La Orquesta Albany was formed in about 1971 by “Sugar Bear” into a gang because of racist white gangs such as Taylor Jousters, Simon City Royals, and Gaylords. Before 1971 the OA were a salsa band that used the colors of brown and gold. Many members were actually Latin Kings and Warlords gang members, while others were just partiers. In 1971 they became a gang and the Latin King and Warlord members became OA primarily. They hung out near Darwin School on the corner of Albany and Belden. They created their club name from Albany Street they hung out on and Orchestra came from the fact that they were in a band. In about 1974 the Orchestra Albany threw a block party for their members and others to attend during a time when the Latin Kings were placing high pressure on the OA to become LKs. Some Latin Kings arrived at the party from Arlington and Kedzie wearing their war sweaters and started a fight with the OA and during the rumble the LKs pulled out a gun and shot an OA dead. Right after the shooting the OAs immediately opposed the Latin Kings. "Half Pint" became the leader of the OAs as they soon developed into a street gang. Anibel "Half Pint" Morales was killed on June, 1st, 1978 by LKs this made OAs hate Kings even more. In retaliation for Hal Pint’s death, Sugar Bear killed Queen Lefty, the first Latin Queen to ever be killed in 1978 on the corner of Armitage and Kedzie. Sugar Bear then fled to Puerto Rico because of Police pressure.
In 1978 a faction of OA opened up called the “Insane Future OA” on the corner of Fullerton and Kedzie (now known as Darwin City). They then opened up shop on the corner of Spaulding and Schubert (more Darwin City). Darwin City OA was born which ended up being the largest group of OA. The Future OA fought many battles against Palmer Street Gaylords and Lawndale Gaylords. They also battled with the Drake and Wolfram Simon City Royals and the SCRs from Christiana and Wellington. They also fought with the Taylor Jousters from Sawyer and Altgeld. The Futures hung out in the Darwin school yard in large numbers. The Future consolidated the Maniac Future OA and the OA Brothers. Another prominent OA group was the “Maniac Senior OA” that were on the corner of Kedzie and Dickens. They hung out heavily with the Imperial Gangsters of Spaulding and Armitage; this led them to call themselves “OA Gangsters.” Later they began to hang with the Chicago Players of Kedzie and Palmer and then changed their name to “Maniac Orquesta Albany Players.” They battled very heavily with the Yates Boys Organization and the Ghetto Brothers Organization and the Latin Kings from Cortland and Whipple. Another prominent OA group was the A-Os that formed in 1978. A-O stood for “Albany Organization.” They were a group heavily related to the OA but wore the colors blue and brown instead of brown and gold. They were a Cuban group that heavily unified with OA and even placed a gold stripe in their sweaters to symbolize unity. The A-O did not last; by 1979 they flipped to OA.
In 1978 the OAs joined the Folks alliance. Upon doing so they heavily united with the ULO and YLO organizations that involved Spanish Cobras, Imperial Gangsters, Latin Eagles, Latin Disciples (MLDs), YLO cobras, YLO disciples, and Latin Jivers. These gangs were in the area of the OAs and all repped and still rep Folks. By the early 80s the OAs had grown quite a bit, they had a presence on Sacramento to Kimball/Palmer to Belmont, Milwaukee AVE, Kedzie AVE, Schubert and Spaulding. They attended at that time Shurz H.S. and Avondale Grade School. Later on the 80s the Spanish Cobras created the "Insane Familia" along with the OAs they have also spread their presence to the Palmer Square area. Starting mainly in 1991 the OAs began the engage in many interalliance wars with other Folks because the Folk nation began to fracture in 1991. OAs were soon fighting with Latin Eagles, SDs, MLDs, Imperial Gangsters, Latin Lovers, and other Folks.
SPECIAL THANKS TO ZOOK FOR WRITING THE HISTORY