I feel like any time I research USC in the 1950’s or 60’s, there was an incredible amount of formal dinners.
This one caught my attention: On Nov. 28, 1958, USC held a “men’s football dinner” at Town and Gown.
This was the night before the USC-Notre Dame game at the Coliseum. That fact did not stop USC coach Don Clark from attending. Notre Dame sent athletic director Moose Krause and Father John Wilson, who was assistant to school president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh.
It gets better. UCLA athletic director Wilbur Johns and football coach Bill Barnes were in attendance. Can you imagine Dan Guerrero and Chip Kelly coming to a USC dinner the night before the Notre Dame game?
Do you recognize the emcee on the far right in the picture above? More on him later.
There was also entertainment as ventriloquist Edgar Bergen came with his sidekicks, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Singer Sue Raney was also part of the program. Twenty years later, Raney sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium before Game 6 of the 1978 World Series.
USC also had athetic director Jess Hill, president Norman Topping and chancellor Rufus von KleinSmid at the dinner and the fathers of the USC players were introduced.
The emcee? It was Chick Hearn, who did USC football and basketball games from 1956-61 before becoming a Lakers legend.
A few weeks later, some of the same people had to do it all again for the USC football banquet.