Monday, March 31, 2008

All Hail Mighty Marla, The Kid's Song Queen!

Here's my children's songwriting friend Marla Lewis, from the Great American Song Contest website, where they hung her photo right under the words "Grand Prize Winner"! That's right, her children's song, "Mighty Jackie (The Strikeout Queen)," took grand prize! (And she landed two other songs in the "Outstanding Achievement" category in children's further down the page, too!)

My song, "1907," can be found if you scroll to the bottom, click "Honor Awards" and scan the "Top Finalists" in the Contemporary Acoustic/Folk category. That's right, I figured the judges might scratch their heads a bit at the stunning depth of sophistication I achieved in this historical ditty about Oklahoma's statehood if I claimed it to be children's fare, so I plopped it in "Contemporary Folk" just to see what would happen.

Meanwhile my friend Marla was busy proving that stunning depths of sophistication can be reached and appreciated in children's music! 

I've had conversations with many folks speculating whether a song from the children's category in a big-time song competition would/could ever rise to the very top. It just doesn't often seem that our genre commands that kind of respect. 

I mean when they (meaning your random representative song competition) do stuff like lump us into a "special category" with "Patriotic" and "Gospel" and "Mountain Yodeling" like so many apples and oranges and cumquats in a bin, it makes you wonder. Do they really give the best of the children's songs any serious consideration for grand prize winner? 

I guess sometimes they do, and Marla proved it! You go girl!!

For my own part I'm very pleased to have received an "Honor Award" in Contemporary Folk, but I think I'll stick with my native genre from now on! Maybe given enough deep and sophisticated children's entries we'll earn a whole new category all to ourselves one day.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I performed today at Calumet school for Pre-K - 6th grade. They were a great group. I'm posing here in the bottom photo with the two 5th graders who made me that great welcome banner!!

It was good to do another "CenTUNEial Celebration" - my first since the actual Centennial back in November.

Happy Pi Day, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March is Reading Month iMix

Our friends Two of a Kind (David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans) have posted a new iMix on iTunes called "March is Reading Month.icon" It lists 15 great reading songs by various children's artists, myself included.

If the concept of an iMix is new to you, it's just a list of songs on iTunes. Children's music folks have begun more and more to use iMixes as a way of sharing collections of songs centered around a given topic. This can be helpful for teachers, librarians, parents, or musicians who need music for units, themes, parties, programs, etc. It's like creating a compilation CD, but without the need for a physical CD.

You can purchase and download a complete iMix as a single unit, or you can pick and choose which songs you'd like to have. If iTunes isn't your preferred source for downloads, an iMix can still be a great way to discover new songs that fit a given topic or theme.

You do need the iTunes software to view an iMix (the link above won't work unless you have iTunes installed). It's a free download from, and both Mac and Windows versions are available.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kids Music Planet Podcast

After quite a few months away from it, Lisa posted a new edition of her Kids Music Planet Podcast today! 

I have been helping her re-design the podcast to make it easier to produce. 

Last year we made 8 episodes, most of them in one week intervals, and it just about took over our lives for three months.

So... rather than featuring three cds per show, we are now featuring just one, though the CD tour/review is more in-depth. Also, we're recording it "live," that is to say, we aren't following a script and we aren't doing very much editing. 

And I keep saying "we" because I am now the co-host. It helps, when recording live, to have two people, so we can converse. We are hoping it makes the show more relaxed and natural. It certainly makes it quicker to record.

Of course, we still have "Evalyn's Pick" at the end, so it's really a family project.

Please listen and let us know what you think about the new format! You can find the podcast on iTunes, or go here:

This week we took a tour of Joe McDermott's latest CD, Everybody Plays Air Guitar. Happy listening!