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Adventures With Family and Friends

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Album Review

Family and Friends attempts to target a slightly older audience than Bartels' "Magic" series, but the music is still singalong sweet. This time around, most of the covers come from the pop charts, from Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" to Michael Bolton's "Love Is A Wonderful Thing." More impressive, however, are the originals, showcasing Bartels and songwriting partner Chris Rhyne's ability to tap into what makes kids kids. "Pen Pals" and "Best Friends" capture the essence of childhood, while Bartels' cover of "That's What Friends Are For" manages to avoid the gloppy sentimentality of Dionne Warwick's overwrought version.


Born: Boston, MA

Genre: Children's Music

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Joanie Bartels, one of the best-selling artists in the children's genre, wasn't even identified on the packaging of her first few children's releases. Yet, on the strength of her charming voice and some savvy marketing, Bartels defined the infant to preschool genre for almost a decade. Her subsequent work on albums and videos carried on her popularity. Bartels grew up in Boston and began her musical career at an early age. When she was three years old, she was impressed by Rosemary Clooney on TV...
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Adventures With Family and Friends, Joanie Bartels
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