“A Real Character”

Dr. James Ferguson directing the band.

Dr. James Ferguson, pictured here, directed the band from 1971 to 1983. Phil Nix, who played the trumpet from 1979 to 1982, remembers him fondly. “Dr. Ferguson was a real character,” says Nix, recalling the director’s use of shoe polish to mark the field to position the members of the band.

Ron Johnston, who also played the trumpet under Ferguson (1972-1977), says he can’t single out a favorite memory from his band experience. “I got to march in the last Sugar Bowl in Tulane stadium, and the first in the Superdome. I got to stand by Bear on the field at pregame and halftime,” says Johnston, still awestruck after 40 years. “There’s just some wonderful memories.” Image courtesy of the Million Dollar Band, School of Music, The University of Alabama. […]

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