Saturday, November 26, 2022

Pep Band Introduces Jazz at State Rivalry Game in 1922

As the hand-wringing over what to call today's great state rivalry football game continues, it is a little interesting to see how they handled the name in 1922. "State Championship" seemed to be the dominant name.

But much more interesting is that the Daily Emerald claimed the pep band played jazz for the first time around here at a sporting event.

"State Rivalry Game," Oregonian, Nov 19th, 1922

Nov. 17th, 1922

From the Emerald:

Jingling, jangling jazz, pep-inspiring selections of various kinds, and a whole repertoire of good music will be furnished by the University band to the students who flock to Corvallis Saturday to back the Oregon football team in its annual struggle with the Aggies....

The band will be composed of fifty or more pieces, making it one of the largest and best bands the University has seen for some time. Some special music of the jazz variety will be played Saturday for the first time. These selections are new to the college bands of the Northwest and are expected to rouse the Oregon rooters to the zenith of their enthusiasm.

I couldn't find any follow-up on how this new instance of jazz was received at the game. Five years after it was first in the news here, in 1922 there is still criticism of jazz as immoral or bad, but it is being assimilated and adopted, and the appearance of jazz may not have been very remarkable.

December 16th, 1921

June 12th, 1922

Names for the game that appear in coverage during 1922:

  • "Football Championship of the State" and "Big Game," Oregonian, November 15th
  • "State Gridiron Classic," Oregon Daily Journal, November 17th
  • "Big Game" and "Battle for the State Championship," Oregonian, November 17th
  • "Annual Classic for the Championship of the State," Capital Journal, November 17th
  • "Battle of the Year," Daily Emerald, November 18th  
  • "Annual Classic for the Championship of the State," Statesman, November 18th
  • "State Football Championship," Oregonian, November 18th
  • "Big Battle" and "Big Game," Capital Journal, November 18th
  • "Historic State Championship Football Contest," Oregon Daily Journal, November 19th

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