I'd been kicking around a post on kids' music in my mind for a couple of days now, since by necessity I hear a lot of it these days. The good news, as noted in this Chron article, is that there's actually a decent amount of kids' music out there that I can actually listen to. The story is about Olivia's very favorite program, Jack's Big Music Show, and the main artist it showcases, Laurie Berkner.
"We can see how Jack's Big Music Show is doing by how well Laurie Berkner's doing," said Brown Johnson, the executive in charge of preschool programming at Nickelodeon networks, of which Noggin is a part.
"Since Laurie's premiere on Noggin in 2004, she's been at the top of the hit parade for little kids," Johnson said. "Fifteen years ago most kids music on TV was nursery-rhymey stuff that was unpalatable to adults. It ain't happening on my watch."
Witness Jack's Big Music Show, which spawned a successful soundtrack CD in 2006.
Jack's is the second-highest-rated original program on Noggin, a commercial-free cable station available in 54 million households. It features the cheerful exploits of a tuneful trio of huggable puppets: the ebullient guitarist Jack; his accordion-squeezing best friend Mary; and his purple pal Mel, a dog of uncertain pedigree who does great things with a pair of drumsticks.
Anything can happen in Jack's backyard playhouse. On this season's debut, titled Snow Day, a Hawaiian beach party at the clubhouse goes dreadfully wrong when Mel's well-intentioned plan to pump sand onto the premises results in a blizzard. Between shivers the viewers are introduced to the ukulele and one rumbling member of the percussion section.
The boisterous Brooklyn band AudraRox, with its sassy bluegrass number I Hope My Mama Says Yes, is also featured in a video on Jack's new season. The hip-hop-collides-with-classical violin duo Nuttin' but Stringz, from Queens, will get national exposure on the show, too.
On Feb. 2 Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, is to appear on the show. Also scheduled for that episode is a raging rock video from Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, paired with indie singer-songwriter Steve Burns, the original host of Blue's Clues.
Children's music on television has never been cooler.