Julianna Bright, the Portland based artist and musician and mom with the kids’ music moniker Cat Doorman gathers together a passel of tunes from her family’s record collection, dotting the playlist with a few tunes from her recent release Cat Doorman Songbook. Other songs hop from Andalusia to Paris, from the 1930′s through today with a common thread of playfulness and joy. – www.catdoorman.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am March 2nd & 3rd, 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Mama Doni celebrates the Jewish holiday of Purim on Hilltown Family Variety Show! Celebrating the universal theme of Purim: standing up to adversity, having a voice, self empowerment, Mama Doni shares classic songs of strength. This unique Radio Show will give listeners a flavor of Purim – from the fun and crazy to the true meaning and message of this cool Jewish holiday. Produced by Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Feb 23rd & 24th, 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: What to wear for the holiday of Purim? Mama Doni and her band have some engaging ideas to sort through the choices in their original song, “Costume Conundrum.” Learn more about the Mama Doni Band online at mamdoni.com.
Love & Social Consciousness Episode
with Guest DJ, Lisa Mathews of Milkshake
LISTEN TO PODCAST:
Lisa Mathews of the Grammy-nominated kid rock band Milkshake talks about love and social consciousness in this musically diverse hour. With a song list that includes Sly and the Family Stone, Billie Holiday, the Civil Wars, Adele, Lucienne Boyer and a sprinkling of Milkshake tunes from the band’s brand-new 33-song Got a Minute? CD (featuring the long-lost 13 songs written for PBS KIDS), the show is sure to reward big ears and inspire discussion.
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Feb 16th & 17th, 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: “I Love You” Music Video: A compilation of clips from Real Look Autism, with the song “I Love You” by Milkshake. – www.milkshakemusic.com
Mardi Gras Episode
with Guest DJs, Johnette Downing & Scott Billington
LISTEN TO PODCAST:
Children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing and Grammy Award winning producer Scott Billington offer a carnival of Louisiana roots music; a showcase of Cajun, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco, Brass Band and Jazz music by Louisiana artists.
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Feb 9th & 10th, 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Reading Rocks! By Johnette Downing Children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing sings “Reading Rocks!” from her Reading Rocks! CD to get children boppin’ into books and rockin’ into reading! – www.johnettedowning.com
Professor Longhair – “Go to the Mardi Gras” (The Complete Ric & Ron Recordings,
Vol. 6: Classic New Orleans R&B and More, 1958-1965)
The Hawkettes – “Mardi Gras Mambo” (The History of Rhythm & Blues, Volume 3 -
The Rock’n’roll Years)
Zachary Richard – “File’ Gumbo” (Zack’s Bon Ton)
Johnette Downing – “Bon Jour Mes Amis,” (From the Gumbo Pot)
Papillion – “Cocodrie” (Cajun for Kids)
Johnette Downing – “Why the Possum Has a Large Grin,” (Reading Rocks!)
Huey Smith and the Clowns – “Don’t You Just Know It” (Having a Good Time With
Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns – The Very Best of, Vol. 1)
Robert Parker – “Barefootin’” (Introduction to Robert Parker)
Fats Domino – “Walkin’ to New Orleans” (The Fats Domino Jukebox: 20 Greatest
Nathan the the Zydeco Cha Chas – “Festival Zydeco” (Creole Crossroads)
Dirty Dozen Brass Band – “Little Liza Jane” (My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now)
Johnette Downing and Jimmy LaRocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band – “Dixieland
Jazz” (Dixieland Jazz for Children)
Louie Prima – “Banana Split for My Baby,” (Louis Prima Collectors Series)
Louis Armstrong – “What a Wonderful World,” (What a Wonderful World)
Johnette Downing and Jimmy LaRocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band – “It’s Time for
Mardi Gras,” (Dixieland Jazz for Children)
About Johnette Downing
Dubbed the “Musical Ambassador to Children” and the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions,” Johnette Downing is a multi-award winning children’s book author and musician performing concerts and author visits for children, and workshops and keynote for educators globally. Dedicated to celebrating childhood, sharing cultures and fostering literacy through her music, books and programs, Johnette has performed in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America, North America and the Caribbean, has received twenty-one awards and has received rave reviews in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Disney Family Fun Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Parents Magazine and many more.
Scott Billington is a musician, writer and Grammy® Award winning record producer. With a discography of over 100 albums of roots-based music, Scott has received the Porretta (Italy) Sweet Soul Music Award, the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award, and the Offbeat (New Orleans) Lifetime Achievement Award. His records have garnered a total of ten Grammy® nominations, along with awards from the French Academie du Jazz, Living Blues magazine and many others. His writing has appeared in the Oxford American, Gambit, the Boston Globe and numerous other publications. Scott’s harmonica playing has been featured on albums by artists as diverse as Appalachian folk singer Hazel Dickens, rockabilly musician Sleepy LaBeef and soul singer Irma Thomas.
with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano
LISTEN TO PODCAST:
Preschool of Rock takes you on a magical musical journey from the late 1940′s to present day music.
Michael Napolitano hosts the show with his father, Tony Napolitano. Their musical experiences span 7 decades from Tony’s childhood singing Doo-wop on street corners in Newark NJ to Michael’s youth Rocking drums in the basement! With songs like Preschool of Rock’s Family Song they discuss how the Napolitano Family continues this musical lineage as Michael’s children sing on this track with their parents and grandparents. From Bobby Darin to Led Zeppelin, this show is certain to educate and entertain. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes!!
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Jan 26th & 27th, 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Hilltown Family Variety Show
Holiday Radio Shows/Podcasts
Originally broadcasted out of Northampton, MA on WXOJ-LP 103.3FM (Valley Free Radio) for the holidays, we’ve gathered six holiday episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show from over the years to share with your family as we celebrate the season. Enjoy these commercial-free podcasts that celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, the New Year and the spirit of peace and giving.
Doni Zasloff Thomas (Mama Doni) brings The Heart of Chanukah to the Hilltown Family Variety Show with a lively program of songs and stories for Chanukah, including musical selections from Sha Na Na, The GrooveBarbers, and Woody Guthrie, along with Mama Doni Band originals, including “Chanukah Fever,” “Latke Man,” and “Honey. This Ain’t Money.” She also reads a Chanukah story, offer some great family activities for the holiday, and share some of her favorite Chanukah recipes, such as Judah Mac-N-Cheese and Choco-latkes. – Story: “Too Many Latkes” by Richard Codor
HFVS producer Sienna Wildfield hosts a holiday show celebrating Chanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice and Kwanzaa. Music from years past by artist like The Jackson, Burl Ives, Gene Aurty and the Vince Guaraldi Trio, interwoven with kindie artists like Uncle Rock, Recess Monkey, Ben Rudnick & Friends and Laurie Berkner make a fun show for the whole family!
Ashley Albert of The Jimmies Guest DJs the Hilltown Family Variety Show for Christmas, spinning tunes by Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Smithereens, Granvile Williams Orchestra, The Drifters, The Ramones, The Enchanters and songs off of her holiday CD, Mama Said Nog You Out. – Story: “The Fridgeville Chronicles: Jelly and Peanut Butter” by Ashley Albert
Charity Kahn of Charity and the JAMBand Guest DJs a holiday show for the Hilltown Family Variety Show with a Winter Solstice theme of light, love, community and music! – Story: “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen
HFVS producer Sienna Wildfield and co-host Persephone (6yo) host a post-holidays pre-New Year’s Day show with music reflecting the season and songs of peace by great musicians, including Lui Collins, Timmy Abell, The Hullabaloos, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney, and many others. – Story: Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” off of Peace in the World Smiling
Hilltown Family Variety Show New Year’s Day Peace Episode Playlist
HFVS producer Sienna Wildfield and co-host Persephone (5yo) host a New Year’s Day episode with music about both world and inner peace for the New Year. Music by Babtunde Olatunji, Cat Stevens, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sweet Honey in the the Rock, Michelle Shocked, Pete Seeger and many other amazing musicians. – Story: Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” off of Peace in the World Smiling
American Roots Music Episode
with Guest DJ, Steve Pierson
Steve Pierson, creator of “Jambo,” hosts an American Roots Music themed show. Playing songs that have inspired him, as well as some of Jambo’s own “Roots Music for Kids.” Steve’s turn as our guest DJ will celebrate the great diversity of music that comes from America!
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Dec 1st & 2nd, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Steve Pierson and Jambo performing “Where Do They Go?” live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA. – www.jambojam.com
This special Thanksgiving episode by Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband explores, through music and story, some of the many, many things we have to be grateful for in our lives — like the sun, rain, friends and family – - culminating in a vision for world peace where everyone finally has enough food, shelter, community and love. Incorporating songs by Snatam Kaur, Los Lobos, the Moody Blues, the Rolling Stones, and Nat King Cole, among others, the music and commentary weave a gentle yet thought-provoking meditation on gratitude, generosity, love and compassion to inspire folks of all ages this holiday season.
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Nov 24th & 25th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Charity has a great song, “Loving Kindness.” She writes, “Love shouldn’t cost anything. This song emanated from the Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness (also called Metta), whereby you send wishes of health, happiness, safety and peace of mind to yourself and others.” In this video she shows you the movements to the song so you can show your preK kids how to dance along! Download the song for free here. – www.jamjamjam.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Nov 3rd & 4th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Western MA songwriter Dennis Caraher is our guest DJ this week! The last time Dennis was on our show was nearly six years ago when HFVS debuted on April 3rd, 2007! Dennis’s records for children have won two Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Awards and his poetry has been featured by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. This week he plays songs that have inspired him and talks about writing songs. He also, while broadcasting, has written a completely new song. Listen in to see what he came up with.
Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am October 27th & 28th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
It’s Howling Halloween with guest DJ. award-winning family music recording artist and performer, Andy Z. Listen along as Andy Z takes you on a musical tour of all things All Hallow’s Eve. Andy’s special set will include both classic and unexpected Halloween and Halloween-friendly tunes, including a few from his new Halloween-themed album, “The Grand Scream Of Things”. Don’t miss this Grand opportunity to gear up for the big holiday! – www.andyz.com
Featured Video: Andy Z & The Beeheads engage in a little healthy Halloween hijinks, with a helping hand from some “punk” rockin’ kids!
“Today’s show is all about dreams… dreams we have at night when we’re fast asleep and dreams we have during the day when we’re wide awake! Dreams can tell us many things… what we love to do, what we’re afraid of, what we’re really feeling and what we hope for in the future. Learning to believe in our dreams is the first step in making our dreams come true… Listen carefully and join the journey as we learn all about dreams!” – Alex Mitnick
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Sept 22nd & 23rd, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Ben Rudnick guest DJ’s the HFVS this week, putting together a show celebrating love!
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am Sept 8th & 9th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Ben Rudnick and Friends tell the story of Sam. Sam is a country frog who heads off to the big city to fulfill his dream of singing for big audiences. With success, he misses his friends and returns to sing for them back at the pond. – www.benrudnick.com
Join acclaimed musicianer/songster (that’s what they called ‘em in the olden days) Randy Kaplan this Saturday at 9 a.m. (or anytime via podcast!) as he guest DJs the Hilltown Family Variety Show. In addition to spinning songs by Bluegrass, Folk, Calypso, and Broadway masters, he’ll be introducing his new Country-Blues & Ragtime CD, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie!
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 21st & 22nd, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: Five performance of “Ice Cream Man Rag” by Randy Kaplan. Recorded by Piter Marek at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA. - www.RandyKaplan.com
Ukulele Episode with Guest DJs
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
GRAMMY winners Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are also known as the first ladies of the UKULELE. On this week’s show, they share their love of uke with you, showcasing vintage ukulele songs with contemporary sounds, and hopefully inspiring you to even consider picking up and playing a ukulele. Aloha and enjoy!
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 7th & 8th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: GRAMMY winners Cathy & Marcy perform Cathy’s original song, It’s A Ukulele” from the CD “Rockin’ The Uke.” Cathy’s instrumental break is done in clawhammer ukulele style. Marcy plays the cello banjo. - www.cathymarcy.com
Looking for some summer music that’s both family friendly and commercial-free to play this weekend at home or during your 4th of July parties? The Hilltown Family Variety Show has 5 years of archived podcasts for you to choose from!
This weekend tune into our Summer Essential Episode with summer songs by Lisa Loeb (“Ready for the Summer”), Dog on Fleas (“Green Grass of Summer”), Randy Kaplan (“Mosquito Song”) and a fun story by Bill Harley (“King of the Clams”).
Another fun summer show from the archives is our Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode. Songs by artists like Telephone Company (“I-C-E C-R-E-A-M”), Michael Hearst (“Ice Cream!”), Gunnar Madsen (“Selling Lemonade”), Ralph Covert (“Happy Lemons”) and Peter Himmelman (“Lemonade Stand”) are strung together giving us a show that celebrates these cool and refreshing summer treats.
Another fun show for all those budding entomologist is our Insects & Spiders Episode. Steve Weeks “Yellowjacket,” Joe McDermott “Spider Magic,” The Harmonica Pocket’s “Firefly” are just a few songs we feature on insects and spiders (and frogs & toads too!).
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 23rd & 24th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages! This weekend Seattle’s celebrated band of teacher-rockers – Recess Monkey – bring their special brand of “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor as guest DJs for a special circus-themed episode of Hilltown Family Variety Show! A highlight of the June 23 and 24 Hilltown Family Variety Show broadcasts is Recess Monkey reading the In Tents booklet aloud. Audiences can follow along HERE.
Featured Video: Recess Monkey’s Drew just figured out how to pay off his student loans- with a good old fashioned Lemonade Stand! He soon discovers that those lemons are more a-peel-ing than he thought! “Lemonade” is from Recess Monkey’s 8th album, the circus-themed In Tents. – www.recessmonkey.com
Recess Monkey Brings the Big Top to
the Hilltown Family Variety Show this Weekend
Kids’ music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble) has declared, ““Dan Zanes may be the godfather; They Might Be Giants, the legitimizer; and Laurie Berkner, Ralph Covert, and Justin Roberts the genre’s superstars. But Recess Monkey is the heart of kids’ music today.” – Check out this Saturday’s show as they guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show. Listen live, via streaming audio or via podcast immediately following broadcast.
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages! Seattle’s celebrated band of teacher-rockers – Recess Monkey – will bring their special brand of “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor to a stint as guest DJs for a special circus-themed radiobroadcast of Hilltown Family Variety Show on Northampton radio station 103.3FM WXOJ-LP (Valley Free Radio) this Saturday, June 23 at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 7:00 a.m. Hilltown Family Variety Show programs are also available as podcasts any time immediately following broadcast.
Recess Monkey will offer live and pre-recorded songs from their new circus-themed album, In Tents, along with circus-oriented music from a number of the band’s favorite artists, including Ralph’s World, Sugar Free Allstars, Caspar Babypants, Ukulele Jim, Dog on Fleas, The Beatles, and even Robert Preston performing “Seventy Six Trombones” from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.
An important element of In Tents is a 32-page story booklet that accompanies each CD. Right from the start, it’s apparent something big is going to happen in this story, as Recess Monkey enters the world of the all-American fantasy: running away to join the circus! Except, this time, through the trickery of the notorious Boregaard Noregaard, the circus joins Recess Monkey. From that point on, it’s a three-ring adventure: a fantastical celebration of popcorn, Tilt-a-Whirls, human cannonballs, dancing bears, and more, guaranteed to amaze, astound, and entertain. A highlight of the June 23 and 24 Hilltown Family Variety Show broadcasts will be Recess Monkey reading the In Tents booklet aloud. Audiences will be able to follow along, for the booklet will be posted on the Recess Monkey homepage and on the Hilltown Familes website.
Enter to win!
Notes Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, “The circus is such a perfect blend of comedy and drama, careful pre-planning and extemporaneous fun, high and low energy, all of which are elements that we work into our songs and shows. How have we not already done a circus album? We’ve talked about this album for years but finally found that we had assembled enough wacky ideas, catchy melodies and a narrative to bring it to fruition. In fact, we actually conceived the album as the soundtrack to the In Tents story that we wrote, inspired by Seattle’s magical Teatro ZinZanni. In Tents has emerged both as a circus story-inspired album and as a series of kid-oriented, circus spectacular shows in which we’ve join forces with Teatro ZinZinni in their historic spiegeltent. Pretty amazing!”
Giving a wacky, fantastical edge to the “everyday lives of kids,” Recess Monkey weaves puns, jokes stories, and shenanigans into its songs. No play on words is too much of a stretch, and no rhyme schemes are out of bounds for the group’s genre-bending set of catchy, singable and dance-able ditties that NPR described as “inventive, brilliant, multilayered.” Audiences call it “a great way to spend an hour rocking out!”
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 16th & 17th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Steve from the band Hullabaloo plays his favorite traditional American folk songs about people, places, animals, trains and more. Hear Bruce Springsteen, Dan Zanes, Lisa Loeb, Elizabeth Mitchell and Hullabaloo sing the songs that have been passed down from generation to generation since our country was born.
JOE & JUSTIN OF THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS
GUEST DJ EPISODE
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 9th & 10th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Childhood best friends, Joe and Justin, now known as The Okee Dokee Brothers from Minneapolis, Minnesota, are our Guest DJs this today, spinning some songs of their own childhood, songs in the Americana folk tradition and even some tunes off their brand new CD called Can You Canoe? about their real-life 30 day canoe trip down the Mississippi River.
Featured Video: The title track from the album Can You Canoe? On June 1st, 2011, Joe and Justin began a canoe trip in Minneapolis, MN and continued down the river for the next 30 days until they reached the St. Louis Gateway Arch. During their month long journey on the Mississippi, they camped, canoed and composed the songs that make up the album Can You Canoe? – www.okeedokee.org
Welcome to Hilltown Families, an online grassroots communication network in Western MA working to build community engagement through families by highlighting community-based educational opportunities. Hilltown Families was established in 2005 by Hilltown mother and long time activist, Sienna Wildfield.
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Hilltown Families’ Events
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The exhibit will be on display at the Forbes Library in Northampton for the month of February 2013, and at the City Hall Gallery in Easthampton from Sept 13-Dec 11, 2013. - We're currently booking shows for the Spring/Summer of 2013 and for 2014. Each exhibit is a unique showcase of images that correspond with the season and venue. Contact us to inquire about hosting this fundraising exhibit for Hilltown Families in your town/venue.