The Million Dollar Band (sometimes shortened to MDB) is the official marching band of the University of Alabama….which was founded in 1912….is the largest student organization at the University of Alabama…..as this marching band performs during pregame and halftime of every home and neutral-site Alabama football game….plus, it also supplies at least a pep band to every away football game….as well as home men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, and volleyball games. In 2003, the band was awarded the Sudler Trophy, recognizing it as the top college band in the United States.
The Million Dollar Band was originally known simply as the “Alabama Band”….which was formed as a military band in 1912….when in its first year, the band consisted of just 14 members under director Dr. Gustav Wittig….who was also an engineering and physics professor at the university. He served as director for five years before stepping down…..as the band was then student-led until 1927….when Captain H. H. Turner took over as director.
The story of how the band earned its name is contested….albeit the account recognized by the university ….which was released in the 1948 football media guide….goes something like this….when during the 1922 football season….Alabama visited Georgia Tech and got blown out, 33–7….after which Champ Pickens, a notable Alabama alumnus who was present at the game, was asked by a local sportswriter, “You don’t have much of a team, what do you have at Alabama?”. In response, Pickens quipped, “A million dollar band”. His inspiration for the term came from his observation of the impressive effort the small band had put into soliciting funds from local merchants in order to accompany the football team to off-campus games.
Any way you cut the pie….we here at ImaSportsphile are “tickled pink” to have this video of the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band…..cuz deep in the heart of every football fan…..lies a deep love and appreciation for their school’s marching band….for to these folks, it wouldn’t be college football without the marching bands…..so, we know a bunch of Role Tide folks will enjoy this video.