This information courtesy of Suzy Davenport, Sub Pop Records

The weirdest Cornell side project of all? Way back in the mid-eighties a guy named Dean Wartti started a country and western outfit called the Center for Disease Control Boys. The basic theme of the CDC Boys project seemed to be songs by hicks about their jobs performing routine yet horrible medical research procedures on laboratory animals, fortified with goofy redneck tunes and political novelty songs.

The members would fluctuate wildly over the few years the band was in existence, but for a while they included (my boss) Jonathan Poneman, Wartti's friend and future Sub Pop mogul, on the bass. Wartti, who was a musical and theatrical dilettante around Seattle in the eighties, lead the outfit wearing a red-and-white polyester gingham jacket with white pants and string tie, brandishing a violin as if about to play a fiddle solo when in fact he couldn't play the thing at all. Chris played the drums standing up, wearing (as I recall) overalls with (naturally) no shirt underneath. The shows featured a Hee Haw-style stage set with bales of hay that would frequently get unwired and the hay flung around by rowdies in the audience.

Someone released a single ("CDC Boys Theme" b/w "Who We Hatin' Now, Mr. Reagan?"), but who released it and when and how many were pressed I have no idea. While the band's lineup changed all the time, Chris did appear on the single, singing a verse of the hoedown-style CDC Boys theme. That song had each character/musician in the band singing a verse about their particular job, then singing a line from their verse in the chorus (always punctuated with lots of YEEEEHAW's), with the chorus getting progressively longer and longer as the song went on, a la "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Very few people in Seattle seem to remember the Center for Disease Control Boys.