2003   NOVEMBER 15   #319

San Joaquin School District - Popeye The Sailor Man

In general I really don't have much success in finding very many "good" school band recordings worth preserving or that deserve a second listen. Many people have come to realize that my use of the word "good" is very subjective, and often means "bad" or more precisely, "so bad it's good." And when I say something is "weird, bizarre, unique, off key, inventive, outsider, or incorrect" it means "good!" and exactly what I'm looking for!

With that said, here is the elementary school string section of The San Joaquin School District from their 1973 performance, "I Believe In Music!" Now here is a recording worth preserving!! How can you not smile or react to such a performance?! If this music had been played to perfection, it would have been tossed and forgotten entirely. It's the obvious human element that attracts me to most outsider music. Truly a favorite of "The Outsider Music Hour" on The Oddity Rock Radio Show. (Another worthwhile track from this record is the school band trying to squeeze out a rendition of "Tijuana Taxi" :)

A great key to finding records like these, that I learned from Otis Fodder, are photos of children on the sleeve. The younger and more inexperienced looking the better. I wish you could see some of the photos of these grinning violin playing elves.

-Blair Sterrett

TT-1:08 / 1.6MB / 192kbps 44.1khz
from "San Joaquin School District presents I Believe In Music" (June 5, 1973)