Chris Ballew: From Rock Star to Tot Star

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The first time my daughter and I went to a Caspar Babypants concert in Seattle, we pushed through a crowded room full of excited tots and their parents to find a seat. After finally sitting down next to a mother holding a baby, she leaned over and asked, “How many Caspar concerts have you been to?” I smiled and answered it was our first. She nodded and said, “That’s nice. This is our seventh.”

Caspar Babypants at the Seattle Public Library / Photo: Charlie Bartlett (Used with Permission)

After experiencing the fun and exuberance in that first concert, and many more after, I understand why that mom and many others are diehard Caspar Babypants fans. From an ode to googly eyes to the life of a flea with dogs, and new takes on old favorites like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Caspar Babypants’ songs are catchy and imaginative.

Caspar, also known as Chris Ballew, is releasing his fifth album Hot Dog! on April 17. Not only does he write and perform children’s music, Chris Ballew is also the twice Grammy-nominated lead singer of the alternative rock group Presidents of the United States of America. I was curious about his background and work, and Chris graciously agreed to answer some questions for me here on GeekMom.

GeekMom: How did you create the name Caspar Babypants?

Chris Ballew: Well, I got kind of bored with my first name back in the early ’90s and decided to change it to Caspar. So I tried that and then one winter when the snow came I was cold and had no winter hat. I went to a “free” store for people that needed winter clothing and found this little unique pair of hand knitted baby’s pants. I put them on my head and they fit perfectly. The kids in my neighborhood started calling me “babypants” as I walked by and I put it with Caspar, and the name was born. Years later as I started doing kids music and was considering what to call it, I remembered the old nickname and thought it was perfect!

Read the rest of Kelly Knox’s interview with Chris Ballew at GeekMom.

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