This week guest DJs Bill Harley and Keith Munslow teamed up and selected a bunch of their favorite songs; some from their childhood, recent discoveries, and a couple of ditties from their CD as well! While not expressly “kids songs”, these are songs that Bill and Keith love. They love them for their humor, wit, silliness and musical wizardry. – www.billharley.com, www.keithmunslow.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am October 15 & 16, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: “The Boy Who Hid In A Peanut” by Bill Harley
Explore the joys of autumn with guest DJ Lucy Kalantari. With music spanning decades from the 1930s to the present she includes the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Earth, Wind & Fire, The White Stripes, Joanie Leeds, Mister G, and many more. Everyone has something to say about autumn. — www.LucyKalantari.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am October 1st & 2nd, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights – “Falling”
At the end of every summer tour, it’s always an incredible relief to get back to the Pioneer Valley. As grateful as I am to travel around the world making music, the old cliché turns out to be true: there’s no place like home! That’s particularly true for all of us fortunate enough to be based here in Western Massachusetts.
Over the years, we’ve developed a ritual at the end of the long months of summer on the road. As soon as we’re home, we make a point to swim in all our favorite ponds, rivers, and streams that we’ve been missing while we’re performing in big cities. Last week as I was getting out of Ashfield Lake at sunset, I noticed the first few leaves starting to turn under the tree where I’d placed my towel.
As a songwriter, being aware of my surroundings and responding to my emotions are important tools of the trade. Noticing the changing leaves, the sensation of getting in cool water, the feeling of sand on bare feet: any of these experiences could be the spark of a new song. Read the rest of this entry »
World Languages Episode with
Guest DJ, Sarah Aroeste
This week on the HFVS, Sarah Aroeste, a children’s singer and songwriter in the rare and eclectic dialect of Spanish called Ladino, will take listeners around the globe to explore some contemporary kids music in lesser-known dialects. From Quechua to Yup’ik to Amharic and more, Aroeste hopes listeners will agree that good music is good music, no matter the language! — www.saraharoeste.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am August 6th & 7th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops
Kevin and Casey of The Whizpops have put together a fun educational show about wildlife and imagination seamlessly weaving songs about animals both real and make-believe. Join them on a musical journey through endangered species, mustaches, and even unicorns! — www.thewhizpops.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 30th & 31st, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Black Footed Ferret by The Whizpops!
Novelty Music Episode with Guest DJ, Jack Forman from Recess Monkey
Recess Monkey whisks listeners of the Hilltown Family Variety Show off on a trip to the Novelty Shop for a madcap hour of truly strange musical oddities! The band’s bassist frontman Jack Forman guides us through a collection of dust-covered rarities and instant classics, each guaranteed to out-weird the last! — www.recessmonkeytown.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 23rd & 24th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video:Recess Monkey’s “Sweaty Yeti” from Novelties
Family Funk and Half Pint Hip Hop specialist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo takes listeners on a journey through the weird and lovely sonic landscape of family music at its best! This show features the story “Weirdo Calhoun and the Odd Men Out,” fringe science explanations on the fantastic from bio physicist Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, and some very strange sponsors. Appropriate for ages 1 through 1 billion. — secretagent23skidoo.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 9th & 10th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Barenaked Ladies – “Pollywog In A Bog” (Extended Version)
History of Folk Music for Families Episode
with Guest DJ, Greg McIlvaine
This week on the HFVS, Greg McIlvaine, singer and guitar player with The Hollow Trees guest DJs this week with History of Folk Music for Families Episode. He plays fun and fascinating family songs ranging from the earliest recorded music up to the present. The songs reflect a short history of family music with an emphasis on the songs and artists that have influenced him the most. – thehollowtrees.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am July 2nd & 3rd, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: The Hollow Trees – I Can’t Dance (I’ve Got Ants in My Pants) :
Fun in the Sun Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner
Guest DJ Jason Didner invites you for an hour of “fun in the sun” themed music by today’s great children’s musicians and a few well renowned classic rock and reggae acts. You’ll get to know more about the “Jersey Shore Sound” that Jason and band are proud to call an influence. You’ll catch the beach party spirit that’s on full display from Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, an energy that also shows up in tracks by Brady Rymer and Yosi. You’ll enjoy the feel-good sounds of Jimmy Cliff, Suzi Shelton, Miss Nina and more. Whether you’re headed for the beach, the lake or the pool, this episode can be your summer soundtrack! — junglegymjam.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am June 25th & 26th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Princess Katie & Racer Steve “Sand in my Sandwich” [Tiny Cool]
This week on the HFVS, Kb Whirly takes us on a funky musical journey. From dancing like a rooster in the kitchen with Pete Seeger, to celebrating all the critters with Andrew and Polly, KbWhirly will take us on a cruise through folk, blues, funk, pop and hip hop tunes that are sure to get your toes tappin’! – www.kbwhirly.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am June 18th & 19th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured video: Big Bang Boom – “Hippie Mom” [Because I said So!]
You Are What You Eat Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman
Family music artist Eric Herman serves up a smorgasbord of fun food songs. From chocolate-covered brussels sprouts to a thousand tiny doughnuts, Eric will musically explore the idea that you are what you eat. – www.erichermanmusic.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am June 11th & 12th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Hilltown Family Variety Show
Music of the World Episode
with Guest DJ, Keith Terry
Keith Terry from Crosspulse Ensemble is our Guest DJ this week! Keith’s program is about World Music AND Music of the World – not only songs from artists around the planet, but sounds of the planet, itself – from the calls made by insects and birds, to atmospheric sounds created by lightening. Plus some found sound — music created by the sounds we don’t always think of as musical, such as fog horns and trains, even bricks. Join Keith in this exploration of some new and unusual ways of creating and listening to music. – www.crosspulse.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am June 4th & 5th, 2016
Original broadcast: 2013 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
FEATURED VIDEO: Keith Terry, organizer of the International Body Music Festival, stopped by The World studios in Boston to demonstrate the amazing music the human body can make.
Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez
Moona Luna’s Sandra Velasquez takes you on a Latin American bus adventure. Based on her own travels by bus through Latin America, she provides you with a soundtrack for a journey that is as rich and diverse as the changing landscape. – www.moonalunamusic.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am May 28th & 29th, 2016 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
In the 30+ years that I’ve been playing music professionally, I’ve been lucky to have many incredible experiences performing all around the world. There are lots of variables that go into creating a great show: the venue, the crowd, the sound, and of course, the rapport with other musicians. It’s a rare occasion when everything comes together, but when those magical moments happen it’s powerful for everyone fortunate enough to be in the band or in the audience.
Recently, in New York City, I played a concert that immediately found a spot high on the list of my all-time favorite gigs. The sold-out show was at a great theater (Symphony Space) on Broadway and my backing band was a group of phenomenal children. The kids who played with me are the stars of the hit Broadway musical “School of Rock.”
In many ways, working with Brandon, Evie, Dante and Ethan was similar to rehearsing and performing with grown-up pros. I sent them mp3’s and chord charts of the songs before we met, and they showed up prepared having done their homework. We had one short rehearsal and then played the show. Read the rest of this entry »
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. — www.mamadoni.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am March 19th & 20th, 2016
Original Broadcast: 2/23/13 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.
Mardi Gras Episode
with Guest DJs, Johnette Downing & Scott Billington
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. – www.johnettedowning.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am February 6th & 7th, 2016 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!
Hilltown Family Variety Show
Insect Episode with Jeff & Paige
Go on a musical hike with guest DJs Jeff and Paige to explore insects. Through music and story you’ll learn: how to identify an insect, how insects connect with animals, how insects help humans, and how humans can help insects! Jeff and Paige will play some of their favorite songs as well as fun tunes from other children’s musicians and from a few adult acts. Make sure you have room to dance as you explore nature and science with Jeff and Paige. – www.jeffandpaige.org
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am January 30th & 31st, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: “A Conversation Between an Entomologist and an Insect”
Hilltown Family Variety Show
History Through Stories & Songs Episode
Guest DJ, David Grover
David Grover is our Guest DJ with a History through Stories & Songs Episode. David puts together an eclectic mix of favorite folk songwriters and singers that highlights the history of our country. – www.davidgrover.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am January 9th & 10th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.
One of the greatest things about being a songwriter is freedom. While there are countless opinions on what constitutes a great song, at the end of the day there are no rules whatsoever.
From a musical perspective, any genre is fair game. Want to write a ska song today and a bluegrass tune tomorrow? Go ahead. How about a ten minute classical inspired epic, followed by a ten second snippet? That’s fine too.
It’s likely that the music you write will be a reflection of the mood you’re in. For example, if you’re happy chances are you’ll pick a faster tempo than if you’re sad. If you’re feeling silly, the lyrics you write will surely be different than if you’re feeling down. The sky’s also the limit when it comes to topics: pretty much anything that you find interesting can become the subject of a new song.
In that respect, songwriting is a great mirror to our emotional state. While many people journal, songwriters tend to document their feelings through a combination of words and music. Some examples of this approach would include Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Ani DiFranco, Other songwriters choose to invent characters and scenarios that aren’t necessarily related to their own personal experience. For artists like Tom Waits, Donald Fagen and Bjork, songwriting provides a vehicle to explore alternate realities. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest DJ Jason Didner, a children’s musician, leader of the Jungle Gym Jam, spins a collection of holiday music that he and his family enjoy. You’ll hear performances by independent children’s musicians and a few household names too. You’ll hear timeless holiday classics and some original numbers written by some of these performers to get you in the spirit. Songs will celebrate winter fun, Christmas, Hanukkah and the joy of an occasional “snow day” off. — www.junglegymjam.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am December 26th & 27th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Hullabaloo – Frosty the Snowman [Holiday Hullabaloo]
Sugar Free AllStars – Funky Christmas [Single]
Groovy David – The Great Dreidel Tournament
Rob Thomas – A New York Christmas [Single]
Milkshake – Christmas in Baltimore [Single]
Andrew & Polly Featuring Mista Cookie Jar – L.A. Christmas [Other Days]
Danny Weinkauf – Wonderful Christmas Day [Single]
Dan Zanes – Angels We Have Heard On High [Christmas in Concord]
Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam – Summertime Santa [Single]
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town [Single]
Justin Roberts – Snow Day [Jungle Gym]
Judy Pancoast – The House on Christmas Street [Single]
Little Rockers Band – Hanukkah Is Here [Yule Be Cool]
The Pretenders – 2000 Miles [Learning to Crawl]
Josh and the Jamtones – This Lil’ Lite of Mine [Amen!! Holiday Singles Collection]
Sound of Mexican Music Made in the USA Episode with Guest DJ, Sonia De Los Santos
Join Sonia De Los Santos (from Dan Zanes and Friends) as she presents this episode on “The Sound of Mexican Music Made in the USA”. She’ll play some of her favorite songs from a variety of Mexican genres like: Son Jarocho, Norteño, Mariachi, Son Guerrerense, Banda, Huapango and Corrido. Learn about Mexican Traditional instruments and get to know who’s making Mexican music in the USA! — www.soniadelossantos.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am December 19th & 20th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: Sonia De Los Santos sings and plays jarana at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem, NYC on July 11th 2015. Elena Moon Park on violin and vocals and Martin Vejarano on percussion.
Join Sugarcrash Kids as they guest DJ on the Hilltown Family Variety Show. The songs range from dance party to camping trip, and the Sugarcrash Kids crew talks about the importance of being yourself and embracing who you are. — www.sugarcrashkids.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am December 12th & 13th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: Sugarcrash Kids – “I Got the Hiccups”
– Sugarcrash Kids – “I Got the Hiccups” (Play All Day and Sleep All Night)
– Linda Perry and Sara Gilbert – “Starship” (Deer Sounds)
– Josh and the Jamtones – “I Love U” (Bear Hunt!)
– Andrew & Polly – “Grapes” (Odds & Ends)
– The Pop-Ups – “Robot Dance” (Appetite for Construction)
– The Singing Lizard – “The Singing Lizard Beat” (Make Believe)
– The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Through the Woods” (Through the Woods”)
– Sugarcrash Kids – “These Are My Friends” (Play All Day and Sleep All Night)
– The Pop-Ups – “Costume Party” (Appetite for Construction)
– Big Block Singsong – “Princess” (Greatest Hits)
– The Singing Lizard – “Pirates” (Make Believe)
– Sugarcrash Kids – “Different” (Rad Songs)
– Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – “Lines and Dots” (A Potluck)
– Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Noise” (Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti)
– Big Block Singsong – “Big Foot” (Greatest Hits)
– Imagination Movers – “Be Yourself” (Back in Blue)
– Slugs & Bugs – “I Wanna Help” (Under Where?)
– Recess Monkey – “Hand Me Downs” (Hot Air)
– Sugarcrash Kids – “Are You Ready to Fly?” (Rad Songs)
Home and Away Episode with Guest DJs, Andrew & Polly
Andrew & Polly spin their favorite songs about being home and away. They’ll play some of their childhood favorites, some quirky holiday songs, and a grab-bag of tunes about traveling and the different places they’ve lived. — www.andrewandpolly.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am November 28th & 29th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: Los Angeles children’s musicians, Andrew & Polly and Mista Cookie Jar, team up on this LA-tastic holiday jam.
VFR Fundraising Episode with Guest DJ, Steve Weeks
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am November 14th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Featured Video: What do you get when you put musician Steve Weeks and director Dave Franklyn in a room filled with cardboard, paint, tape, glue, scissors and string? Watch the new video for Steve’s song “Change of Heart” and find out! — www.steveweeksmusic.com
Song Off Episode with Guest DJs, Adam and Kristin Marshall
Adam and Kristin Marshall from The Bazillions enjoyed guest hosting the Hilltown Family Variety Show by challenging each other to a song off. Each of them chose their favorites from categories like best educational song, best remake, best bedtime song and many more. They both shared little musical information tidbits about some categories along the way with a lot of laughs! Tune in to see who wins. — www.thebazillions.com
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am November 7th & 8th, 2015 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
FEATURED VIDEO: “Water Cycle” by The Bazillions. ‘Round and ’round it goes! Let these animated watercolors teach you all about the precipitation, accumulation, evaporation, and condensation that makes water — our planet’s most precious resource — go!
We're 10! As we look ahead to the next decade of supporting education through community engagement we need YOUR support! Make a tax-deductible donation to Hilltown Families today! - Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Welcome to Hilltown Families, an online grassroots communication network for families living throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts. Hilltown Families believes in creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. We work to accomplish this by highlighting the embedded learning that is found everywhere in our communities, making the information accessible to families, and giving parents/educators access to opportunities that support their children’s interests and education while encouraging community engagement.
Hilltown Families was founded in 2005 by Sienna Wildfield and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
"Hilltown Families keeps us connected with all the amazing educational and cultural activities and resources that abound here in W. Mass and curates them in a way to let us know just what’s out there for the many varied interests of our young families and communities,while creating networks of support and growth." - Kara Kitchen (Plainfield, MA)
Thank you to all of our sponsors! Interested in joining our team of supporters? Find out about enhanced publicity with Hilltown Families!
Posting a comment to Hilltown Famiies will automatically add you to the Hilltown Families mailing list to receive our weekly update. Email address are never rented or sold. To be removed from our mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to be removed.
Information provided on Hilltown Families (HTF) is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Reasonable efforts are made to provide the most accurate information, but no guarantees of any kind can be made. Information can be changed without prior notice. Please check with 3rd parties to confirm all listings for date/time, cost, location and age appropriateness before attending. Opinions expressed on HTF are that of the writer and not necessarily that of HTF. In no event shall HTF be liable (directly or indirectly) for any losses or damages causes (or allegedly caused) in connection with HTF. All health and wellness related information is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used to substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. All provided links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement.