Senn High School, in the Edgewater Community of Chicago, is an imposing building that looks every moment of its 101 years old. As you drive through the surrounding area, which is filled with apartments and condos seemingly filling every available space, coming to an intersection and seeing this huge school come into sight for the first time can be quite an experience, something akin to drving through ten blocks of nearly identical bungalows, turning a corner, and finding yourself in front of the White House.
For the 1959-1960, a group of students - perhaps those involved in the Yearbook, put together an audio documentary of the school year. Other schools were, of course, starting to do the same thing around this time, and I own several of these, most of which were on 10" LP's - by the mid '60's, they tended to be full 12" LP's. But the folks at Senn limited themselves (or were limited for other reasons) to a seven inch, 33 1/3 RPM release, with five-plus minutes on one side, and seven minutes on the other.
The record hits most of the high points featured on those longer versions produced by other schools, just in more abridged fashion - the sports teams (team final records not mentioned), band performances, prom, graduation, and, in this case, the talent show. Listening to the Talent Show highlights, it's not clear to me why they didn't, instead, just mount a full production of "West Side Story".
Travel back in time with me now, to the school year of 1959-1960 at Senn High School!
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