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Can anyone identify this indie, children's folk singer?
January 28, 2013 10:31 AM   Subscribe

I've been wracking my brains trying to remember the identity of this female folk singer from the 1980s-1990s. She made at least a few albums targeted at kids, incorporating many environmental themes. And I can't for the life of me remember even enough to do a proper Google search. Gah!

Some more information: We got these tapes from the nature center at Cape Henlopen State Park near Rehoboth, DE, where my family vacationed. We bought these sometime in the late 1980s--I think--and they were audio cassettes.

The songs were mostly just the singer playing her guitar, and maybe a piano. She'd occasionally make her own sound-effects, e.g., panting like a dog, etc., but that's about it. I can't remember whether there was ever a group of children singing along with her on some tracks.

The covers were drawn in crayon, as if by kids, in color, on a white background.

I think one of the albums was called "Kids' Stuff" or something like that. There may have also been a "Kids' Stuff Too," but I might be imagining that one.

I think the liner notes said the singer was from San Francisco.

Some songs I remember:
- A version of "Pollution," which I recently learned is by Tom Lehrer.
- A version of "I Wanna Be a Dog."
- A version of "Fifty, Nifty United States."

I'll post more if I remember them, for for now that's about all I got. Ring any bells, anyone?
posted by valkyryn to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could it be Nan Hoffman? We saw her perform when I was a kid and had several of her cassettes, which seem to match your descriptions.
posted by SeedStitch at 10:40 AM on January 28, 2013


The first result when you search for Hoffman on YouTube is "I Wanna Be a Dog."
posted by SeedStitch at 10:43 AM on January 28, 2013


I SHOULD KNOW THIS ONE. I grew up in Wilmington during that time, and this kind of stuff is pretty much all we could listen to.

Sally Rogers? This album in particular, including "Dear Mr. President" and "Down By The Riverside" -- I think DBTR was a little different from the usual versions, including a kid singing, "I'm gonna learn how to speak espaƱol/from my friend in Mexico/de mi amigo en Mexico/de mi amigo en Mexico."

Do you remember if the cassettes may have been from a company called Gentle Wind? I think they were white cassettes with orange labels with a black line design, or else brown labels with the same kind of design. (We had tons of them. TONS.)

It's probably not Faith Petric, but this album was awesome.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer? Or Cathy Winter and Betsy Rose? They used to perform together, mostly, but occasionally I think they did stuff on their own.
posted by Madamina at 10:45 AM on January 28, 2013


WHOA -- Faith Petric is still alive. She's 97 and still performing in San Francisco. Here's her version of I Wanna Be A Dog, aged 92 and 3/4.

Here's a list of her CDs.
posted by Madamina at 10:50 AM on January 28, 2013


Okay, I think you may actually be looking for Mary Miche. She did "I Wanna Be A Dog" on this one, and "Pollution" on this one. And she did have an album called Kid's Stuff, but it looks like it's pretty hard to find.
posted by Madamina at 11:08 AM on January 28, 2013


Mary Miche! That's the one!
posted by valkyryn at 11:18 AM on January 28, 2013


Oddly enough, I don't think I'd ever heard of her before.
posted by Madamina at 11:25 AM on January 28, 2013


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