In Boise, the effort was led by C.B. Sampson, the music dealer who had a passion for marking what became known as the Sampson Roads.
Why “slacker”? As the Idaho Statesman article announcing the Boise drive on October 30, 1918 said, “All citizens who have records that have grown old to them are asked to contribute these records.” They were “classed as slacker records inasmuch as they are seldom played in the homes where they have been supplanted by newer records of popular music.”
Sampson started the drive off with a donation of two Victrolas and two dozen records. He also committed to have the records packed and shipped at his own expense. That first article stated that “Music is a war weapon. Army commanders have proved by experience that music is as important to the morale of the army as any single force in the soldier’s life.”
The goal was 1,000 records. On November 5, the drive was 107 records short. The article that day said that, “The donors had apparently gone through their own records, not with the idea that they would give what no longer pleased them, but what they thought would most appeal to the boys.” It ended with the note that the drive would end soon, so it would be “necessary to round up the dilatory records at once.”
The headline on November 11, 1918 read “Boise Responds Liberally in Drive for Canned Music for Boys in France.” The drive had brought in 1281 records valued at $1,102.50.
No doubt Sampson shipped the records off at once, in spite of the headlines the next day announcing that the signing of the armistice with Germany had taken place the very day the results of the slacker record drive were reported.