Thursday, April 13, 2006

The first lady of children's folk music

The first time I heard Ella Jenkins sing in that low, storied voice, with a sound as deep as her history is long, with a pretty patina made more beautiful from over five decades of singing for children, I knew I'd found my inspiration. Forget the Wiggles. Forget Barney. Forget Laurie Berkner. Ella is proof that yelling and wiggling isn't always necessary to get a child's attention.

Take Ella Fitzgerald's clarity, Billie Holiday's grit and put it on the playground--that's Ella's voice. She'll give you rhymes to remember the names of continents, stories about "rushin' around in Russia," and poems to make roses bloom and teach you Spanish. The self-taught musician was discovered on the street where she performed, and she's proof that a good teacher is always found in the most suprising places. She still tours and performs, too. She'll be 82 this August.

A short, concise Ella bio.
Ella's homepage.
Listen to Ella's music.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

She is an inspiration to all of us Early Childhood Music Educators. So glad you acknowledged that on your blog. Please visit our website when you have a moment. I think you would really like our music. It's www.peterandellen.com. Go well and safely:).

Ellen Allard