It may not make the pop-music charts, but a new compact disk of high school fight songs is making a splash among alumni of Chicago's Roman Catholic schools.
Coming up with a parochial school greatest-hits album wasn't easy, however.
"We had gotten a lot of requests from D.J's and alumni people who were having a party and really wanted to hear their fight songs again," said Jack Dreznes, the record-store owner who came up with the idea.
In the 1960's, when Mr. Dreznes was attending a Catholic high school in Chicago, one of the first things students learned was their school's fight song. "It meant so much to us back then," he said.
He and his brother, Mike, set out on a mission to resurrect the dying tunes. They tracked down sheet music, sought permission to record the songs, and enlisted a band and vocalist.
The resulting CD features the fight songs from 12 Catholic high schools in the Chicago area.
Nostalgic customers have made the CD an instant smash. Mr. Dreznes's store, Beverly Records, has sold 700 of the original 1,000 copies.
And lest critics think this is a one-hit wonder, a collection of fight songs for girls' sports teams may be in the future.
A few high school students in Delaware were strongly discouraged from pursuing counterfeiting recently when a pair of U.S. Secret Service agents visited their school in a low-key raid.
The students apparently had persuaded a teacher to use a digital computer scanner to store the image of a $5 bill on a computer disk, and then began duplicating the image on a home computer. After seeing one of the counterfeit bills, school officials tipped off police, who called the Secret Service. The agency has jurisdiction over fake money.
Two agents stopped by Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Del., where they rounded up five boys who subsequently were suspended from school. The agents also collected 27 $5 bills. Aside from the lawless nature of the students' work, the agents noted the boys showed little flair for counterfeiting.
The bills were printed on bond paper, after all.
"It was extremely poor quality," one of the agents said. "Had you seen this note, you would have known it was not real. Unequivocally."
--Laura Miller & Lonnie Harp
Vol. 14, Issue 25