Mickey Clark constant companion at numerous UofL Final Fours

Back in 1982, the  family made the 12-hour trek to New Orleans for the second Final Four appearance in three years for University of Louisville basketball team.  Along with many other fans, as part of a caravan some of the way, enjoying the UofL camaraderie, genuinely fun times.

Mickey Clark was a constant companion for many UofL fans on NCAA trips.

Much of the time we were entertained by the music of Louisville’s own Mickey Clark, a country entertainer who composed and recorded his own version of “The Battle of New Orleans.” A musical tribute  to the 1981-82 basketball team, recapping the highlights while saluting the individual players.

The Springers arrive at a motel about 80 miles away on a Friday night before the game. Sleeping late the next day, only to realize that New Orleans is on central standard time. Pushing the gas pedal to the floor, arriving in the vicinity of the Super Bowl to discover there are no parking spaces. Panic stricken the observer winding up in the main U.S. Post Office parking lot, very close to the unloading level. Have to gamble that the car will still be there after the game.

We hustle over to the Superdome, finding our seats on the next last row in of the upper end zone for the Louisville-Georgetown game. Somehow making the tip off. Thankfully there’s a video screen above because the players are little more than specks on the floor.  UofL would lose the game 50-46. All was not lost, however, because the car was still in the same place after the game. And the Cards will return to the Final Four, held in Albuquerque the next year.

Mickey’s cassette tape will be played and replayed, before, during and on the return trip to Louisville. His music an integral part of the memories and the total experience. He would come out with numerous different recordings for various basketball trips over the next 30 years, including the UofL’s third national championship in the 2012-13 season.

Clark passed away Sunday night in Louisville, surrounded by his family. He will always occupy a special place in the hearts of many UofL fans.

Other music is available on Brennan Clark’s (his son) YouTube account.

Mickey Clark’s 2012 Battle of New Orleans

Thirty years after Mickey Clark recorded the first “Battle of New Orleans” takeoff in honor of the University of Louisville basketball team getting to the Final Four in New Orleans, he’s out with his latest release, honoring Rick Pitino’s 2012 team.

Mickey’s a lifelong Cardinal fan, absolutely nuts about U of L basketball, is a local country music favorite and sells advertising space for the Louisville Sports Report. The song is not available for purchase because it includes player names.

You heard it here first (turn the volume up, way up, so your UK neighbors can hear.)

Lyrics:  Battle of New Orleans, 2012

Mickey Clark

And a plug for Mickey himself: “I am doing my Wednesday night solo gig at Mulligan’s (1801 Newburg Road, phone # 632-2818) from 7-10 p.m.  and Friday I am with my band, Mickey Clark & The Blue Norther at Fiesta Mexicana (4507 Bardstown Road, 491-2922), from 6:30-9:30 p.m.. Friday we have a very special guest that will be sitting in with us, fiddle phenom Michael Cleveland who is this year’s SPBGMA Fiddle Performer of the Year. I will be doing the new BNO but you might mention also that I will not be selling a CD of the song, as I use player’s names and do not want to cause any kind of NCAA violation were I to sell them. I have done this to cheer them on!”