Composer Sues Every Pro Team Over 'Charge!' Ditty
But whether he wrote it is in dispute
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 2:40 PM CDT
Tight end Fred Davis of the USC Trojans conducts the band in this 2008 file photo. USC says one of its students created the "Charge" ditty in the 1940s.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) Da-da-da-da-da-DA… Charge! Every time you hear that anthem, Bobby Kent thinks he should get paid. The 62-year-old composer says he invented and copyrighted the familiar refrain under the name Stadium Doodads while he was music director for the San Diego Chargers back in 1978. Now, he’s suing every single pro sports team in the country for playing it without due royalties—with the exception of the Lakers, who ponied up $3,000, the Miami Herald reports.

There’s just one problem: Kent may not have written the song. USC says the tune was actually composed by field goal kicker and drum major Tommy Walker in 1946. “The USC band has been playing this as a stadium rally cry since the 1950s,” a USC associate band director says. “Everybody in Southern California knows that.” Kent’s attorney admits the USC song “does contain five notes that are close,” but says Kent’s song is played at a different tempo.