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The Mighty Sound of the South is the school band that belongs to the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN.

The band performs at Memphis Tigers football games as a marching band and at Tigers basketball games as a pep band.


At the end of the 1962-1963 basketball season, the Tiger team had the distinction of being the only southern team to be invited to play in the National Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden. Thomas C. Ferguson, in only his second year as band director, was a big basketball fan, and furnished a pep band for every home game, which was not a given as it is today. He decided that his pep band should go to New York City, and he called the tournament committee for permission. They had to check into it, because a pep band had never before played for a basketball game in the Garden. They were given the green light to become the first.

Nineteen pep band members boarded a bus for New York City. They were determined to make a name for themselves - literally. Using markers and an old bed sheet, they fashioned a makeshift sign with the words "The Mighty Sound of the South" to humorously describe their modestly sized band. The basketball team went on to an impressive showing, and the name "The Mighty Sound of the South" is still used, in a more literal sense, for the 200+ member marching band.

A history of previous-thru-current directors / assistant directors of The Mighty Sound of The South is as follows:

1940 - ? Lawrence "Pat" Cooney

1950 - 1952 Gaston Taylor

1953 - 1956 Ralph Hale

1957 - 1959 Olin Blickensderfer

1962 - 1974 Dr. Tom Ferguson

1968 - 1970 James Richens

1972 - 1986 Art Theil

1975 - 2002 Dr. Sidney McKay

1987 - 1998 Dr. James "Marty" Courtney

1999 - 1999 Geoff Carlton

2000 - present Dr. Nicholas Holland

2002 - present Dr. Kraig Williams

2008 - present Dr. Albert Nguyen

External links



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