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October 2010 | Return to issue home
Frazer Cook—50 Years with the Husky Band!
One of the real privileges of my tenure as director has been to work with such a dedicated staff. This year marks a very special anniversary for one of our beloved staff members as it is the 50th season in which Frazer Cook has been the golden voice of Husky Marching Band. Since stepping up to the microphone prior to the second game of the 1961 football season, he has announced over 600 halftime and pregame performances. Recently I sat down with Frazer and asked him to reminisce about his incredible career with the band.
Q: For those who do not know, would you regale our readers with the interesting story of how you became announcer?
Mr. Cole tried out several people from the radio-television department, but did not find what he wanted. Noel Abrahamson, who was one of Mr. Cole’s graduate student assistants, recommended a local English and drama teacher—who taught at my high school—be the next Husky Marching Band announcer. Although this teacher spoke before his classes everyday and had appeared in many dramatic productions on stage, he had never spoken to a live audience of 50,000 people and became so overwhelmed with the situation that he almost passed out on the sideline at his very first football game as the band’s announcer. As such, Mr. Cole continued his search for an announcer.
In my opinion it was a shame that the teacher was unable to continue doing the band announcing because he had a wonderful voice and excellent style. The band still had no luck finding a replacement, so they called upon the English and drama teacher again and asked him if he had any suggestions. While I was in high school I had worked extensively with this teacher as I was in almost every dramatic production that was presented during my high school career. For some reason he suggested me and even called me in my dorm room at the UW to encourage me to try out. I told him that I would probably not get the job since I had not done any of that type of work and they probably would not take me seriously because, at that time I was a math major. Anyway, he finally talked me into trying out and I went down Saturday morning and, believe it or not, they hired me. In retrospect, they may not have hired me because of my great artistry, but rather from a case of desperation inasmuch as I tried out at 9 a.m. and they had a game to do three hours later. Little did I realize it would turn into a longterm relationship.
Q: You have seen an incredible five decades worth of Husky Marching Band pregame and halftime shows under three of the band's four directors. Are there any that really stick out in your mind over the others?
Q: Frazer, it is incredible that you have not missed a single game during your years as announcer. Were there ever any Saturdays that you woke up sick thinking your streak was going to come to an end?
Q: Since the September 11, 2010 Syracuse game—which officially marked your 50th year as the voice of the Husky Band, did you find yourself reminiscing at all during that game?
Q: You have undoubtedly had some interesting encounters in the press boxes of the many stadiums over the years. Do you have a favorite story?
Q: As you know, song titles have gotten more "interesting" over the years. Are there any that stick out in your mind that gave you fits?
Q: Since the announcer at the University of Pittsburgh is the only college band announcer with more years at the microphone than you, if given the opportunity, is there anything you'd like to convey to him?
Q: What's the worst movie you have ever been forced to watch while on a long bus ride with the band?
Q: What has it meant to you personally to be involved with the band all these years?
October 2010 | Return to issue home