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Chicago Kids Play and Sing Hoagy: New Book/CD from Bucky Halker


Legendary songwriter Hoagy Carmichael penned a series of children’s songs back in the 1950s, though most were never recorded.   The best are here — in a book of lyrics, original illustrations and a CD — with Chicago kids singing all the vocals and doing many instrumental parts, with support from a host of legendary musicians from the city’s jazz, folk, rock, country, and world music scenes.    

The CD won’t be officially released until March 202, but you can purchase advance copies and hear samples at CDBaby:  https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/buckyhalker5


Here’s the Complete Story on the Book/CD

In the 1950s, legendary songwriter Hoagy Carmichael penned a series of children’s songs that were published as an illustrated songbook. Carmichael later recorded some of these songs on an album, but for the most part the material was largely forgotten. Nevertheless, many are quite interesting and don’t fit the usual template for children’s music. One day I got the notion to record a selection of them and quickly determined that I wanted to use both children and adults for the project. Having spent many years roaming the Chicago music scene, I felt the project would be a perfect way to highlight the musical talents of children, to involve them in a collaborative effort with professional adult musicians in a recording studio, and to include a range of Chicago’s stylistic and musical traditions. In keeping with the original songbook, I decided to put the lyrics into an accompanying book with new original illustrations by Mark Anderson. Here are Hoagy’s children, ages 0 to 75, performing fifteen of his songs.

The project features a host of Chicago’s most celebrated musicians, including Andy Brown (jazz guitarist), Don Stiernberg (mandolin), Eric Schneider (sax), Dan DeLorenzo (upright bass), Gerald Dowd (drums), Carlos Mejia (Guatemalan marimba), Steve Gibons (violin), Art Davis (trumpet), Brian Wilke (pedal steel guitar), and Russ Phillips (trombone), just to name a few. The album highlights a variety of musical styles from Chicago, including Japanese Taiko drumming by Tsukasa Taiko, Guatemalan marimba, Jazz, Country, Rock and Folk. The children of Chicago supplied all the vocals on the project as well as some instrumentation. We had great fun with the project and we hope you will too!


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