Thursday, March 26, 2015
1975 Rock Chalk Revue Audio House 1975
Once, while working at KJHK 90.7, I received a call from a student writing a paper on the Rock Chalk Revue. If you're not familiar with Rock Chalk Revue, it's an annual musical theater/skit program that takes place at the University of Kansas. It was started and run by the Greek organizations on campus. A fraternity and a sorority team up, write a 15 minute act with corny jokes and music, then try out to get into the big show. Several teams are picked, they compete do their programs on campus at the large theater and a bunch of Greeks come to support it. Apparently, for a brief time, the Greeks hired out Audio House to record the skits and press a record. Likely only purchased by the Greeks that were a part of the program. The student that called me was looking for a particular year in which a LP was pressed.
What was interesting about her request is that she explained the Greek domination of the program, which I was aware of as my girlfriend was in a sorority. The reason she wanted a certain year is that apparently, one year enough students complained that about the practice of only allowing Greek organizations to enter the contest. At the student's request, there was apparently one year that non-Greek organizations were allowed to enter the contest. According to the student, art students entered the contest, were allowed to take part in the big show and blew everyone away and won. The following year, the Greek Counsel changed the rules back and never allowed non-Greek organizations to enter the contest again.
It's an interesting story and would probably make for a good record. Unfortunately, this is not that record. I wish I knew the year that did happen as I'd keep my eye out despite, never seeing these things in the first place. This record is a waste of time. Greek humor is cheap. Many of the gags were visual and don't translate to recording. The music is borrowed from musicals and pop tunes with jokes and rewritten lyrics. It does showcase some amateur talent by the Greeks, but, yeah, pretty amateur. And, I don't want to take away from their creativity...or dedication to the skit. This would require a lot of time and effort to put together, requiring marginally talented sorority and fraternity members to be lead by a house member with a goal. But, yeah, frat boys are going to be frat boys and a lot of the jokes are just cheap and land on the side of crude rather than edgy.