If the recent post on square dancing's racist history brought back memories of learning to do-si-do in gym class, perhaps this calisthenics regimen will resonate, too: Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!, performed here by the University of Evansville.
"Chicken Fat" was the theme song for President John F. Kennedy's youth fitness program, and millions of 7-inch 33 RPM discs which were pressed for free by Capitol Custom were used in school gymnasiums across the United States throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Willson contacted Fitness Council administrator Dick Snider with an offer to write a song to be used to promote exercise for children. Willson's offer was accepted and he consulted with Physical Fitness Council director Ted Forbes to ensure that the song would be effective. The bouncy chorus ended with the words "Go, you chicken fat, go!"
The song was originally recorded on a soundstage in early 1962 at the same time as the Warner Bros. recordings for the film soundtrack of The Music Man. Recorded on the same three-track 35MM magnetic film as the soundtrack recordings, it featured Robert Preston's vocal isolated on one track, with the Bernie Green Orchestra isolated on the second track and a chorus of boys and girls isolated on the third track. However, the multi-track music stems have never been unearthed. As a result, with only the full-track quarter-inch 15 IPS monaural composite master being available from which Capitol Records mastered their discs in 1962, no stereo mix of the song is currently possible and it remains in mono on the CD re-issue.