Thursday, June 8, 2017

CMU-related Jesse Owens signature

A CMU-related Jesse Owens signature has graciously been donated to the Clarke by CMU student Jerry Priebe.


Priebe, Jerry. Jesse Owens signature collection, 1955, 2017 includes Jesse Owen's signature on a Central Michigan University (CMU) 3rd Annual All-Sports Banquet program, May 4, 1955 in the Keeler Union Ballroom of Powers Hall, where Owens was the guest speaker, and a letter and email to Archivist Marian Matyn, 2017, by Priebe, explaining how Priebe, then a CMU music student providing musical entertainment at the event, got the signature as a thank you after playing Sweet Georgia Brown as per Owens' request for the tune.

Priebe, from Grand Rapids (Mich.), was a CMU music student in 1955. He attended CMU 1955-1957. Later, Priebe played the saxophone and had a musical career with the Bruce Early Big Band, parts of the Lawrence Welk band. and others, playing for presidents, entertainment stars and other notables. In 2017 he lived in Honor (Mich.). (This information is from the collection.) For information on Owens please refer to an encyclopedia.

Pretty cool. If this had happened today we would have recordings of what Owens said and his interaction with the crowd. It is so amazing that he graced the CMU campus and athletes with his presence and I bet it was a wonderful, inspiring speech. 





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