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Remembering Dr. Louis Carl Thomas, Jr.

Legendary Compton High Band Director from 1965 to 1973

August 20, 1937 - March 27, 2018

Louis Thomas

The Compton High School alumni family has lost a wonderful friend, role model, and musician, and the world has lost a wonderful human being.  Grambling University-trained, Dr. Thomas brought the Grambling high-stepping marching style to the marching band while he was band director from 1965 to 1973.  He wrote the original version of the Compton spirit song, C-Mambo, and a myriad of cadences that energized all who came under the drummers' spell.  Remember the Tarbabe Stroll, Breakdown, Big Bass, and the many-numbered cadences?  Not only was he an excellent marching band director, under his instruction, the jazz bands and orchestras were top-notch as well.   

Dr. Thomas was always willing to come back to Compton High to give back!  To help start the Compton High School Association with great fanfare, he came back to work with the alumni band for the May 2007 Alumni Day, and returned for the hugely successful Homecoming Day in November 2007.  Dr. Thomas came back in October 2015 to work with the then-current high school band to learn the original version of his C-Mambo.  (Over the years, the original music to C-Mambo was lost; the band director at that time wrote a different version of "C-Mambo.")  The end of his visit was recorded and can be seen by clicking on the link below.  He was kind enough to re-write the music to C-Mambo for all of the instruments and presented it to the Compton High band director.

After Dr. Thomas left Compton High School in 1973, he went on to earn his doctorate in education and became a school administrator, all the while staying active with his bands.  He was a guest at several Compton High class reunions.  He and his band performed at the Class of 1973's 20-year reunion.  He enjoyed socializing with his former students.  Last year, Dr. Thomas played with the alumni band at the Class of 1972's 45-year reunion last year.  

Those of us who were fortunate enough to be taught by Dr. Thomas have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor.  Everybody loved Dr. Thomas, and that includes the students who were not involved in the music program.  He leaves behind an unforgettable legacy, and his spirit will forever live on the campus of Compton High as well as in our individual lives.   Please keep his wife, Mary, son Louis III (Lou), daughter Janina, grandchildren, and other relatives and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  He has joined, in heavenly glory, his daughter Montrece, sons Terence and Linus, his mother, and other relatives and friends.  

Rest in Heavenly Peace, "LT".  You are gone, but will NEVER be forgotten!   

C-MAMBO!         Video of Dr. Thomas' Visit on Homecoming Day, October 23, 2015     

"I would like to take this time to thank all those who sent their prayers and condolences to our family in our time of bereavement. Your support and concern means more than you'll ever know."   -- Lou Thomas, son





Friday April 6th from 4-8 pm at Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary
Anyone wishing to speak may do so then; no remarks will be allowed on Saturday.


Home-going Service 

Saturday, April 7th, 11:00 a.m. at the Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church

Sympathy Cards my be sent to

Mrs. Mary Thomas
19433 Northwood Ave.
Carson, CA 90746

Other condolences and regards may be sent to the following addresses:

The Church
Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church
11328 S. Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Ph. 1-323-569-4162


The Mortuary
Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary
3801 W. Manchester Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90305
Ph: 1-310-412-6811 Ext.219
Attn: Cheri’ca Smith


The Florist
South East Flower Shop
127 W. Manchester Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90003
Ph: 1-323-759-0575

Mr. Thomas 1966Mr. Thomas 1970Mr. Thomas 73 drums
Mr. Thomas 1973 jazz band
Mr. Thomas thomas new orleans jazz bandmr. thomas new orleans jazz band marchmr. thomas and students reunite 2017Mr. Thomas wife wynell 2017 mr thomas 72 reunion band 



Compton High Pride badge

All hail to thee dear Compton High
Our Alma Mater true.
May all thy sons where'er they be
Give thee all honor due!

The years may come, the years may go
But still we'll loyal be
And when our high school days are o'er
Be faithful unto thee!


C - O - M - P - T - O - N    HEY!!
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