Whereas many children’s recording artists feel political songs are anathema, legendary performer Raffi has taken the opposite position. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Raffi has decided to explore the concept of unwarranted police violence with his new song, “Black Lives Matter To Me.” Simply uttering that very phrase will make him unwelcome in certain homes. Raffi has been around long enough (more than 40 years) to have cycled through several generations of audiences. With this song, he seeks to embrace an enlightened class of listeners.
Raffi founded the Child Honouring program many years ago, and diversity is one of the group’s key principles. His admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King also played a part in his decision to branch into politically-charged material. Harmonies are provided by Raffi protégé Lindsay Munroe. Raffi is promising even more new music to further promote his views on diversity and inclusion.
The pride of Portland, Red Yarn, has launched Red Yarn’s Backyard, a new video series promoting at-home learning and fun. Episodes will post on his YouTube channel every other week, featuring songs, stories, and activity ideas from Red Yarn (Andy Furgeson), Miss Jessie, and the puppet critters from his live show.
Much like Raffi has embraced inclusion as a hot topic for toddlers, Red Yarn’s Backyard welcomes audiences to a warm, friendly space where all can sing, dance, and learn together. The first few episodes will touch on cooperation, body autonomy, and the multicultural roots of popular folk songs.
Red Yarn recently dropped his seventh album, Backyard Bop, and has been active in live-streaming performances to engage young fans and build his following on Facebook Live. His mix of authentic early American folk music and puppetry is a combination that gives Red Yarn a unique place in the current field of children’s music performers.
Here is the an episode: