In the year 1969, an aspiring duo of songwriters known as Zager and Evans came up with the classic anthem “In the Year 2525”, which features a bleak representation of the future as humanity follows the course of technological advancement. Interestingly enough, some of the song’s way-out-there predictions from the Space Age seem to be coming true today.
Yet the surviving member of the duo, Denny Zager of Lincoln, Nebraska, has been doing his best to keep his own wild-shot-in-the-dark predictions from coming true. Zager and his son, Dennis Zager, Junior, are the owners of Zager Guitars, a company that produces a line of exquisitely built acoustic guitars. The thing about these guitars is that they are constructed to their own unique “Easy Play” parameters, developed by Denny himself. Making it possible for people to play the guitar longer without getting tired or experiencing strain on their fingers is quite a contribution to humanity. However, the Zagers did not stop there.
Instead, they have launched a program that is donating guitars to schools. The idea that a boutique guitar manufacturer would donate instruments to school music programs sounds like an excellent idea, but the Zagers went far beyond the concept of “it’s the thought that counts”.
The first thing that the Lincoln School District learned about this plan was a notification that they were about to be the recipient of seven hundred brand new guitars. They thought it was some kind of prank until the delivery guy showed up with 696 guitars in their cases.
Just the mere publicity of this gift undoubtedly steered many students towards the music program out of curiosity. In addition, it has long been known that children who want to learn the guitar are not traditional music aficionados but are instead often at-risk students. These marginally-attached kids are sometimes kept in school by no other attraction than that of playing the guitar.
This magnanimous donation serves to encourage those who are least likely to finish their education to persevere and finish the job. The brand new Zager Guitars is not the only part of the program. The Zagers also include their own proprietary guitar players instructional curriculum that makes it easy and fun to learn how to play. Not only does this get students advancing faster but it also saves the district a considerable additional sum in textbook costs.
As stunning as a gift of seven hundred guitars might seem, especially when considering the mom-and-pop nature of Zager Guitars compared to some of the more well-known guitar giants, the Zagers are just getting started. They plan to provide many more guitars to needy districts all across the country. In a world crippled by harsh COVID restrictions, this new initiative from Zager Guitars might be just the thing to engage the interest of distance-learning students as well.
As Zager and Evans’ one and only hit record stated: “In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive…” Today, in the year 2020, Denny Zager and his son are doing their best to make sure that his formerly dire forecast for humanity’s future is false. Man will still be alive. Woman will survive. And they’ll both be better people as a result of the Zagers’ foresight and almost unbelievable generosity. Who would have ever thought that such a storybook ending could spring for such a dystopian version of “once upon a time”.