Saturday, April 21, 2018

2017 Article Excerpt: The Rivalry Between Grambling State University & Jackson State University Football Teams & Marching Bands

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a four part series on the rivalry between the marching bands of two Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU): Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band and Jackson State University Sonic Boom Of The South Marching Band.

This post presents general information about Grambling State University and general information about Southern State University (presented in alphabetical order). This post also provides an excerpt of an article about the rivalry between these two historical Black universities' football teams and their marching bands.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II provides information about Grambling State University's marching band and presents an excerpt of a 2017 Smithsonian University article about Jackson State University's marching band.

Click for Part III of this series. Part III showcases a YouTube video of the 2017 halftime show between Jackson State University's marching band vs Grambling State University's marching band (from the perspective of a Jackson State videographer). Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are also included in this post.

Click for Part IV of this series. Part IV showcases a YouTube video of the 2017 halftime show between Grambling State University's marching band vs Jackson State University's marching band (from the perspective of a Grambling State videographer). Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyright remains with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who are affiliated with these universities and their marching bands.
Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click a closely related pancocojams post entitled A Vice Sport Documentary Video Of The Bayou Classic Battle Of Marching Bands (Grambling State University vs Southern University) And Five YouTube Videos Of The 2017 Bayou Classic Battle Of Bands.

"Grambling State University (GSU) is a historically black, public, coeducational university, in Grambling, Louisiana. The university is home of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. The university is a member-school of the University of Louisiana System and Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Grambling State's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Grambling State Tigers. The university is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).


Grambling State was founded in 1901 and accredited in 1949. The school became Grambling College in 1946 named after a white sawmill owner, Judson H. Grambling, who donated a parcel of land for the school to be constructed. With the addition of graduate departments, Grambling gained university status in 1974. Grambling State University emerged from the desire of African-American farmers in rural north Louisiana who wanted to educate other African Americans in the northern part of the state. In 1896, the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association was formed to organize and operate a school. After opening a small school west of what is now the town of Grambling, the Association requested assistance from Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Charles P. Adams, sent to aid the group in organizing an industrial school, became its founder and first president.


Student life
The Grambling Tigers represent Grambling State University in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Grambling's sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Currently, the Grambling State University Department of Athletics sponsors Men's Intercollegiate football, along with men's and women's basketball, baseball, track & field, softball, golf, soccer, tennis, bowling and volleyball.

Grambling State's long held rivals are their south Louisiana foe Southern, Prairie View A&M, and Texas Southern."....

"Jackson State University (Jackson State or JSU) is a historically Black college and university ("HBCU") in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. It was founded during the Reconstruction era in 1877 in Natchez, Mississippi, as Natchez Seminary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York City. The Society moved the school to the capital, Jackson, in 1882, renaming it Jackson College. It developed its present campus in 1902.

It became a state-supported public institution in 1940. The university is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Jackson State University is classified as a research university with high research activity.[3] In the fall of 2015, Jackson State University reached a student population of nearly 10,000 students, an increase of 11% since fall 2012. The university is one of the largest HBCUs in the nation and the fourth largest university in Mississippi.[4]

Jackson State University's athletic teams, the Tigers, participate in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the SWAC. The university is home to the Sonic Boom of the South, one of the most prominent marching bands in the nation.


Athletic teams are a member of the NCAA Division I-FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) Southwestern Athletic Conference, commonly known as the SWAC. All SWAC sports are DI with Football being FCS. Currently, the university fields teams in men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, soccer, and bowling; women's volleyball; and men's football. The university's mascot is the Tiger, and the teams are sometimes referred to as the "Blue Bengals."

The Tiger men's football team has a heralded history, winning and sharing 16 SWAC titles, including 2007.[18] Its most famous alumni includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Jackie Slater and Walter Payton, and former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith. Former NFL wide-receiver, five-time Pro Bowler and Jackson State alumnus Harold Jackson, served as head football in 2014 and 2015.

JSU's well-known rivals include Southern, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, Tennessee State, and Texas Southern.

Sonic Boom of the South
The band was organized in the early 1940s. As early as the mid-1920s, the University had a well-organized orchestra. The group was given the nickname "The Sonic Boom of the South" by band director Harold J. Haughton Sr. in 1971. In 1971, the majorettes abandoned their batons and became a dance team known as the Prancing J-Settes, also named by Haughton. In 1974, "Get Ready", an old Motown favorite, was selected as the band's theme song. Also, during the mid-1970s, the "Tiger Run-On" was perfected. Created by Haughton, the "Tiger Run-On" is a fast, eye-catching shuffle step that blends an adagio step with an up-tempo shuffle (200 steps per minute), then back to adagio—a Sonic Boom trademark that brings fans to their feet during halftime performances. In October 1990, under the direction of Dowell Taylor and staff, five Sonic Boom of the South performed in Los Angeles, California, for Motown 30-What's Going on. This was the event that first drew national attention to the Sonic Boom.

The Sonic Boom of the South is led by five drum majors collectively referred to as the "Jackson Five" or "J-5" for short."....

From Jackson State at Grambling is a return to a familiar and heated rivalry

After 5 years, game is back at Grambling after ’12 boycott canceled JSU’s homecoming game
BY MINIYA SHABAZZ. September 16, 2017
"On Saturday, Grambling State University and Jackson State University will face off at Eddie Robinson Stadium in Grambling, Louisiana, for the first time in five years — or since GSU boycotted the Tigers’ 2012 homecoming game.

The boycott in 2013 generated national attention. The Grambling players refused to play at Jackson State’s homecoming game because of poor facilities at their own school in addition to tiresome and lengthy road trips before games. The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) fined GSU and mandated that the school travel to Jackson State to play for the next three seasons.


Saturday’s game is not a conference game. The SWAC has changed the number of conference games from nine to seven. Because of this new rule, Grambling and Jackson State were not regularly scheduled to play each other, but neither school wanted to miss out on the historic rivalry game. Another advantage to having this game is that Jackson State fans travel well. ESPN reported that 21,000 attended the JSU vs. GSU game in 2011. As of Friday morning, GSU had sold 6,200 tickets.

Legendary Grambling quarterback and former head coach Doug Williams thinks the Southern University Jaguars are the Tigers’ chief rival this season, followed by Jackson State and Alcorn State.
“From the time before I played in the SWAC at Grambling and even when I’m gone, Grambling and Jackson have always been a rivalry and will always be a rivalry because the way they play,” said Williams, who also happens to be an NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterback.


Grambling president Richard Gallot is hyped now that Jackson State is back on GSU soil with new stadium upgrades that cost more than $2 million....

“This is a rivalry that has been ongoing for many, many years, so this gives us the opportunity to really put all of that behind us, and this is a clear sign that we have moved beyond that period of time,” said Gallot.

High School Day is another event occurring Saturday that is expected to have more than 2,000 high school students, staff and parents in attendance for the Gramfam experience. The theme for the day is “Stomp the Yard.”


And those students will also get to see legendary bands perform at halftime and the 5th Quarter: the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, with GSU’s Orchesis dancers, and the Jackson State Sonic Boom of the South.”…

This concludes Part I of this pancocojams series.

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