Sheila Heti (previously) profiles Raffi: The wondrous — and occasionally weird — relationship between the children’s-music superstar, his fans, and the man he used to be.
Like many other great American folk songs, She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain reaches us through the filter of both religious and secular movements. The music underneath the words has its original genesis in a spiritual sung originally by slaves and later popularized in the black churches of the south; the lyrics we know today – the version which came into the larger cultural vernacular and which spawned various children’s versions – was, originally, a protest song. [more inside]
Caspar Babypants is Chris Ballew. Described by Weird Al Yankovic as "one of the few children's recording artists I can listen to without wanting to stab myself in the eyes," you don't have to have kids to appreciate the silly subject matter and exquisitely crafted pop sensibility, but it probably helps. It should come as no surprise that, as front man for The Presidents of the United States, the man who wrote songs like Kitty, Boll Weevil, and Dune Buggy grew up to write offbeat children's music. I would especially like to call your attention to these wonderful and clever low tech videos, including several worthy fan videos. [more inside]
Kiddie Records Weekly. In 2005, Basic Hip Digital Oddio will feature an entire year of albums from the golden age of kiddie records, lovingly transferred from the original 78s and encoded to 192kbps MP3 format. That's one a week for 52 weeks!
Sesame Seventies is an informational website about the three disco-related Muppets/Sesame Street records released in the 1970s. It makes for a good argument in favor of file-sharing, it reveals some of the stranger children's music of the past twenty or so years, and it's cute. (warning, some flash)