March 8, 2011

Video: Penn State Band Day 1960

An absolutely FANTASTIC video uploaded to YouTube by Russ, one of our readers and Twitter followers. It's a home movie from Penn State's 1960 Band Day. Russ says in the description that it was his grandfather's 8mm reel of film, converted to DVD. You all know we love Penn State history here at LBU, so this is a no-brainer that deserves a post.

Penn State would face West Virginia that day, October 29, in the newly-moved Beaver Stadium. Lions' QB Dick Hoak would pass for two touchdowns and run for another, as Penn State crushed the Mountaineers 34-13. Steelers fans probably recognize that name, as Hoak spent 10 years playing, and 35 more coaching, for the Black and Gold.

As for Band Day at Penn State, it's been a rough ride back to pseudo-relevance:
Nittany Lion fans under the age of 30 probably have never heard of Band Day while some octogenarians may remember seeing the first one at Beaver Field in 1950. It was a popular tradition for 24 years, and it was at the 1971 Band Day that another Penn State football tradition was born, one that continues to this day--the Drum Major's pre-game flip.

After 24 musical years, Band Day came to an unceremonious end before the 1975 season. It was revived for the Blue-White game in 1984 but it wasn't the same, with only a handful of bands participating, and Band Day disappeared completely after the 1988 spring scrimmage game.
Band Day should return for this upcoming Blue-White Weekend. But it's likely that the annual spring scrimmage will be the height of its resurgence. There is no way, in this day and age, high school bands can afford to fork over regular-season ticket costs. The average 50-piece high school band would spend about $3,500 just for tickets, never mind the peripheral costs like food and transport.

At least, I guess, Band Day is back in some way, shape, or form. Though, it will never again have the significance it once enjoyed, as you'll see in this terrific glimpse back into Penn State football and Blue Band history.

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