National Champions

National Champions

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Tigers Coming Down The Hill In 1961

(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photo is from 1961 and the Tigers are coming down the hill prior to a game with Maryland.

The date of this game is September 30th, 1961 and the Tigers would fall to the Terps 24-21 in route to a 5-5 season that included a 3-3 ACC record. Walter Cox and Jimmy King were members of that 1961 team.

I love the white jerseys the Tigers wore at home during this era. While the orange and purple jerseys Clemson wore against Georgia back in 1996 were a treat, I would love Clemson wearing throw back uniforms like these for a home game sometime in the future. These would look especially good in a night game early in the season when it is still hot in the upstate.

You will notice the endzone is painted with “IPTAY”, a staple of the endzone during the 1960’s. Also notice the orange and purple ribbons around the goal post. I have several pictures with different types of designs on the goal posts from the early 1960’s.

In the 1960’s, there was a chain link fence that lined the top of the east endzone in that era. The green tarp you see in this picture was used to keep fans from standing outside the stadium and watching the game without buying a ticket.
As you can see from the hill, going to a Clemson game was not quite as big of a deal back in the 1960’s, as plenty of green grass can be seen on the hill. I was not until Clemson’s success in the late 1970’s that coming to Memorial Stadium became an event, something that few fans would want to miss.

You can see the sign at the top of the hill advertising a formal dance that would take place in Clemson later in the year. The first formal dance of the fall of 1961, the "Rat Hop", was held in November and a band called the Blue Notes provided the music. It was at this time that the new dance sensation, The Twist, is seen on the Clemson campus.

The Blue Notes were a South African jazz sextet, whose definitive line up featured Chris McGregor on piano, Mongezi Feza on trumpet, Dudu Pukwana on alto saxophone, Nikele Moyake on tenor saxophone, Johnny Dyani on bass, and Louis Moholo on drums.
After moving away from their home country in 1964, they established themselves on the European jazz circuit, where they continued to play and record through the 1970s.

They are now considered one of the great free jazz bands of their era, whose music was given a unique flavor by their integration of African styles such as Kwela into the progressive jazz ideas of the time.

And the Blue Notes were in Clemson, SC in 1961.

Miss Dia Bettencourt, of Savannah, Georgia, is selected Rat Queen at this dance in 1961. The Phi Kapps, a singing quartet of Phi Kappa Delta fraternity also sang with the Blue Notes on some numbers.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at