Beth Jean brings a touch of Broadway and showmanship into your child’s life with her latest release, Let’s Put On a Show! If you’ve ever heard a song (before seeing its video component) and imagined your own vision, you’ll understand what Beth Jean is attempting to accomplish. Now, back in my own preteen days (or let’s be generous and say a generation before that), there was no music television and Sesame Street was just a glimmer in Joan Ganz Cooney‘s eye.
Prior to YouTube and “everybody is a star,” the concept of children’s music was limited to Tubby the Tuba and a bunch of well-worn songs the kids I knew were sick of hearing. It’s a whole new world and children’s music has benefited from a widening circle of genres, from jazz artists (Grammy winner Lucy Kalantari) to dance music (Twinkle Time) to Tin Pan Alley (Beth Jean). Finding inspiration in her love of musicals and theater, Beth Jean gently pushes her audiences to picture the scenarios behind songs like “The Best Mustache In Michigan” and “Waddlin’ We Go (the Penguin Song),” a recent Grand Prize Winner in the children’s category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
A Midwest Emmy-winner for her PBS children’s show The Friday Zone, Beth Jean is taking the proverbial “bus ride to the big city” to make her pitch for a nationwide following. She is undergoing this process both figuratively and literally, as the video for the title track shows her stepping off a bus and making her Broadway theater debut (with flamingos). Over the course of the pandemic, Beth Jean wrote and sang all the songs, played a variety of instruments, recorded and produced three songs entirely by herself (She also costumed, filmed, and edited accompanying music videos). Co-producers Pat Hanlin (of Josh & the Jamtones) and Brian King joined her for the remaining seven tracks on Let’s Put On a Show!, making the album a collaborative delight for theater nerds and newbies alike.
Beth Jean empowers kids to use their imaginations, even if their visions contradict the “official” video of a favorite song. For anyone who’s ever been corrected for singing the “wrong lyrics,” we can completely sympathize. Let’s Put On a Show! lets every kid be the star of their own home- or car-bound channel.