2003   JANUARY 11   #011

The Juniors of Canarsie High School - Guilty/Over The Rainbow/Alma Mater

Last week Dondero went over great, so here's another school band recording found in a thrift store by Charlie Lewis of WFMU radio. He proceeded to send me a copy of this record on cassette tape in 1999. It sat in a pile of tapes until march of 2001, discarded by mistake. Upon my first complete listen I was floored.. I loved it! Charlie then sent me the album, which I digitized and in turn made copies for the WFMU music library. The album was in poor shape, a deep cut on the vinyl affected the first section of Side One. This was restored and while the recording still has considerable surface noise, I kept the imperfections in.

The only information the album had was on the front cover and it read:

"A Perfectaquad 4 Channel Disc, CANARSIE HIGH SCHOOL proudly presents it's NINTH ANNUAL SING starring THE JUNIORS in Dotty's Dilemma or We're Off To See The Clutz on December 14th, 15th and 16th, 1973.'

Since there were no song titles I made them up. This whole record is a take on The Wizard of Oz.. I had a hard time just deciding which couple of cuts to choose, I couldn't just feature one! The Alma Mater is my favorite on the album and it's a take off of "Killing Me Softly". Check out the first song Guilty, 18 seconds into the file and you can hear a little girl screaming her precious heart out with excitement!

- Otis Fodder

TT-8:21 / 7.65MB / 128kbps 44.1khz
from LP, "Dotty's Dilemma or We're Off To See The Clutz' (1973)

Caleb Hutchins writes:
The first song of this set isn't bad, but the true gem is the middle portion. As the first song closes, we're treated to an excerpt of a deliciously over-acted skit, a mini-inquisition against poor Dottie(?). And what is her defense? Only the greatest high-school polemic I've ever heard captured in mp3 format. Led in with a piano flourish comes a voice, a voice striving so hard to sound wise that it gives away it's innocence and naiveté. Paraphrasing Wizard of Oz at first, then launching into a rebellious declaration of hope, a manifesto of defiance against war, corruption, racism, pollution, and generational distrust, before closing with another verse from "over the rainbow" and leaving me slack jawed with undirected patriotism and an overpowering urge to salute something. The best part is the slow nervous applause that Dottie's declamation gets from the adult audience, which clearly can't decide whether to cower in guilty fear or join the Canarsie revolution. Thank you Canarsie High, wherever it is!

Roseanne Yoakum writes:
I thought I would send you this link. members.aol.com/brookbourn/canstars.html It's fun to look at and tells about all these people who graduated from Canarsie who got famous. Or kind of famous.

Edward J. Pelegrino writes:
Couldn't help but be reminded of the late Ronald Jackson, Principal of Shiawassee Elementary School in Farmington, Michigan. His flair for the dramatic was the most likely reason that he started using the record of Killing Me Softly to calmly interrupt classes over the PA system for disaster drills. As Mr. Jackson used to say all those years ago, "Keep up the good work!"