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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  July 4, 2021 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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seen. "60 minutes" has been looking into it for months, and found the attack is far from over. wow. so, unless you get rid of all the computers, and all the computer networks, you will not be sure that you have gotten this out of the systems? >> you will not be. ( ticking ) >> that may be our shot. >> ken burns has made nearly 40 films, finding the american
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paradox in the wars we fight and the gagames we play. >> i told people that "baseball" was the sequel to "the civil war," and i meant it. i meant it. how we play games, and the nature of immigration, and the exclusion of women, and popular culture, and advertising, and heroes, and villains, and our imagination, and race, and race, and race. ( ticking ) ♪ ♪ ♪ >> new orleans was quieter than normalal during ththe pandemici. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ but musicians find a way. totonight, we e introduce e youw orleans' self proclaimed "best band in the land," so you could hear them and their story. >> thank you, at ease for a second. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper.
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yoyou feel thahat? we just hahad a momentnt. [chuckckles] whwho would'veve thought i ? geico. s save even m more whenu bundndle home e and car ininsu. >> bill whitaker: when president biden and putin met in geneva last month, it was the first time that the threat of cyber war eclipsed that of nuclear war between the two old superpowers. and solarwinds was one big reason why. last year, in perhaps the most audacious cyber attack in history, russian military hackers sabotaged a tiny piece of computer code buried in a
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popular piece of software called solarwinds. as we first reported in february, the hidden virus spread to 18,000 government and private computer networks by way of one of those software updates we all take for granted. after it was installed, russian agents went rummaging through the digital files of the u.s. departments of justice, state, treasury, energy, and commerce-- among others-- and for nine months they had unfettered access to top level communications, court documents, even nuclear secrets. >> brad smith: i think from a software engineering perspective, it's probably fair to say that this is the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen. >> whitaker: brad smith is president of microsoft. he learned about the hack after the presidential election this past november. by that time, the stealthy intruders had spread throughout the tech giants' computer network, and stolen some of its
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proprietary source code used to build its software products. more alarming? hohow the hackckers got inin-- - babacking on a a piece of f thi- party softftware used d to conn, mananage and mononitor compuputr networksks. what makes this so momentous? >> smith: one of the really disconcerting aspects of this attack was the widespread and indiscriminate nature of it. what this attacker did was identify network management software from a company called solarwinds. they installed malware into an update for a solarwinds product. when that update went out to 18,000 organizations around the world, so did ththis malware. >> the orion platform is the underlying foundation... >> whitaker: solarwinds orioions one of the most ubiquitous software products you probably never heard of, but to thousands of i.t. departments worldwide,
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it's indispensable. it's made up of millions of lines of computer code. 4,032 of them were clandestinely re-written and distributed to customers in a routine update, opening up a secret backdoor to the 18,000 infected networks. microsoft has assigned 500 engineers to dig in to the attack. one compared it to a rembrandt painting-- the closer they looked, the more details emerged. >> smith: when we analyzed everything that we saw at microsoft, we asked ourselves how many engineers have probably worked on these attacks. and the answer we came to was, well, certainly more than 1,000. >> whitaker: you guys are microsoft. how did microsoft miss this? >> smith: i think that when you look at the sophistication of this attacker, there's an asymmetric advantage for somebody playing offense. >> whitaker: is it still going
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on? >> smith: almost certainly, these attacks are continuing. >> whitaker: the world still might not know about the hack if not for fireeye, a $3.5 billion cybersecurity company run by kevin mandia, a former air force intelligence officer. >> kevin mandia: i can tell you this-- if we didn't do investigations for a living, we wouldn't have found this. it takes a very special skill- set to reverse-engineer a whole platform that's written by bad guys to never be found. >> whitaker: fireeye's core mission is to hunt, find, and expel cyber intruders from the computer networks of their clients, mostly governments and major companies. but fireeye used solarwinds software, which turned the cyber hunter into the prey. this past november, one alert fireeye employee noticed something amiss. >> mandia: just like everybody working from home, we have two- factor authentication. a code pops up on our phone. we have to type in that code,
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and then we can log in. a fireeye employee was logging in, but the difference was our security staff looked at the login and we noticed that individual had two phones registered to their name. so our security employee called that person up and we asked, "hey, did you actually register a second device on our network?" and our employee said, "no, it wasn't, it wasn't me." >> whitaker: suspicious, fireeye turned its gaze inward, and saw intruders impersonating its employees snooping around inside their network, stealing fireeye's proprietary tools to test its clients' defenses and intelligence reports on active cyber threats. the hackers left no evidence of how they broke in- no phishing expeditions, no malware. so how did you trace this back to solarwinds software? >> mandia: it was not easy. we took a lot of people and said, "turn every rock over.
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look in every machine and find any trace of suspicious activity." what kept coming back was the earliest evidence of compromise is the solarwinds system. we finally decided, tear the thing apart. >> whitaker: they discovered the malware inside solarwinds, and on december 13, informed the world of the brazen attack. much of the damage had already been done. the u.s. justice department acknowledged the russians spent months inside their computers accessing email traffic, but the department won't tell us exactly what was taken. it's the same at treasury, commerce, the n.i.h., energy, even the agency that protects and transports our nuclear arsenal. the hackers also hit the biggest names in high tech. so, what does that target list tell you? >> smith: i think this target list tells us that this is clearly a foreign intelligence agency.
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it exposes the secrets potentially of the united states and other governments, as well as private companies. i don't think anyone knows for certain how all of this information will be used. but we do know this: it is in the wrong hands. >> whitaker: and microsoft's brad smith told us it's almost certain the hackers created additional backdoors and spread to other networks. the revelation this past december came at a fraught time in the u.s. president trump was disputing the election, and tweeted china might be responsible for the hack. within hours he was contradicted by his own secretary of state and attorney general. they blamed russia. the department of homeland security, f.b.i. and intelligence agencies concurred. the prime suspect: the s.v.r, one of several russian spy agencies the u.s. labels "advanced persistent threats."
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russia denies it was involved. >> smith: i do think this was an act of recklessness. the world runs on software. it runs on information technology. but it can't run with confidence if major governments are disrupting and attacking the software supply chain in this way. >> whitaker: that almost sounds like you think that they went in to foment chaos? >> mith: what we are seeing is the first use of this supply chain disruption tactic against the united states. but it's not the first time we've witnessed it. the russian government really developed this tactic in ukraine. >> whitaker: for years the russians have tested their cyber weapons o ukraine. notpetya, a 2017 attack by the g.r.u., russia's military spy agency, used the same tactics as the solarwinds attack, sabotaging a widely-used piece of software to break into thousands of ukraine's networks.
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but instead of spying, it ordered devices to self- destruct. >> smith: it literally damaged more than 10% of that nation's computers in a single day. the television stations couldn't produce their shows because they relied on computers. automated teller machines stopped working. grocery stores couldn't take a credit card. now, what we saw with this attack was something that was more targeted, but it just shows how if you engage in this kind of tactic, you can unleash an enormous amount of damage and havoc. >> whitaker: it's hard to downplay the severity of this. >> chris inglis: it is hard to downplay the severity of this. because it's only a stone's throw from a computer network attack. >> whitaker: chris inglis spent 28 years commanding the nation's best cyber warriors at the national security agency-- seven as its deputy director-- and now sits on the cyberspace solarium commission, created by congress
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to come up with new ideas to defend our digital domain. why didn't the government detect this? >> inglis: the government is not looking on private sector networks. it doesn't surveil private sector networks. that's a responsibility that's gven over to the private sector. fireeye found it on theirs; many others did not. the government did not find it on their network, so that's a disappointment. >> whitaker: disappointment is an understatement. the department of homeland security spent billions on a program called "einstein" to detect cyber attacks on government agencies. the russians outsmarted it. they circumvented the n.s.a., which gathers intelligence overseas, but is prohibited from surveilling u.s. computer networks. so the russians launched their attacks from servers set up anonymously in the united states. this hack happened on american soil. it went through networks based in the united states. are our defense capabilities
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constrained? >> inglis: u.s. intelligence community, u.s. department of defense, can suggest what the intentions of other nations are based upon what they learn in their rightful work overseas. but they can't turn around and focus their unblinking eye on the domestic infrastructure. that winds up making it more difficult for us. >> whitaker: he says history shows that once inside a network, the russians are a stubborn adversary. >> inglis: it's hard to kind of get something like this completely out of the system. and they certainly don't understand all the places that it's gone to, all of the manifestations of where this virus, where this software still lives. and that's going to take some time. and the only way you'll have absolute confidence that you've gotten rid of it is to get rid of the hardware, to get rid of the systems. >> whitaker: wow. so unless you get rid of all the computers and all the computer networks, you will not be sure that you have gotten this out of the systems. >> inglis: you will not be. >> jon miller: we've never been lft with a breach like that before, where we know months
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into it thatat we're onlnly loog at t the tip of f the icebererg. >> w whitaker: i it's not evevey you u meet someoeone who buiuils cyber weapapons as comomplex as thosose deployeded by russiaian intelligigence, but t jon mille, who starteted off as a a hackerd now runs a a company c called boldend, d designs andnd sells cutting-ededge cyber w weapons o u.s. intelelligence agagencies. >> miller: i build things much more sophisticated than this. what's impressive is the scope of it. this is a watershed-style attack. i would never do something like this. it creates too much damage. >> whitaker: miller says with the solarwinds attack, russia has demonstrated that none of the software we take for granted is truly safe, including the apps on our telephones, laptops, and tablets. these days, he says, any device can by sabotaged. >> miller: when you buy something from a tech company, a new phone or a laptop, you trust
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that that is secure when they give it to you. and what they've shown us in this attack is that is not the case. they have the ability to compromise those supply chains and manipulate whatever they want. whether it's financial data, source code, the functionality of these products. they can take control. >> whitaker: so, for instance, they could destroy all the computers on a network? >> miller: oh, easily. the malware that they deployed off of solarwinds, it didn't have the functionality in it to do that. but to do that is trivial. couple dozen lines of code. >> whitaker: since our story first aired, the hacks have kept coming. and one of the people you just heard from, former n.s.a. deputy director chris inglis, was chosen as the country's first national cyber director, reporting directly to president biden. president putin, for his part, still denies russia's involvement in solarwinds.
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( ticking ) >> america's cyber strategy after the solarwinds hack. >> unless there is some collaboration of the defenders, no one is going to have about of no one person is going to have the guide april eye view of that one network. >> at welcomome to allststate. hehere, if youou already p y for r car insurarance, you u can take y your home along fofor the ridede. allslstate.
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>> scott pelley: this independence day, we turn to a man who tells the story of america in her glory, and struggle for unity. ken burns' documentaries range from "the civil war" to "baseball," "country music" and this year's "ernest hemingway." as we first told you last fall, burns calls himself an emotional archeologist. he excavates lost love letters, forgotten photos and overlooked
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heroes-research so deep, viewers can feel like strangers discovering america for the first time. his films ask what it means to be american. so, we asked, what does it mean to be ken burns? >> ken burns: i have had the privilege of spending my entire life making films about the u.s., capital u, capital s. but i've also had the privilege of making films about 'us,' the two-letter, lowercase, plural pronoun, that has a kind of intimacy and warmth to it. >> pelley: in the country music film, merle haggard says, country music is "about those things we believe in but can't see, like dreams and songs"-- >> burns: songs and souls- >> pelley: --"and souls." >> burns: it's telling us that there is in front of us a kind of rational world, in which one and one always equals two, but that the thing that compels us forward as human beings, is that
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we look for one and one equaling three. we find that in our faith. we find that in our art. we find that in our love of each other. and i think one of the things i discovered working on country music is that when i understood this dynamic between the u.s. and us, lowercase, uppercase, that i realized there's only us, no them. the choice was easy because... >> pelley: "us," the american struggle to forge union from diversity, has been ken burns' obsession since he was 11-years- old at the end of this lane in ann arbor, michigan. in 1965, his mother was dying of cancer at the same time the fight for equality was in critical condition. >> burns: before my mom died, i would watch, and i would hear from the other room about the dogs and the fire hoses in selma. and it would make me as upset, as upset in my gut, as the worry about my mom.
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and it was almost as if i was transposing the cancer that was killing my family, and the cancer that was killing my country. and if you look at my films, almost 40 of them, you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of films that don't end up dealing with race. >> pelley: his early films included the statue of liberty and the congress. but it wasn't until his seventh that america returned ken burns affection. "thehe civil warar" was seenen 9 millioion viewers-s-- an 11-hohr epicic that immomortalized a a e letttter and a w waltz. >> burns: the ashokan farewell. >> pelley: the fiddle tune-- >> burns: the fiddle tune-- >> pelley: --that you can never get out of your head years later. >> burns: "na-da-di-da-da-da- dudum." >> pelelley: the l lament seemed writteten as a scocore for thehe letttter union s soldier sululln ballouou wrote hisis wife a wewk bebefore his d death.
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>> i i shall alwlways be witithn the e brightest t day, and t the darkrkest night t always, alalw, and whwhen the sofoft breeze fas yoyour cheek i it shall bebe my breath, oror the cool l air your throbbining temple, , it shall y spirit pasassing by. >> burns: i think every man wishes he could say those words to the woman he loves, and every woman wishes that her man could say that. that may be our shot. >> pelley: burns' films are a letter to the country he loves but not out of blind devotion. his is the affection that endures after confronting america's founding flaw. >> we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, yet he owned more than 200 human beings and never sought fit to free them. >> pelley: burn's finds the
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american paradox in the wars we fight and the games we play. >> burns: i told people that "baseball" was the sequel to "the civil war," and i meant it. i meant it. how we play games, and the nature of immigration, and the exclusion of women, and popular culture, and advertising, and heroes, and villains, and our imagination, and race, and race, and race are who we are. >> jackie rifles a shot into left field. >> burns: and the first real progress in civil rights after the civil war takes place when jack roosevelt robinson, the grandson of a slave, makes his way to first base at ebbets field on april 15th, 1947, then there's no question that the story of baseball is just gonna take off from the assassination of abraham lincoln, and the failure of reconstruction and move, to that, to tha moment. >> pelley: ken burns' moment came in 1981 with his first subject, the brooklyn bridge,
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which no one thought was a good idea. well, you had an inanimate object and no one to interview. >> burns: right. >> pelley: great television. >> burns: yes. and i look 12 years old. so, i was out trying to raise money and they'd say, "this child is trying to sell me the brooklyn bridge. no!" >> pelleley: pbs bouought "the brooooklyn bridgdge" and bururns structctured his s style-- aning images f frozen in t time and gg ththem voice.. >> here e i was, 32 2 years oldd suddenenly in chararge of the et stupendous engineering structure of the age. >> pelley: famous voices volunteer just to be in a ken burns film. meryl streep as eleanor roosevelt. >> couragege is more exhilaratig than fear. >> pelley: tom hanks in "the war." >> you'd never realize now that he was one of those emaciated, tortured souls who survived by some miracle the horror of that
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death march at bataan. >> pelley: his films have the pace of patient revelation. and time-to think. >> burns: this is a beautiful part of the country. >> pelley: it's the rhythm of a director who lives not in new york or l.a., but on 50 acres of walpole, new hampshire where even his apples have history. >> burns: so these are cuttings that were taken from trees at monticello. >> pelley: of course they are. we met burns before the pandemic. at 67, he has four daughters from two marriages. but his longest relationship, four decades, is with pbs. >> burns: i'm fortunate that pbs exists. i can go tomorrow to a premium channel or some place, a streaming service, and get $30 million to do vietnam.
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but no one's gonna say, "you can take 10 and a half years, ken." this was the main bedroom. >> pelley: he can take his time because he raises the money and runs his own company, florentine films. producers, writers, historians, editors and photographers craft a half-dozen films at once so, burns can release about one a year even though a series like country music takes eight years to finish. >> country music, the songwriter harlen howard said, "is three chords and the truth." >> pelley: you listened to 15,000 songs, sifted through more than 100,000 still photos, and did 101 on-camera interviews. why so much? >> burns: one would think that making a film is an additive process. you're building this. it's not. it's subtractive. the best metaphor i know of is
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we make maple syrup here in this town. and it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup, and that's what the process is. >> pelley: burns has boiled down the history of mark twain, the national parks plus, 18 hours on vietnam and 19 hours of jazz. >> wynton marsalis: ken's films touch something at the heart of our mythology, in who we have been at our best and at our worst, and who we want to be. >> pelley: composer wynton marsalis collaborated on "jazz" and "country music." marsalis is artistic director of new york's jazz at lincoln center, and something of an expert on improvising with ken burns. >> marsalis: he'll be vibrating, and that'll be in the fourth year of something, and it'll be 1:00 in the morning after you've worked since 9:00 in the morning. so now it's 1:00, so-- and he's till like, "no, no, right here. we need to-- right here, we need to," and to see like a person with that type of energy and
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just on fire like that. as he's grown old, it's got worse. >> pelley: the fire's gotten bigger. >> marsalis: the fire, the fire, the fire-- just the enthusiasm, the fire, the passion. >> pelley: ken told us that you' see' him. so, what do you see? >> marsalis: you know, for me, i always see like a kid. if you can retain that childish awe and wonderment and believe that you can change things, if you can maintain that, and that's what i see in him. and we found this little tiny place. >> pelley: childish awe and wonderment that somehow survived his childhood. would you say you had a happy childhood? >> burns: i don't think i had a childhood. i mean, i did, and i had happy moments. but my mother got cancer very early on. and that was the shadow cast across my brother and my childhood. we also had a father who was not mentally healthy. he was a functioning person, but he was an unhappy man, and--
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>> pelley: depression? >> burns: depression, maybe bipolar, never accurately diagnosed. >> pelley: burns was 39 when he realized he was trapped behind the wall he built to shield himself from his mother's death. the revelation came from his father-in-law. >> burns: and he said, "i bet you blew out your candles as a child, as a boy, wishing she'd come back?" and i said, "yeah, how'd you know?" and he goes, "look what you do for a living, you wake the dead. you make abraham lincoln and jackie robinson come alive. who do you think you really want to wake up?" so, i called my brother, and we wept, and we said and we have to find mommy. >> pelley: they had to find her because she'd been buried in an unmarked pauper's grave with 28 souls simply because burns' father never retrieved her ashes from the funeral home. >> burns: it's a long and complicated story. >> pelley: like researching a story, ken and his filmmaker
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brother, ric, tracked their history to the mass grave where they placed a memorial to lyla burns. >> burns: the ability to say to the world, 'this is us,' wouldn't have been possible without the crucible of her sickness, her death. and even that long wilderness of not dealing with it and dealing with it i think has made me a better filmmaker. >> pelley: a filmmaker working through the chapters of a single subject because burns found, as walt whitman wrote, "these states are the amplest poem." >> burns: i'm working on seven films right now. i mean, we got ernest hemingway, we have muhammad ali, we have benjamin franklin, we have l.b.j. biographies. we're doing a history of the american revolution and a biography of the buffalo. >> pelley: they are, together, the story of a people straining for union-n-- a theme e ken burs
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hahas exploreded from his s vert filmlm which wasas, after alallt a brbridge connecting america to america. >> burns: this is what stories do. they do liberate us from the tyrannies of our limitations, and our past, and our foibles. and so this is what we human beings do to negotiate this all too short passage that we call life. and i'm so grateful that i live in the united states of america, i mean that. i mean that. and that i get to tell stories about us, the u.s. ( ticking ) >> cbs sports h qumpt is presented by progressive insurance. here in detroit, cameron davis
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( ticking ) >> sharyn alfonsi: this year, mardis gras came and went in new orleans without much fanfare. because of the pandemic, for the first time in 42 years, the city's world famous parades did not roll. instead, new orleans was eerily quiet. unless you listened extra carefully. far from the normal parade route we found a high school marching band breaking the silence. they call themselves "the best band in the land." as we first told you earlier this year, we call them a story, and a band, you ought to hear. >> ray johohnson: all l right, e wewe go, hornsns up! one, two, , one, two, , one! ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfononsi: the stst. augustie high schooool marchingng band ns nono introduction in new orlean. the drums and horns have echoed through this city since the band was founded in 1952. ♪ ♪ ♪ but,t, like any y aging inststr, it wasas in need o of a tune-up. >> r ray johnsonon: bad lastst , the whole stadium heard that! >> alfonsi: enter ray johnson. >> ray johnson: do it again. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: he was hired as the new band director last summer, and he isn't wasting time with pleasantries. can you tell if they've been practicing? >> ray johnson: yes, i can. everything has to be precise. the marching, the precision, standing correctly. >> alfonsi: and can you hear it if one of them is off? >> ray johnson: i can, yes. >> alfonsi: and will you call them out on that? >> ray johnson: i sure will. in new orleans, marching band is
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a culture. just like in some places they have football as a culture. but here in this city, they live, breathe, eat, sleep, everything marching band. >> alfonsi: st. aug, as its known, is one of the few predominantly black, all-boys catholic high schools in the country. it sits in new orleans' seventh ward, seven blocks from the mississippi river-- not the part of the city usually found on postcards. the school is surrounded by reminders of a city forever rebuilding. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> ray johnson: don't rush! >> alfonsi: in here, ray johnson is rebuilding too. >> ray johnson: accent! >> alfonsi: the "best band in the land" is more of a mission statement these days. >> ray johnson: you got wrong notes coming from over here. >> alfonsi: since hurricane katrina flooded the school in 2005, it's been a long haul. the music library is still a temporary trailer on the blacktop.
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>> ray johnson: school didn't come back the same. and instruments-- we didn't have enough. and the uniforms were damaged. so, we had to rebuild everything. and just now, we were beginning to see the fruits of our labor, and then here comes covid. >> alfonsi: how many kids are in the band now? >> ray johnson: on the roll, i have 85. >> alfonsi: where would you like that number to be? >> ray johnson: 150. >> alfonsi: 150 allows for a full band and a deep bench. for decades, they easily hit that number. on a sizzling hot blacktop over the summer, hundreds of students would try out for a spot. the competition was fierce. many of the kids had grown up playing music. ray johnson was one of them. would you have ever skipped practice back in the '80s? >> ray johnson: oh, no, ma'am. no, not at all. if you-- if you skip practice, you got ten dudes lined up to take your spot. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: they were a powerhouse. st. augustine played for eight presidents, and a pope.
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the band's founder, edwin hampton, was a no-nonsense disciplinarian who created the band's signature style. >> ray johnson: most marching bands, what they call "show bands," they might dance, or play popular music. the difference that sets st. augustine apart, we played popular music, but we had a military style. >> alfonsi: that meant eyes forward and chins up, no matter what. pristine uniforms, perfect lines and gravity-defying knees would whip mardi gras crowds into a frenzy. >> let's go marching 100! >> alfonsi: in 1960, ruby bridges famously desegregated new orleans' public schools. seven years later, st. augustine desegregated mardi gras parades. band members say they were urinated on as they passed under balconies. dr. kenneth st. charles was the school's president last year. >> dr. kenneth st. charles: so, they had people throwing things at them.
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they had to not respond. they had people yelling obscenities to them. they could not respond. >> alfonsi: it's a lot to ask of-- of a young guy. >> st. charles: it's-- it's a lot to ask of-- of a 14, 15, 16- year-old kid, to not retaliate. you know, we teach them, as we do in our christian faith, "turn the other cheek." >> alfonsi: dr. st. charles knows the discipline required in those moments. in 1981, he and his classmate, ray johnson, were marching in a mardi gras parade for st. augustine when an adult who was chaperoning the band got into a scuffle with a plainclothes police officer. the officer pulled his gun. >> ray johnson: and then the gun went off. and all of a sudden, the police started showing up on horseback and the band got disarray and stuff like that. so, one of our baritone players said, "ray, you have blood on your uniform." and that's when i started feeling the pain in the side of my face here. so, that's where the bullet went
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in my jaw and came out the back of my neck. >> alfonsi: you didn't realize you'd been shot? >> ray johnson: i didn't know i was shot. one police officer was trying to give me first aid. so, he said, "look," he said, "i got to cut this uniform off you to see if you're hit anywhere else." and i said, "hold up," i said, "you can't cut this uniform." i said, "it has buttons on it. i can take it off." >> alfonsi: why didn't you want him to cut the uniform? >> ray johnson: well, i knew that if this man cut this uniform, mr. hampton would probably kill me. >> alfonsi: after college, johnson returned to st. augustine, where he worked as an assistant to edwin hampton for 11 years before leaving to teach at another school. hampton stayed for another 12 years, until he passed away in 2009. without him, some at st. augustine thought the band had lost its edge. ray johnson was hired back to sharpen it. >> dr. brice miller: for me, it was like, dude, you're about to fall deep into the rituals of the tradition.
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ray is, like, the essence of st. aug. >> alfonsi: brice miller played the trumpet under hampton, the band's founder, and johnson in the '90s. his son, brice, a sophomore, was a familiar name on johnson's roster. >> brice miller jr.: he already knew who i was cause of my dad. so he expected a lot from me. >> dr. miller: now having my son participating not only in the band, but with your band director, it was a beautiful thing. >> alfonsi: "beautiful" might not be the way some of thehe teenagers s would descscribe the introduction. >> ray johnson: now y'all want to meeeet the realal mr. johnsn? y'all l want to memeet the reae. johnson?n? if y'all are going to say ya'll the best band, y'all got to prove it! >> alfonsi: senior kabrel johnson and eighth-grader lawrence honore are part of the drum line. honore wasn't much bigger than his snare drum when he decided he wanted to play for st. augustine. >> ray johnson: put your heels together, mr. honore. >> alfonsi: tell me your
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impression of mr. ray. >> lawrence honore: i think he's pretty nice. he could be feisty at sometimes, but that's all discipline. >> alfonsi: what do you mean, feisty? >> honore: like, he yells, but-- >> kabrel johnson: he yells out of passision-- >> rayay johnson: : everythingns to be sharp! so, trumpets, what's going on now? i need y'all to play it every time, that's how y'all are going to get good at it! >> alfonsi: when i'm sitting here talking to you, you're so almost soft-spoken. and you see you out there on the blacktop, and it gets up a level. >> ray johnson: right. >> alfonsi: that's by design? >> ray johnson: i want you to be out your comfort zone, because i need you to pay attention. and when you pay attention, you learn. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: a few minutes into practice and it's clear the band's program isn't just designed to produce good musicians-- it's part of the school's larger mission to produce good men. >> ray johnson: y'all look good, man. great job. proud of y'all, thank you. >> dr. miller: that's the history of this-- of this school. your teachers are strong, intellectual black men. your coaches-- strong, intellectual black men. your band directors-- strong, intellectual black men.
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so, you see that wide range, that wide display of, again, black male success. >> alfononsi: the scschool preas discipliline, and ththe band des it. the only w way to achihieve st. auguststine's signgnature milily foformations i is to stay in li, and d make sure e the guy nenexo you is, , too. >> studedent: where e my tempo ? i i neneed to hear it! pick up them legs! >> alfonsi: tell me about mr. ray. what has he done for the band? >> kabrel johnson: one year ago, is not the same band you see today. i'm not going to lie, was a little bit less disciplined. but now, if you move, you will be, you're going to have them push-ups after-- after that parade-- >> alfonsi: wait. if you move, you have to do push-ups? >> kabrel johnson: oh, most definitely. >> alfonsi: do people try to get your attention? >> kabrel johnson: oh, they do. i remember my cousin has tried, my mother has tried. >> alfonsi: so you just have to be eyes forward-- >> kabrel johnson: you got to be locked in. >> alfonsi: last winter, nothing seemed to be moving in new orleans. the pandemic shuttered the city. even bourbon street seemed to have sobered up. >> teacher: it's your
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responsibility to learn. >> alfonsi: st. augustine has bounced between in-person and virtual learning all year long. >> ray johnson: we can't decide what god is going to do. if he say everything shut down, everything shut down! >> alfonsi: when band practice was cancelled for a week, then a month, lawrence honore improvised. when their high school football game was nearly flooded, the entire band called an audible, and shook the stadium from below. and, when they learned mardi gras parades were cancelled? >> ray johnson: i don't know why y'all coming wide like that. >> alfonsi: ray johnson didn't miss a beat. >> ray johnson: ba-boomp, ba- boomp, ba-boomp! well, it's hard, because it's a tradition, you know. just like anything else, you know, you got to suck it up and keep moving. >> alfonsi: that's what brice miller is doing. he is a professional musician. when the city shut down last year, his work dried up. he started volunteering with the band.
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before this, you know, your dad was busy all the time, right? now you're seeing a lot more of him because the pandemic. what's that been like for you? >> brice miller jr.: like, i'm actually proud of him, because he's also kind of struggling. you know, he's a professional musician. can't do none of that. jazz fest, can't do anything. but he really loves what he does. but he loves his family more. >> dr. miller: i want him to be the best, the most successful that he can possibly be. i don't want him to become a statistic in any way. that's the realism of raising a black boy, and raising a black boy in a city like new orleans. >> alfonsi: that realism doesn't take holidays off. lawrence honore's good friend, who attended a different school, was killed walking out of a store. >> honore: on christmas night, he had got caught in a crossfire, and they had shot him
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in the head. >> alfonsi: and how old is he? >> honore: 14. >> alfonsi: the same age as honore. he played at his buddy's funeral. and then, his mom drove him straight to band practice. with just about everything cancelled this year, it's hard for anyone to find a reason to get dressed. but that's exactly why ray johnson had the band do it anyway. and then, directed them to march through the neighborhood. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the route lacked the grandeur of a mardi gras parade, but locals poured onto their porches anywayay. even whehen they're e a little scratctchy, and a a lot loud, ,s a joyful sound in the seventh ward. >> st. charles: i think when people heard us starting to practice again and the students coming back, it-- it gave a sense of, okay, things are getting better.
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>> kabrel johnson: i think it's so good that the band marches around the block. because i feel like that is-- that is st. aug. that is new orleans. >> honore: yeah. that's what people need nowadays because of the pandemic. they need something to cheer them up. >> alfonsi: they marched down the block, hanging a right at hope street, ray johnson behind them at every step. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ( ticking ) [typyping sounds] [music fades in] [voice of femamale] mymy husband b ben and i opopened ben''s chili i bowl the very s same year t that we e marrieied. that's s 1958. [v[voice of mamale] the e chili bowlwl really hahasr closed in our history. when the pandemic hit, we had to pivot. and it's beenen really hehelpl to keep p people updated on google.. we w wouldn't t be herere withor wondnderful custstomers. we'rere really ththankful fororf them. [female vovoices soulflfully sig “cocome on in"”]
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