recess radio program

07/07/06
Vintage Children's Favourites
    by John Cech

It may be a really risky programming decision, and you may get hooted at by everyone in the car, but here's your chance, on the next family road trip, to help correct the sad fact that our kids have never heard most of those great, often strange songs that we grew up on, let alone the tunes that were the staples of our parents' and our grandparents' musical diets -- in the days before rock and rap. The muzzy speaker of a car radio or a scrattchy turntable could send you the sweetest and most unexpected sounds -- like this one:

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That's Maurice Denham's swing version of "Three Little Fishes." It's one of the songs on this new CD from England, Vintage Children's Favourites, from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Some of the songs are very British--like "The Laughing Policeman" and "The Teddy Bears' Picnic"--and a few are real clunkers, a couple are just slightly politically incorrect, some are pretty campy, but most are familiar to an American audience and quite wonderful--there's Danny Kaye's incomparable "Tubby the Tuba"; Phil Harris' hit, "The Thing"; The Seven Dwarfs from "Snow White" weighing in with "Heigh-Ho"; and Bing Crosby "Swinging on a Star." I can't think of a better way to mosey through the Southwest than with this on the stereo:

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Or how about gliding into the sunset on the blue highways of summer to the miraculous voice of Paul Robeson and the song that ends each day's trip?

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Copyright 2006 John Cech

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Friday, 30-Jun-2006 14:36:48 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."