Chicken Fat Returns to Morse

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Grant D. Morse School, JPI-TV is producing a modern day version of a song which echoed throughout the gymnasium for many years. “Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!” was a popular phrase sung daily from 1971 onward, as part of the physical education curriculum under the direction of Mr. Jim Davis.

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Coach Davis brought President Kennedy’s Physical Fitness Program to Morse school nearly a decade after it was established.

The song, most recently made popular as the background music in an Apple iPhone 5 commercial, was actually part of President John F. Kennedy’s initiative to improve fitness in the country.  Kennedy established a Presidential Committee on Physical Fitness to promote healthy living and activity among throughout the nation.  Besides 50 mile hikes, daily stretching and exercising, the council developed plans for inclusion in the nations public schools.  “Chicken Fat” sung by singer/actor Robert Preston was a catchy tune designed to lead students through a series of rigorous calisthenics.

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These Morse students are getting their first experience with a song that captivated their parents and grandparents.

Though over 3,000 schools received the guidelines and curricular materials, it was not used at Grant D. Morse until coach Jim Davis was hired to replace Bill Schirmer as teacher of physical education.  Davis, was well ahead of his time and is credited for bringing “Chicken Fat” to the students of Morse as he found favor with it during his college days at St. Lawrence University. Davis and rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are the most notable attendees of St. Lawrence University. Potter did not study “Chicken Fat” during her college days, though.

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A new generation of “Chicken Fat’ by products!

Davis and Grant D.Morse will always be connected with the song and JPI TV is preserving this bit of history with a modern twist.  The video will feature present students as well as iconic figures of the school’s past.

The video will take a couple weeks to produce and is expected to be completed in July 2015.