‘Dixie’ had defenders at N.C. State

On this day in 1965: About 1,000 N.C. State students converge on the student newspaper office to demand that editors apologize for having proposed that “Dixie” be stricken from the repertoire of campus musical groups.

About 400 protesters march on to the Capitol. In the evening’s only conflict, a poster reading “Down with Dixie” is ripped from the hands of two black students and destroyed.

8 thoughts on “‘Dixie’ had defenders at N.C. State”

  1. Lew your post this morning about NC State musical organizations performing “Dixie” brought to mind your earlier post about the Washington Redskins and their loyalty to the South. (October 14)

    In 1937 when Boston Redskins’ owner George Preston Marshall brought his team to Washington, he immediately put together a 150-member brass band to perform before, during and after home games. He was often quoted as saying as long as he was in charge, the Redskins’ band would perform “Dixie” at all games. I believe he was true to his word.

    I remember watching his Amoco Redskins Network on WFMY-TV in Greensboro during the years 1951 to 1955. It was a time when there were no pre-game shows. The broadcast came on the air Sunday at 2 PM and the kickoff came about 5 after. Since there was no pre game analysis and no reporters on the sidelines, Marshall knew that the cameras would show whatever he put on the field before the kickoff. So he would have the Redskins’ band march from one end of the field to the other…when they got to about the 30-yard-line, they would strike up “Hail To The Redskins.” When they reached the end zone, they would do a counter march and just as soon as the first two or three ranks cleared the last ranks, they would go into their original arrangement of “Dixie”…the crowd would go crazy. Then when they reached mid-field the would halt and perform the National Anthem.

  2. That’s an interesting question, Lew. The simple answer is likely. Of course there was no video tape in those days, but there was a process which recorded live TV. It was called a kinescope and was simply done by taking a 16 mm or 35 mm motion picture camera, putting on a special lens, altering the film speed to match the TV scan and aiming it at the TV screen. This process was used by TV networks to get network shows to areas of the country that did not have access to the AT&T coaxial cable. I don’t know if George Marshall had any of the games recorded, but my guess would be he did for special occasions. Any one of the network stations could have made a kinescope. Any “kines” (pronounced “Kinnies”) probably wound up in the Redskins’ archives or the Pro Football Hall of Fame archives in Canton, Ohio.

    A second possibility would be a forerunner of NFL Films called Tel Ra Productions. This company was based in Philadelphia and recorded on 16 mm film most of the NFL games of the 1950s. They would put together a 30-minute weekly highlight film and syndicate it to TV stations across the country. WFMY-TV ran the film on Friday nights at 11:30. The program was called “National Pro Highlights” and was narrated by Harry Wismer. NFL films has since bought out the Tel Ra NFL archive.

    A third possible source could be the Newsreels of the day which are filed in various archives in New York. Also, the TV stations in the Washington, DC area might have also filmed the games.

    I have often thought how neat it would be to see a kinescope of one of those Redskins’ games from the 1950s. It would not look anything near what we are use to seeing today. It was a time with no instant replay, no reverse angles, no isolated cameras, no screen full of computer graphics. It was a time when two fixed-lens cameras were used to televise the game.

    If your team scored while you were out in the kitchen getting a snack, you had to wait until Friday night to see a film replay.

  3. I struck out in googling NFL (much less Redskins) kinescopes… Maybe there’s more to be discovered in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar…. Wouldn’t Charlie Justice’s color commentary (as mentioned by Jack in an earlier post on the Amoco era) be fascinating to hear…

  4. Lew, your mentioning Bing Crosby’s wine cellar (where a film from the 1960 World Series was found) brings to mind a TV tape tragedy.

    Much to the dismay of television historians and sports fans, all known broadcast tapes of the entire first Super Bowl in 1967 were subsequently destroyed by both NBC and CBS (both networks carried the game live) by taping over the content. This has prevented contrast and compare studies of how each network handled coverage of this historic game.

    NFL Films had a camera crew present, and retains a substantial amount of film footage in its archives, some of which has been released for home video and cable presentations.

    The search goes on for a video of the entire game…and I assume Bing’s wine cellar has been checked.

  5. It would be fascinating indeed, Lew, to be able to re-live that 1955 Washington Redskins’ season and hear Charlie Justice do his commentary during that final year of the Amoco Redskins Network. You didn’t need to listen very long before you knew which team Charlie was pulling for. I remember a game in ’55 when Redskin running back Joe Scudero made a fantastic punt return and as Redskins’ play-by-play announcer Jim Gibbons described the play, you could hear in the background Justice pounding on the desk. He had been told “no cheering on the air.”

    Twenty years after his season in the Redskin broadcast booth, he worked with UNC play-by-play announcer Woody Durham. During the ‘75 season the Tar Heel Sports Network had a team of former players as guest analysts. Each Saturday one of the players would be a part of the radio broadcast. Justice worked a couple of games and then in 1976 he teamed with Durham and longtime Triad broadcaster Lee Kinard for all the games that season.

    Two quick stories form that ’76 season. When East Carolina came to Chapel Hill, Charlie said, “Playing East Carolina is like playing your little brother…he’ll beat the tar out of you if you’re not careful.”

    Then one Saturday Carolina’s punter, a guy by the name of Johnny Elam, was having a bad afternoon. Charlie remarked on the air that Elam had a bad “drop” of the football before he kicked it. Elam’s dad heard the game and was standing at the bottom of the steps leading to the booth as Charlie left after the broadcast. He took Charlie straight to the locker room and they had a meeting with Johnny. After that meeting, Johnny Elam had a great year punting…averaging more than 40 yards per kick.

  6. Thanks, Jack…. Other people’s attics and basements sure are a lot more interesting than mine…

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