Dr. Cook’s Journal: The End of Dixie

The article below is from a journal kept by Dr. Bruce Cook, long-time director of Tiger Band at Clemson, and is published compliments of Dr. Cook’s family.

There was some discussion on the CUTBA group on Facebook about when Tiger Band stopped playing Dixie.

Sean Cook, son of the late Dr. Bruce Cook, long-time Tiger Band Director, posted the following:

Here is the mention of the phaseout of “Dixie” from Dad’s journal. I will look and see what mention he makes about women in the band. I think there are a couple of comments on that as well. While the journal is nowhere near comprehensive, there are so many gems in there. I’m sure he’d be happy to have his memories shared with his old students.

(Please forgive any typos, as he was typing this journal as he recalled details or reconstructed them from memories and notes, and never finished it or had time to go back and clean it up.)
August 1970

After another “Band Day,” Tiger Band traveled to Athens and Atlanta for the games between Clemson and the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. A small “pep’ band made the trip to Wake Forest on October 17 followed by a first ever trip to Tallahassee for the game against Florida State University.

Unknown to me was the banning “Dixie’ by Florida State University. At Clemson, in an effort to phase out what had become a divisive tune, we reduced the number of ‘Dixie” performances to one or two performances during pre game warm-ups.

Not realizing that Florida State University had banned the tune, Tiger Band (under my direction) played “Dixie” during pre game warm-ups. One our students motioned for me to look across the way to the “home” side of the field.

Everyone was standing and cheering beyond belief… I was offered money to play it again!

I was embarrassed by the turmoil we unintentionally caused.

Back home at Clemson, students threatened a “walk out” during the first home game in the new Littlejohn Coliseum if the pep band played “Dixie.’

From that point forward, the Tiger Band and the Basketball Pep Band no longer included “Dixie” as part of the pep band’s repertory.