I liked The Bands Play On in SI, Oct. 11, but why did the author omit that famous Navy "Anchors Aweigh"? I am taking the liberty of telling you a little about this classic.
It was composed in 1906 by Prof. Charles A. Zimmerman, musical director, U.S. Naval Academy, bandleader of the Naval Academy band, and was dedicated to the class of 1907 (my class). The words were written by Captain A. H. Miles, U.S.N. (Ret.), who was then a midshipman in my class....
It was customary in my day at Annapolis for Prof. Zimmerman to compose a march for each class, which made its debut at the June Ball?only the members of the class were permitted to dance when it was first played. Most of these class marches "died on the vine." But "Anchors Aweigh" was outstanding?we turned it into a long-needed football song, took it to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy game, and to its inspiring tune we beat the Army for the first time in four years.
Then came the famous world cruise of the Great White Fleet, conceived by President Theodore Roosevelt, who had built our Navy up. We took "Anchors Aweigh" around the world with us on this history-making cruise?it was the favorite marching music wherever the men of the fleet paraded? Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Honolulu, Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne. By the time we had circled the globe, "Anchors Aweigh" had become a world-wide favorite. We marched to it in the inaugural parade of President William H. Taft upon our return in 1909, and it has been one of the theme pieces in all naval parades since.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once told me that "Anchors Aweigh" was his favorite marching song....
CAPTAIN N. L. NICHOLS, USN (RET.)
I GASP IN WONDER
Associate Editor Martin Kane is ill informed: in SI's October 11th article entitled The Bands Play On ... his reference to a song called Georgia Tech's tender "My Yellow Jacket Girl" makes me gasp in wonder. Where did he dig up this thing? I have never heard of it, though I spent five years (1949 to 1954, B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering) at Georgia Tech. During this period I was a member of Georgia Tech's band, served as band captain and student conductor for two years, played with the band at all home games, various away games, and three New Year's Day games (1952, 1953, 1954) and still never have heard of a song called "My Yellow Jacket Girl."
Inaccurate articles like this one make me wonder how many of the other articles in the various issues of SI are intelligently written on a factual base....
EARL L. LAUBBR
? SI is surprised that Lauber took his band duties so lightly as to overlook the words, by Daisy Chotas '30, and music, by brother Nick '32, of this home-grown song (see cut). Nick Chotas, now an instructor at the University of Florida's School of Architecture, wrote the song for a football rally and it became a popular number for games and dances. It has, regrettably, not been heard recently. Composer Chotas enjoyed it last in 1936 when played by Ted Weems' band in Washington. Chotas, who someday hopes to write the great American light opera, says: "It was a nice, pretty song, but I never got anything out of it."?ED.
WORDS AND MUSIC
While reading SI, Oct. 11, we noticed in the article The Bands Play On a song for Georgia Tech, "My Yellow Jacket Girl." The five of us have been here a total of sixteen years and by some quirk of fate, we have missed this tune. Would you be so kind as to send us the words and music if possible so that we may start this ballad again on our campus?
JIMMY POWERS '55
JULIAN WADE '54
BOBBY BASS '55
LYNWOOD JOHNSON '55
HIRAM MILLER '55
?"My Yellow Jacket Girl" is on its way to Atlanta with Si's best wishes for an early revival.?ED.