In 1958 Larry Elliot, fellow Chi Phi at Dartmouth and trombonist leader of the Dartmouth Indian Chiefs Dixieland Band, wrote the music and co-authored the book and lyrics with yours truly for “The Chuck Sturdley Story,” a one-act musical that brought down the house. Actually, several houses.
The show won a college prize for best presentation at the annual Inter-fraternity Theatre Contest and was subsequently offered a spot at a campus variety show sponsored by the college in majestic Webster Hall overlooking the Dartmouth Green adjacent to Baker Library. The leading role depicting romantically luckless plugger Chuck Sturdley was winsomely portrayed by fraternity brother John Hamilton Miller, post-college, News Editor of The Wall Street Journal.
Our frothy kerfuffle was a distant cousin of “Animal House,” co- incidentally scripted by Dartmouth ‘62 alum Chris Miller.
Here is the blockbuster opening and closing number:
Before COVID struck I spotted a newspaper squib reporting a contemplated Broadway musical production of “Animal House.” Should it ever come to pass and the producers care to co-opt our song, it’s available.
I am a brother Chi Phi, Kappa chapter
And nowadays, all that light-hearted, good-humored frivolity would bring down the wrath of the Woke.
Boy, was life better back then!
Who came up with J. Squeeze?
Richard, This is my only communication venue with you. We may have a mutual friend who like yourself was a Dartmouth man, David Replogle. You and I also have a lot in common concerning the clothing business. Feel free to contact me at the above email. Thanks for your posts. VB
as a Dartmouth man, and jpress fan, I am pleased the Indian chief band and animal house days are now only the stuff of history. Perhaps you could do a story on great Dartmouth grads like Thaddeus Stevens.
Remember Blackie’s Black,Black,Black?
From an ETA chapter alum of CHI PHI…what happened to the Dartmouth chapter? Why the decision to go “local”?
Next time sing it!!!!!
Dear Mr. Press,
As you well know, “co-op” is short for the noun cooperative, while “co-opt” means to take for one’s own use. That “t” is crucial.
Loving “Threading The Needle.” You are a very accomplished author…who would have thought in those halcyon days of yore?
Keep it up!