Produced by

When Musicians Become Parents

Friday, July 16, 2010

We look at how the experience of becoming a parent changes how musicians approach songwriting and performance. Guests include singer-songwriter Dan Zanes, who leads the popular children’s ensemble Dan Zanes and Friends, and Evelyn McDonnell, author of Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids & Rock'n'Roll.

Today's Playlist:

1. John Lennon- "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"

2. The Del Fuegos- "Backseat Nothing"

3. Dan Zanes and Friends- "Polly Wolly Doodle"

4. Mates of State- "HaHa"

5. Mates of State- "My Only Offer"

6. Animal Collective- "My Girls"

7. Britney Spears- "Gimme More"

8. Patti Smith- "About a Boy"


Evelyn McDonnell and Dan Zanes

Comments [10]


Jerry Garcia is not the first person who comes to mind as being "kid friendlY. However, "Not For Kids Only" by Jerry Garcia & David Grisman is quite possibly one of the best all ages albums ever made.

Jul. 19 2010 02:30 PM
Danielle Jensen from upper wet side

I would allow only one song from a musician about their child or becoming a parent. That's all your listeners want!!There is nothing more tedious than parents who obsessively want to share stuff about their kids.As for Lennon,though Beautiful Boy is very sentimental(personally I sing it to my dog-I do have ahuman child who was too old to sing that to by the time it was written),my heart goes out to Julian who not only did john ignore but was a big enough jerk to write a lullaby to his the son who got all his attention!

Jul. 16 2010 02:47 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

It's cool that we've been working on our children's album from a while back and now my son, who's two, is my most important fan. I sing our music to help him fall asleep, but having him around has inspired some new ideas.

Michael Chabler (from Treehouse 10)

Jul. 16 2010 02:35 PM
Boss Tweed from UES

String quartets are a bastion of family life-meets-work life situations. Several quartets like the Miro, Pacifica, Cleveland, etc. have/had married couples who had kids in them. The other 2 members become "uncles" and "aunts."

Jul. 16 2010 02:32 PM
Donna Pope from nj

I second the mention of Liz Phair. Also Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams.

Jul. 16 2010 02:28 PM

Elizabeth Mitchell can't go unmentioned - her albums and live performances are treasures. Natalie Merchant cited her, along with Dan Zanes, as rare examples of wonderful kids' music. She and her husband Daniel Littleton had a pre-kids act as well, Ida. (hi, all - it's me, Megan!)

Jul. 16 2010 02:25 PM
BPage from NH

I have pretty mixed feelings about this. To me, the rocker-does-a-kids-album is pretty gimmicky. It seems like a "market-driven" easy-out, which seems very un-rock 'n' roll to me.

Also, I'm a parent, my kids are 19 & 21 now. I always felt like rock & roll was my escape from the frustrations of parenthood-- I never really wanted to hear musicians singing about their kids-- I got enough of that at home, I was looking to get away from that. Every parent needs a break.

Jul. 16 2010 02:25 PM
Janelle Ivry from Ramsey, NJ

Liz Phair!!! From "F*ck and Run" to "Dig, Little Digger." Changed a lot...but still true to her tough girl she's a tough mamma.

Jul. 16 2010 02:23 PM
dawn from Brooklyn

Let's talk about the juggling! My partner Dave is a musician and I am a music publicist. We have a 5 month old little girl and are constantly trying to juggle playing gigs, going to client shows, etc. It's SO not the 9-5 schedule and people who aren't in our industry think we are crazy when we tell them what we do. But I will say, it changed Dave's music for the better..for sure.

Jul. 16 2010 02:21 PM

Bruce Springsteen....while he was raising his kids in the 90's he disbanded the E Street Band and put out little memorable music (e.g. The Ghost of Tom Joad....need I say more). The kids are older, the E Street Band is back together and his concerts and new music are great, though in a different way from his 70's and 80's output....There is something a little pathetic about a 60 year old pining about his old girlfriends....

Jul. 16 2010 02:21 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.