Oh, not mine. In March 1978, after over a year of being underemployed or unemployed after college, I was the newly hired bookkeeper for the Schenectady Arts Council’s program to do outreach in the local schools. It was funded by a program called the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. CETA was much maligned by critics, but it was great for me, part of the administrative staff, and a coterie of artists: sculptors, actors, painters, a photographer, a book author/illustrator duo, and a choreographer, who I’ll call Darlene.
Darlene was more classically trained, but disco was all the rage, so much of what she taught in the schools were more popularly oriented. And to teach this, she needed a partner. Foolishly, I thought, she
hornswoggledconvinced me to go with her to the various elementary schools.
I wouldn’t say I was good at this, but I did get to be less bad over time. The program sent out evaluations to the schools afterwards. Since I wasn’t an artist, I didn’t get evaluated, but one of the kind teachers mentioned me positively.
One of the pieces Darlene put together was set to the tune Fantasy by EW&F. But it wasn’t the version I had heard on the radio. Rather it was a take that reprises the slow section from the beginning of the song. That iteration was was from the 1977 album All ‘n All, which got up to #3 on the US album charts and sold triple platinum.
Fantasy is a song written and composed by Maurice White, his brother Verdine White, and Eddie del Barrio. It became an international hit. While the single only went to #32 in the US pop charts, and #12 on the soul charts, it reached #25 in Australia, #14 in the UK, and #6 in Sweden.
Unfortunately, the founder of Earth, Wind and Fire, Maurice White died on February 3 at the age of 74, from Parkinson’s Disease. (he is second from the right in the photo.)
Chuck Miller’s great post Earth Wind and Fire: I’ll Write a Song For You.
Maurice White, RIP, who played drums on Summertime by Billy Stewart, as Dustbury notes.