myKaZoo Music, the new family imprint of Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), announces its second release, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, Randy Kaplan’s child-friendly versions of country blues and ragtime numbers from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.
The new CD, featuring extensive liner notes so that kids may learn more about America’s great musical heritage, will be available on July 10 wherever music is sold. Kaplan’s music videos are featured on the new, always-on music video channel for kids, myKaZootv.
Randy Kaplan is a nationally acclaimed artist that Time Out New York Kids magazine recently named as one of the top children’s performers in the nation. More than two years in the making, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie includes 17 songs first performed by the likes of legendary blues musicians Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Jimmie Rodgers, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Mance Lipscomb, Pink Anderson, Mississippi John Hurt, Hambone Willie Newbern, the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson, Dave Van Ronk, Jim Jackson and Charlie Patton. As Randy says, “These are guys with titles like ‘King of the Delta Blues,’ ‘Father of the Delta Blues,’ ‘King of Ragtime Guitar’ and ‘Father of Country Music.’” Randy reworked the lyrics for each song, making them appropriate for the under-12 set without losing the grit and humor of the originals. New titles to old songs include “Ice Cream Man Rag,” “Runaway Blues,” “In a Timeout Now” and “Kindhearted Babysitter Blues.”
Various segments of the album are introduced by the craggy voice of Lightnin’ Bodkins, a Delta denizen who has seen it all. Lightnin’ tells listeners about the Fathers of the Blues, who were sharecroppers, cotton pickers, levee camp workers, tenant farmers, mule-team drivers and railroad men by day. When the sun dipped down over the fields these hard workers became superheroes. “They sang their songs and played their guitars at juke joints, picnics, roadhouses, barrelhouses and house parties,” as Lightnin’ explains.
Lightnin’ Bodkins appears throughout Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, introducing blocks of songs, suggesting that Randy come up with a bluesman-type name for himself, and adding his two cents whenever he feels like it.
As my kids are well aware, I love checking out new music! Almost every time they get in the minivan, there is something new playing. Sometimes they yell and scream to turn it off, and other times they start dancing and attempting to sing along! When I tried out Randy Kaplan’s Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie they decided it was awesome! My 8-year-old was listening to the lyrics and thought they were hilarious! We haven’t listened to many Blues CDs so it was definitely something new for them. I liked that it was upbeat enough to not make me tired, but not crazy enough to get my kids all wound up. It was the perfect combination! They loved the Ice Cream Man Rag. Maybe now they will finally understand why I don’t buy them ice cream every time the ice cream truck comes by! My girls love dancing to the upbeat Sugar Sweet and my boys got a kick out of In A Timeout Now. This Randy Kaplan album was a great fit for our whole family! I would recommend it to everyone who appreciates great music!
Randy Kaplan’s Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie album is available on Amazon for $11.47.
One A Mom’s Take readers will win
a Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie CD
Ends 8/17/2012 at 11:59 PM ET. Open to US Only.
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Disclosure: I received a Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie CD in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site.