In the mid-'70s, Hans Fenger, a young hippie musician turned elementary-school music teacher, decided to forgo the classroom's usual saccharine choirbook fare in favor of contemporary pop tunes by the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Barry Manilow, the Eagles and other artists. Accompanied by Fenger on piano or guitar and a few kids on open-tuned electric bass, Orff xylophones, a stripped-down drum kit and other simple instruments, the students, all from the Langley district of rural western Canada, sang with gusto and delicacy. Inspired by their enthusiasm, Fenger borrowed a two-track Revox tape deck, set up a couple of microphones in the gymnasium and recorded the 9- to 12-year-olds performing songs such as "Space Oddity," "Desperado," "God Only Knows" and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft." The school district pressed a few hundred copies to sell to parents, and, for a quarter-century, the albums moldered in... More >>>