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Little Johnny Brown With Ella Jenkins and Girls and Boys from "Uptown" ( Chicago)

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Album Review

Jenkins recorded these dozen songs in 1971 at the Bezazian Library in Chicago, in front of a live audience of young children. They can be heard loud and clear, whether shouting responsively or singing along, on this set. As usual, she covers a lot of territory on this 36-minute disc, from game songs and traditional chants to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," the Jenkins composition "The Children's Librarian," and an instrumental Mexican dance on kazoo. This wouldn't be the best Jenkins record to select, because of the bare arrangements and the greater emphasis on the children's vocals. Of course, just about any Jenkins record is an above-average children's disc, and this one is too, managing to be fun and educational without being pretentious or unduly silly.


Born: August 6, 1924 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Children's Music

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

From virtually the outset of her folksinging career, Ella Jenkins stood at the forefront of children's music, establishing herself as one of the few musicians in the genre whose charms extended beyond her young target audience into the realm of adults and educators. Born in St. Louis but raised in Chicago, Jenkins began singing professionally in 1956. Over the course of books, videos, and numerous albums, she educated children about everything from reading to geography to dance, and over time she...
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Little Johnny Brown With Ella Jenkins and Girls and Boys from "Uptown" ( Chicago), Ella Jenkins
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