Hi Friends,

I was awakened this morning by a flock of Canada geese flying low over our yard, the swallows gathering in the fields getting ready for their trek south which means fall is here and IÕll be taking off tooÉcoming to visit you! WeÕre back in the swing of things with a busy fall. The soggy New England summer has morphed into some clear, dry, sunny days Š I hate leaving home when itÕs like this but look forward to the concerts and festivals of fall. Both of our sons are back in the Providence area, busy with day jobs, projects and music. Ack! What are they thinking? Noah is back from Berlin (and Bolivia) - Dylan graduated from college and is back from leading wilderness canoe trips. ItÕs great to have them around.

 
  When I got to Indianapolis this summer for a concert, this was awaiting my arrival....how cool is that?!  
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Nothing New! But...
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This is the first year in over fifteen years I have not produced a recording in the summer, or had a book come out. I decided to take a break. While IÕm figuring out home recording, IÕm working on another book; I hope to finish the first draft of it this fall. ButÉ my book The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher from Peachtree has just come out on paperback and it looks great. Reads well, too. IÕm delighted that itÕs available in this format Š I like to see kids scraping together their dollars and pennies to buy a book, and this makes it more affordable for them. You can find it at my online store (or Amazon, or your LOCAL BOOK STORE).

 
   
A Blogomania- A
 

It’s a challenge (for someone, um, my age)  to keep something going once a week, but I’m managing weekly posts on my blog, Song Story and Culture, and am very happy with the responses I’m getting – it’s a pretty fascinating way of starting discussion. Also, I’m posting some regular blogs about kids at schools at www.schoolfamily.com/blog/tag/bill-harley. While I am fighting about being chained to the computer, and am learning to walk away from it, I’m also learning how this whole thing works. Check them out and let me know if I’m striking a chord. Please try to comment on the blog page itself rather than sending me an email as it keeps the discussion going in really neat ways!

 
   
  Wash Your Hands - Free song download  
 

I just finished producing and mixing a song, ŅWash Your Hands,Ó which you can download for free at my website. The Massachusetts Department of Health is distributing it to elementary schools and pediatricians in Massachusetts. If you have a connection to your state Health Department let us know and we'd be happy to offer it to them as well!

I wrote it a couple of years ago for my work at Paul Cuffee School, and some of the kids there sing on it. ITÕS FREE. ITÕS FUN. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE? And, if you need a physical CD Š for your local radio station let us know Š our WONDERFUL CD duplicators, Oasis, have generously donated the manufacture of a number of CDÕs for us to distribute. We really want to spread the word on this!!

 

On Tuesday - September 22nd - NPR played a segment of the song on All Things Considered. To hear that piece click here and, while you are there please comment (assuming you like it) and hit recommend. Thanks!

WeÕre hoping to get a video of it out soon and will let you knowÉitÕs our contribution towards slowing down the flu.

  Like the song says Š ŅWash your hands Š l‡vate las manos!Ó  
   
  Books We've Read  
 

Too many to mention Š but a couple by the way:


The Time of Our Singing by Richard PowersŠ a big, thought-provoking novel about music, race and racial identity, and Einsteinian notions of time. A young African-American woman, training to be a classical singer, meets a Jewish physicist recently escaped from Germany at the Marilyn Horne performance on the Mall in Washington. They marry. ThatÕs just the start.

The Craftsman by Richard Sennett- Sennett is a sociologist with a big brain and this is his musing on the nature of craft in culture Š whether it be a musician or a glass blower, or a woodworker. Or a teacher or storyteller. All of us, really, who work at something and try to do what we can as well as we can. He can be a little dense in his writing sometimes, but it made me think about a lot of things. A very smart guy.

Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn Š a very funny detective novel told from the point of view of his partner, a dog named Chet. SennettÕs book took me a couple of weeks. This I read in a day.

By the way, my current favorite recording is Burlesque, by Bellowhead, an English group that does wild arrangements of traditional British tunes, with brass, fiddles, and of course, accordions. Strange and brilliant.

Hi From Debbie Š my favorite book of summer was Wally LambÕs This Much I Know is True Š a long but astounding read about family bonds, identical twins, the gifts and burdens one generation leaves another and the power we all have to overcome. I also enjoyed On Kingdom Mountain by Howard Frank Mosher Š itÕs filled with wonderfully quirky characters and takes place in the northeast kingdom of Vermont Š a place we really love. IÕm currently reading My Life in France by Julia Child Š for those of you who saw and loved the new movie "Julie and Julia" Š you will love this book as wellÉher joy of life just bounces off the pages. A good friend just sent me The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and it sounds great (itÕs a dog book and we LOVE dogs)É IÕll let you know!

As always, email us with your book suggestions and check out past selections on our Book Picks page.

 
   
     
   
From the Office
   
  Make a Bill Harley Video Contest  
 

We are looking for slide shows, animation, live action, a combination of all of these or maybe you can come up with something totally new and incredible. So put on your thinking caps and your creative shoes, get your class or family or your after school group together and make a video based on a Bill Harley song!

Here are the songs we most want: Pizza Shake, There Goes My Brother Again, Love of the Game, There's A Pea on My Plate, I Wanna Play, Monsters in the Bathroom, Barbie's Head is Missing, I'm Busy, Mom and the Radio, Wacka Wacka Woo, I Don't Want to Wait, Havin' A Party, Pirate Song and You're Driving Me Crazy. If you have a favorite that's not on the list please let us know.

ALL of the details are on our website - check them out and HAVE FUN! We really can't wait to see what you come up with. Last year a group of third graders.made a video based on Bill's story Battle of the Mad Scientists - it's a RIOT - too long for us to put up in one piece - but here are the links if you want to see it to get inspired.

Battle of the Mad Scientists (Part One)
Battle of the Mad Scientists (Part Two)

...the videos for the contest must use a song because the stories are too long...

Visit our contest page (www.billharley.com/videocontest.asp) for all the details!

 
   
  Cassettes on sale!  
 

$5 cassettes until the end of 2009 Š and then they are no more. Demand for tapes has plummeted and we need the space for all of Bill's other CDs, DVDs and Books. So if you have a cassette player in your car (just like everyone here at Round River) or you have a friend/relative/teacher who is addicted to tapes, now is the time to buy. Give them to everyone you know!

Titles available:
Monsters in the Bathroom Big Big World
50 Ways to Fool Your Mother There's a Pea on My Plate
Dinosaurs Never Say Please Weezie and the Moonpies
Cool in School Battle of the Mad Scientists
You're in Trouble Play It Again
Grownups Are Strange Down the Backpack
Wacka Wacka Woo Already Someplace Warm
From the Back of the Bus Coyote
Lunchroom Tales Sitting On My Hands
I'm Gonna Let It Shine  
 
   
  Alaska  
 

Bill will be in Alaska in January!!! (January 14-24) Currently we have shows scheduled in Juneau, Valdez and Anchorage but there are still some open dates. If you know of anyone in that part of the world who might like to schedule a school and/or family concert please let Mike Green know (email: mikeg@mikegreenassociates.com - phone: 734-769-7254)

 
   
  Upcoming Shows  
 

Bill wasn't kidding when he said it was going to be a busy Fall. I just reviewed his calendar and it's jam packed: In October he'll be at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee and the Alabama Tale Tellin' Festival, then he'll be all over California (San Luis Obispo, Ojai, Pleasanton and Redwood City) . In November he'll be in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Minnesota and Michigan. December finds him closer to home with shows in Massachusetts and Maine. Once again he's doing a benefit concert for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank at the Lincoln School in Providence.