[Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with Pete Carroll. However, let it be noted that when his ancestors came to this country, their name was Cheaterstein. It was changed to Carroll at Ellis Island.]
And we are back. Last time, we looked at the confusing situation between the Cal fight song Stanford Jonah and the Georgia Tech fight song Up With White And Gold. You can read that post here. And you can read more about Georgia Tech football at From The Rumble Sea.
In that post, we looked at the 1919 version of Up With White And Gold. We compared that with the original version of Stanford Jonah. We discussed how the Cal Glee Club might have spread Stanford Jonah to the East Coach on a 1914 trip and how the Georgia Tech Glee Club might have heard it during that trip and used it for Up With White And Gold. It was all very interesting.
What is more interesting is that Georgia Tech actually has a slightly different version of Up With White And Gold that was copyrighted in 1929. Due to copyright laws, we cannot reprint it here. However, we do discuss this song further below.
Now, what is interesting is that in looking at the 1929 version, we realized that this song was copyrighted in the same year that Cal and Georgia Tech played in the Rose Bowl. So, while also looking at the 1929 version of Up With White And Gold, we wanted to take a look at the season that was 1928. Follow up after the jump for a simpler time when America was enjoying Cal.....in the Rose Bowl!
They played all but one of their games at home! And you thought Florida's scheduling was bad!
The 1929 Rose Bowl.
As will be explained in just a moment, there is a 100% chance you already vaguely heard about the 1929 Rose Bowl. It was played between Cal and Georgia Tech. GaTech was one of the best teams in the nation that year and were named national champions by two separate organizations that year.
However, their opponent, our beloved Cal was not the champion of the Pacific Coast Conference. Cal went 6-1-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference. They only went, because USC for some insane reason turned down the Rose Bowl:
California was not the Pacific Coast Conference champion in 1928. The 1928 USC Trojans, under coach Howard Jones, were the PCC champions, and also were named a national champion. They were undefeated with a 9-0-1 record. The lone blemish on the Trojans' record came at Cal, who had tied USC 0-0 on October 20. USC had defeated Notre Dame 27-14, the only common opponent with Georgia Tech. The University of Southern California declined the bid to play in the Rose Bowl. California, the second place team with a 3-0-2 conference record appeared instead to represent the Pacific Coast Conference. After tying USC, Cal had lost to the Olympic Club "Winged Os". The Bears beat Oregon, Washington and Nevada. They tied Stanford 13-13 in the 1928 Big Game.
- GT – Maree and Westbrook block Lom’s punt for a safety
- GT – Thomason, 14-yard run (Thomason kick failed)
- Cal – Phillips, 10-yard pass from Lom (Barr kick good)
You'll notice that first note up there (and the difference in the one point game) is a blocked punt for a safety. GaTech blocked Cal's punt attempt for a 2 point safety, the difference between winning and losing the game. How did Cal end up in a position where a blocked punt could lead to a safety? 3 words:
Roy Riegels was an All-American in 1928. He would go on to join the Rose Bowl Hall Of Fame and the Cal Hall Of Fame. However, his brightest moment was perhaps not the 1929 Rose Bowl:
Midway through the second quarter, Riegels, who played center, picked up a fumble by Tech's Jack "Stumpy" Thomason. Just 30 yards away from the Yellow Jackets' end zone, Riegels was somehow turned around and ran 65 yards in the wrong direction.
Teammate and quarterback Benny Lom chased Riegels, screaming at him to stop. Known for his speed, Lom finally caught up with Riegels at California's 3-yard line and tried to turn him around, but he was immediately hit by a wave of Tech players and tackled back to the 1-yard line. The Bears chose to punt rather than risk a play so close to their own end zone, but Tech's Vance Maree blocked Lom's punt and Georgia Tech scored a safety, giving them a 2-0 lead.
Riegels was so distraught that he had to be talked into returning to the game for the second half. Riegels turned in a stellar second half performance, including blocking a Tech punt. Lom passed for a touchdown and kicked the extra point, but Tech would ultimately win the game—and their second national championship—by a final score of 8-7
Ron Fimrite's recent book Golden Bears: A Celebration Of Cal Football's Triumps, Heartbreaks, Last-Second Miracles, Legendary Blunders And The Extraordinary People Who Made It All Possible, published in 2009 (which you can purchase here) on the history of Cal football goes into further depth on this moment. On page 109, Fimrite notes:
It came about on the Engineer’s second possession of the second quarter, with the ball on their own 24-yard line and the game still scoreless. On first down, Thomason plowed off tackle for six yards before he was hit hard by Phillips and Lom. On impact, the ball squirted out of Stumpy’s grip and bounced forward to the 34, where Riegels, the Rover, fielded it cleanly on the hop. It was…so far…a big play for the Bears.
On page 110, Fimrite notes how the QB, accurately understanding what was happening, tried to stop Riegels, but was unsuccessful initially:
Lom caught up with Riegels near the Cal 20, but instead of tackling him there, he called for a ball, hoping against hope to salvage something positive from the disaster. Riegels was a lineman, though, and he knew how few chances to score there were for his kind. "Get away from me," he called out to his teammate, "This is my touchdown."
Fimrite's book notes how distraught Riegels was at halftime on page 111:
Such a slight lead hardly seemed insurmountable, so the mood at halftime in the Bear locker room was almost jocular. His teammates fully intended to kid Riegels out of his embarrassment, but before they could get started, Roy retreated to the bathroom where he had a solitary cry. He was finally retrieved by fullback Jim Cockburn in time to be subjected to some well-meaning but heavy-handed jokes. "what’s the idea of running sixty-five yards on such a hot day," went one, "when you only had to go thirty-five in the other direction." Riegels smiled politely but was unamused.
"Cal D" via mikecs.net
Fimrite's book even helps us feel better about laughing at Riegels by pointing out his life's success on page 112-113:
He was elected captain of Cal’s 1929 team and president of the Big C letterman’s society. He played so well in his senior season that he made the all-conference team and was name a first-string all American by the Associated Press. He was graduated with a degree in agriculture and after coaching high school football joined the Army Air Corps during World Way II and rose to the rank of major. After the war he worked for a Sacramento canning company before founding his own firm manufacturing agricultural chemicals in the northern California town of Woodland. He became a pillar of the community, active in civic and service club affairs. He became a director of the Cal Alumni Association and president of the Woodland rotary club. He fathered four children and doted over ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was elected to both the Cal and rose Bowl Halls of Fame.
Finally, Fimrite's book notes how the story of the 1929 Rose Bowl and Stanford Jonah reaches into a political race decades later on page 113:
Campaigning for the Presidency in 1971, Senator George McGovern said of the incumbent, "Wrong Way Riegels must be directing President Nixon’s economic policies."
Fimrite's book goes into a lot of detail about this moment and many other parts of Cal football. I would definitely recommend purchasing it. Brodie's book has a play by play of the game and a lot of information, too. I would definitely recommend purchasing it, too!
So, how does this relate to Stanford Jonah? Well, there is another publication of Up With White And Gold, Georgia Tech's version in 1929, after the Rose Bowl (which ostensibly took place on January 1, 1929). Goldblooded again has more to say on this topic:
Goldblooded: More evidence of tampering by Roman is found again between the 1919 and 1929 versions of the sheet music. The 1929 version lists Roman as the sole contributor and composer, eliminating the three mysterious individuals credited with writing the words on the 1919 version: "Doc" Robinson, "Muck" Werner, and "Clyde" Jordan. Some friendly correspondence with the GaTech SBN blog has revealed that these three men were all active members of the GaTech Glee Club from 1915-1916. Why Roman chose to eliminate them from subsequent versions of the tune could either reflect his own modifications to the lyrics, or (bias) his desire to distance himself from a possible source of Glee Club song thievery!!
And now, for what I believe is the most convincing piece of evidence in favor of Haley being the composer of the song: Haley’s father. William H. Haley, better known to the world as Will H. Bray or Billy Bray, was a prolific songwriter and actor. His songs were known far and wide, and are preserved in the Library of Congress.
Ted Haley, being the son of a prominent songwriter, most likely learned how to write a catchy tune from his dad. Only talent such as the elder Haley’s could teach a man to create a tune that would be catchy enough to drive
other Glee Clubs to steal and claim for themselves!! (bias) In all seriousness, the fact that Haley’s father was a popular songwriter himself is very convincing evidence that Haley was quite capable of writing a very catchy tune and putting some timeless lyrics to it.
I can also point out the obvious – the GaTech song makes references to an axe, a farm, "bow-wows", none of which have anything to do specifically with GaTech. The original melody is also incomplete when inserting the original 1919 lyrics. I can’t reproduce the sheet music here, but there are several instances where one syllable of the song will cascade up or down a series of tied eighth notes – implying that syllables have been removed for some reason. A noteworthy example of this is the changing of "Down on the stanfurd farm" to "Down on the o-old farm" – sing it for yourself…sounds odd, doesn’t it?
The University of Montana also play a tune "Up With Montana" that shares the tune and more questionable lyrics (http://www.lyricsondemand.com/miscellaneouslyrics/fightsongslyrics/montanafightsonglyrics.html). I haven't found much on this song, other than that some people claim it was written in 1914. I will again cite the 1914 tour to New York and then Europe as a likely situation in which Glee Clubs all gathered to perform joint concerts and haphazardly exchange tunes. The Naval Academy in Annapolis also plays "Up With the Navy", which share's Jonah's tune, but have given all rights to the University of Montana, essentially admitting that they stole the tune from them.
As for the fact that we have a tune of GaTech's, I found that the first instance of the "Ramblin' Wreck" tune, which happens to be taken from a popular Irish/English drinking song called "Son of a Gambolier", was written as "The Jolly Sophmore" for the sophomore class at Cal, and first appeared in songbooks in 1879. "The Jolly Sophmore" gave way to "The Cardinal Be Damned", popularized later by the junior and senior men. It's full of awesomely lewd lyrics and everyone on this blog should learn and sing it at every tailgate.
"Ramblin' Wreck" first appeared in GaTech songbooks in 1908, so the thought that Cal ‘stole' the song from GaTech is incorrect. In fact, we used the drinking song almost thirty years before they decided to. This is not to say that Tech stole the drinking song from Cal, though. As the GT blog puts it:
"The Charles Ives song "Son of a Gambolier" is old (1895) but the tune is definitely from an older song called "Bonnie Blue Flag" published in 1861. And to say that anyone stole the song from anyone is dubious. There are 2 colleges with references to the song which are older than 1879 as well (Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO). And several colleges have the same tune in school cheers.
I personally don't think there's a connection between Tech and Cal concerning the origins of "Ramblin' Wreck" other than both schools using popular folk tunes to populate their school repertoires."
This goes to show that the typical fight-song practice was to adapt popular tunes of the day, and put individualized lyrics to them to create long-lasting fight songs. This is the case for several of our beloved Cal fight songs (learn more boring facts in upcoming posts!) As far as I can tell, this is not the case with Jonah. This practice is most likely no longer as popular due to many schools choosing to honor their past traditions, but I say: who here thinks it's time for a Lady GaGa fight song?
I welcome outside opinions, and am planning on an update as soon as I can get my hands on some old Blue and Gold yearbooks. Please feel free to ask questions, as they will only drive research!
Some parting quotes, taken from my research and the senior thesis of Roschelle Paul, written in 1945 and entitled
"Song Tradition of the University of California, Berkeley":
"The student leaders are no longer steeped in California tradition as they once were." pg. 4.
"There are too many interests in a student’s life and most of them point away from the University." pg. 4.
This from a paper written in 1945. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So, there you go. A look at the 1928 season, the 1929 Rose Bowl, and the 1929 version of Up With White And Gold. Hope you enjoyed the series. GO BEARS!