Enjoying the Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Orange Mound

Bands, Drill Teams, drumlines, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, Majorettes, music, Parades

437 SHC438 SHC439 SHC441 SHC442 SHC443 SHC444 SHC445 SHC446 SHC447 SHC448 SHC449 SHC450 SHC451 SHC452 SHC453 SHC454 SHC455 SHC457 SHC458 SHC459 SHC460 SHC461 SHC463 University City HS Band465 University City HS Band467 SHC468 SHC469 SHC470 SHC471 Millennium Madness Drumline472 Millennium Madness Drumline473 Millennium Madness Drumline474 Millennium Madness Drumline475 Millennium Madness Drumline476 Millennium Madness Drumline477 Millennium Madness Drumline478 SHC479 SHC480 SHC481 Die Hard Cowboys482 Die Hard Cowboys483 Die Hard Cowboys484 SHC485 SHC487 SHC488 Mid-South Steelers489 Mid-South Steelers490 SHC491 SHC492 SHC494 SHC495 SHC496 SHC497 SHC498 SHC500 Southern Belles501 Ford Road Elementary Drumline503 Ford Road Elementary Drumline504 Cowborettes505 Cowborettes506 Old School Bikers507 Old School Bikers508 Old School Bikers509 SHC510 SHC511 I Am North Memphis515 Orange Mound Raiders516 Welcome to the Jungle517 Star Steppers519 SHC521 SHC523 Melrose Alumni524 Melrose High School Band525 The Sound Of The Mound526 The Orange Mound Jukebox527 Melrose HS Band528 Melrose HS Band529 SHC530 SHC531 SHC532 Melrose HS Band533 SHC534 Melrose HS Band535 SHC536 SHC537 Melrose HS Band538 Melrose HS Band539 Melrose HS Drumline540 Melrose HS Drumline542 Melrose HS Drumline541 Melrose HS Drumline543 Melrose HS Band544 Melrose HS Band546 Melrose HS Band545 Melrose HS Band549 Melrose HS Band548 Melrose HS Band550 Melrose HS Band551 Melrose HS Band552 SHC553 SHC554 SHC555 SHC556 SHC557 SHC558 SHC559 SHC560 SHC561 SHC562 SHC563 SHC564 SHC565 SHC566 SHC567 Melrose HS Drumline568 Melrose HS Band569 Melrose HS Band570 SHC571 SHC572 Melrose HS Band573 SHC574 SHC575 SHC576 SHC577 SHC578 SHC579 SHC580 SHC581 SHC582 SHC583 SHC584 "Take Our Picture"585 Aftermath586 Aftermath587 SHC588 Melrose Golden Wildcats
The annual Southern Heritage Classic is far more than a football game. Each year, on the Saturday morning of the game at 9 AM, the Southern Heritage Classic Parade begins from the corner of Park Avenue and Haynes Street, and proceeds along Park through Orange Mound to the Lamar-Airways Shopping Center. The parade usually includes the Jackson State University and Tennessee State University bands, along with majorettes, drill teams,drumlines, Cowboys and Steelers fan clubs, car clubs and many others. There used to be more marching bands in the parade as well, but for the last few years, the parade has conflicted with the Southern Heritage Classic Battle of the Bands in Whitehaven, so there have been fewer bands recently, but the hometown favorites, the Melrose High School Sound of the Mound Marching Band always closes out the parade. It’s always a lot of fun, family and food.

Jackson State Sonic Boom vs. Tennessee State Aristocrat of Bands at the #southernheritageclassic13

Bands, entertainment, events, music, Sports, videos


Although the annual Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis is a football game, Black college football classics are never JUST football games. It’s just as much about the pageantry and battling of the drumlines, bands and majorettes, the cameraderie and fun, good food and general good times. The Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South is consistently one of the best marching bands in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and Tennessee State’s Aristocrat of Bands is also well-known and well-regarded. In addition to the mandatory halftime show, bands from Black colleges often engage in an after-game ritual known as the “Fifth Quarter”, in which the two bands compete for crowd acclaim by playing tunes back and forth at each other after the game. Although this tradition has been somewhat restricted and shortened in recent years, it is still very much a part of the Black college football tradition.

Sweet Angel and Fifth Element Perform at the Coors Party at the Southern Heritage Classic @EckoRecords

Bands, entertainment, events, music


Coors Beer sponsors a huge party and concert each year at the Southern Heritage Classic, at the far northern end of the Fairgrounds near Central Avenue. Because the mayor and other important city officials attend it, it has traditionally been difficult to get inside the event, as it technically is invitation only. However, this year, a man in a Coors shirt waved me through the gate just in time to see the introduction of WDIA’s Bev Johnson as the announcer. She in turn introduced Ecko Records’ recording artist Sweet Angel, who came out on stage with her band and did a full set of her trademark suggestive blues songs, as well as a demonstration of her saxophone skills. Her performance was followed by that of a band called Fifth Element, which was first-rate and which did a series of Earth, Wind & Fire covers.

Tailgating at Tiger Lane During the Southern Heritage Classic 2013

entertainment, events, Sports


Tiger Lane is named for the University of Memphis Tigers, but by an odd coincidence, the Southern Heritage Classic pits the Jackson State Tigers against the Tennessee State Tigers, so it’s appropriately named for the event. The gates open to tailgaters at 8 AM on game day, and the place becomes something like a small city, with tents, stages and recreational vehicles everywhere, and the sounds of music and the smells of barbecue drifting over the whole area. Many of the parties hire DJ’s for their day of fun, and every once in a while, a tent will have a live band. And although this year’s weather was hot, there were plenty of vendors with things like Italian ice or snow-cones to cool you off.

The Star Steppers Majorettes and the Baby Blues Drumline #southernheritageclassic13

Bands, Dance, entertainment, events, music, videos

The Star Steppers are yet another popular youth majorette program, and the drummers they marched with this year in the Southern Heritage Classic parade were the famous Baby Blues, who are probably Memphis’ best-known and most well-travelled youth drumline.

Memphis Booker T. Washington High School Band #southernheritageclassic13

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

Booker T. Washington is Memphis’ oldest Black high school, and Memphis’ oldest Black high school marching band. Like Manassas, BTW has been through some rough times with lower enrollment, particularly since Cleaborn Homes was torn down, but their band seems to be on the way back up in numbers, based on what I could see at the Southern Heritage Classic Parade, 9/14/13

The Cowborettes Majorettes and Drummers in the Southern Heritage Classic Parade

Bands, Dance, entertainment, events, music, videos

The Cowborettes are one of Memphis’ better-known majorette squads, and although they usually compete without drummers, they always march with a drumline when they’re in a parade. In this year’s Southern Heritage Classic Parade, they marched with the Blood Sweat & Tears drumline.

Millennium Madness Drill Team in the Southern Heritage Classic Parade

Bands, Dance, entertainment, events, music, videos

The Millennium Madness Drill Team & Drum Squad is one of Memphis’ premiere drill teams, and one of the few that still gives young men an opportunity to be drummers. Here they are in this year’s Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Orange Mound, 9/14/13

Talladega College Marching Tornado Band in the Southern Heritage Classic Parade

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

The Talladega College Marching Band is actually quite good, and has been a frequent visitor to Memphis over the last several years, appearing in the Southern Heritage Classic Parade, local band battles, and the Whitehaven Christmas Parade last year.