventures of "Fry-Man" ! -- Karen Kessler '75

They practiced at John Muir Elementary School on Mohawk St (their band building was on El Cajon Blvd near 69th St). They used to wake us up every Saturday morning! That was in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s! -- Jeannine Berger Passenheim '60

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was one of the Chargettes with the Ozzie Marching Chargers. I remember those twice-a-week rehearsals doing all those high kicks in the parking lot at Grossmont Center. We spent hours sewing beads and sequins on the lightning strike on our uniforms. My Grandfather saw me on TV but I don't think my parents even took pictures of me in my cute uniform. If anyone has pictures from back then I would love to see them -- Ellie Clark Piltz '67

I was also involved in Ozzie's Marching Band as a baton twirler but later I was one of the Charger Girls that did the dances on the side of the field. Can you see if anyone has any pictures???? Thanks -- Leslie Herrmann ‘70

I was wondering if you have any photos of the Charger’s playing at  Balboa Stadium from 1965-1967. Ozzie’s Marching Chargers and the Twirlers of Oz  performed during pre-game, half-time and post-game. The baton corps also performed as the “Chargettes” during the games. We were stationed around the track and rotated every quarter. Also, do you have any photos of the band performing in any of the local parades? Thank you for your efforts -- Carla Hilger Medlock ’68

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