REMEMBERING ISAAC GREGGS; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 66
(Senate - May 05, 2014)

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[Pages S2644-S2645]
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                        REMEMBERING ISAAC GREGGS

  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I wish to ask my colleagues to join me 
in recognizing the distinguished former Southern University Director of 
Bands who passed on April 28, 2014, at the age of 85 in Baton Rouge, 
LA. Dr. Greggs was the third child born in Shreveport, LA on January 
22, 1929 to Sarah and Isaac Greggs. Dr. Greggs was baptized in the 
Bethel Baptist Church in Frierson, LA and later joined the Mount 
Pilgrim Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. He was a visionary, who created 
and led the Southern University Marching Band, affectionately known as 
the Human Jukebox for 36 years.
  Dr. Greggs graduated from Central Colored High School in Shreveport, 
LA and at 15 years of age enrolled in Southern University and A & M 
College in Baton Rouge, LA. where he received a B.S. in music 
education. He received a M.S. in music education from Vander Cook 
College in Chicago, IL. Later, he entered the University of Peru to 
complete his doctorate degree in music. He was then drafted into the 
U.S. Army. His service in the Army was honored with and dedicated to 
playing in the Army band, 4th Division, 4th Infantry, APO 39, and to 
playing early morning reverie. While in Germany, he received the 
Occupational Medal.
  After his return from service in the U.S. Army, he began teaching at 
J. S. Clark Junior High School and Notre Dame High School in 
Shreveport, LA. He and his family later moved to Baton Rouge, LA where 
he taught and directed the band at the Southern University Laboratory 
School. During his tenure at Southern University, Dr. Greggs directed 
countless future band directors, musicians, and myriad of industry 
leaders outside of music. He attracted thousands of students to 
Southern, who were drawn as a result of his unmatched leadership and 
lyrical genius. Under his leadership, the Human Jukebox performed at 
six Super Bowls, four Sugar Bowls and three Presidential inaugurations. 
His grueling practices were well known throughout Louisiana and the 
discipline that Dr. Greggs instilled in his musicians produced 
exceptional results year end and year out. Dr. Greggs retired in 2005.
  With pride, the State of Louisiana honored Dr. Greggs in 2013 by 
inducting the legendary band leader into the Louisiana Black History 
Hall of Fame for his commitment to serving African American students 
for nearly four decades. He was also the recipient of the Key of Life 
Award at the 31st NAACP Image Awards; an award created in honor of 
Stevie Wonder and presented each year to a musician who embodies 
Wonder's ``inner vision.''
  Dr. Isaac Greggs was a true inspiration to all that had the great 
privilege of knowing him. I am grateful and honored to have known him. 
He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences go out to his wife of 
58 years, Rose Audrey Metoyer Greggs; his children: Audree Greggs 
Vaughn (Percy), Colette Greggs, Dedrick Jon Greggs (Carla), and Mark 
Eric Greggs (Tricia); grandchildren: Kirsten Vaughn Watson (Benjamin), 
Kory Greggs Vaughn MD, Jamal Greggs Russell, Kyle Greggs Russell, 
Daniel Isaac Greggs and Casey Daniel Greggs; great-grandchildren Grace 
Makayla Watson, Naomi Love Watson, Isaiah Benjamin Watson and Judah 
Seth Watson, and a host of other relatives, family and friends. He was 
preceded in death by his parents: Sarah and Isaac Greggs, brother 
Edmond and sister Ellen Greggs.

[[Page S2645]]

  His legacy could not end without, ``It's gonna be alright; just make 
it right.''
  It is with my heartfelt and greatest sincerity that I ask my 
colleagues to join me along with Dr. Isaac Gregg's family in 
recognizing the life and many accomplishments of this incredible 
musician, leader, and mentor, as well as his lasting impact throughout 
the Nation.