April 14, 2020

Wistful children's song adapted as a call for Civil Rights 

'Bein' Green' first appeared on the children’s television programme Sesame Street in 1970. However, even songwriter Joe Raposo, vocalist Jim Henson and the show’s producer Joan Ganz-Cooney must have been surpri...

August 27, 2018

... in other words How to quantify subjective aspects of media made for children (and others).

... officially known as The Children's Music Quotient: Quantifying the Childness of Music Recordings Made for Children.

Have a read of my recently-published paper.

In the paper...

August 20, 2018

This piece was initially included in a longer essay about jazz music on children's television. As most of what is included here is about jazz music in films that were created for cinema, it didn't sit well with other material. Most of it covers the films made by Fleisc...

April 1, 2018

Released in 1972, Dougal and the Blue Cat is a full-length spin-off from Serge Dinot's The Magic Roundabout (Le Manège Enchanté) television series. It has been described as 'a bizarre film [that] treads a fine line between being charming and genuinely chilling&...

January 30, 2018

This article was first published in the New York Times on 25 Jan 2018. Written by Alex Marshall.

A new study suggests that some types of song are universal, recognizable by people across all cultures. But not everyone is convinced.

The world’s music cultures are meant to...

November 16, 2017

Just in case you missed it, Elvis released a book for children this week.

According to publishers Penguin, Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender is:

‘a heartwarming ode to the special bond between children and the adults who love and care for them-be they parents, grandparents,...

September 14, 2017

'It's the wolf'


This much-loved album is one of the strongest and in some ways strangest British records ever made for children. It had a big TV advertising campaign leading up to its release at Christmas...

August 23, 2017

Jazz music in children's television sends out contradictory messages about childhood. This may explain why producers and writers (especially in the UK) have to a large extent favoured folk music (think rural innocence, domestic animals, the healthy outdoors) and Music...

July 27, 2017

Book titles are like song titles, album titles or even band names. Believe me, I've spent a lot of time on the last three. They need just the right combination of words, sounds and signifiers to make them sit just right. They need a bit of creativity and a whole lot of...

July 14, 2017

I have been writing and performing music for children and families for nearly ten years. I've written and recorded at least 200 songs for youngsters. I've done hundreds of 'gigs for cool kids' with my band Johnny and the Raindrops. But why, oh, why, oh, why (Woody Guth...

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