NATIONAL HEADLINER – CHILDREN’S SHOW: Peter Alsop
SATURDAY: 3-4 PM
SUNDAY: 2-3 PM
NEW LOCATION: Wildflower Stage at El Presidio Park
Peter Alsop started out as a folk singer for “people who once were kids,” but it’s inevitable that someone who would pen the song “It’s Only a Wee Wee (So What’s the Big Deal?)” would eventually address his true audience: children. As the owner/songwriter of Moose School Records, and later on the human services keynote circuit, Alsop’s kid-like demeanor and kid-friendly style touched the hearts of families around the United States.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Alsop studied at Trinity College there, and went on to Columbia Teacher’s College. He taught emotionally disturbed teens in Maine and elementary school kids in the silly songs and listeners just loved it. Alsop released his first album, simply titled Peter Alsop, on Flying Fish Records in 1975. He continued to release folk-oriented albums for adults through the ’90s.
But Alsop’s real love was children’s music and the healing power of humor. With Happy Traum, Dan Crow, and Utah Phillips, Alsop created Silly Songs and Modern Lullabiesin 1980. Alsop’s song “Safari Up My Sister’s Nose” was one of his hits. Despite the success of the compilation album, Alsop could not get major labels interested in releasing his children’s material. So in 1983, Alsop created his own label, Moose School Records (later changed to Moose School). Moose School’s first release, Wha’d Ya Wanna Do?, featured such typically provocative songs such as “Bored, Bored, Bored” and “You Get a Little Extra When You Watch TV,” as well as excellent renditions of Barry Louis Polisar’s “I Wanna Be a Dog” and “My Brother Threw Up on My Stuffed Toy Bunny.” As in all of the Moose School releases, Alsop used several non-professional children as vocalists, which made the lyrics of each song ring with honesty. Wha’d’ya Wanna Do won the top award from NAIRD that year. Alsop released three more albums in the ’80s, including Take Me with You, Stayin’ Over, and In the Hospital, a concept album with Bill Harley about the trials and tribulations of a child’s hospital stay. Each of these albums won a Parent’s Choice Award. Alsop also created several videos for kids about topics such as discrimination and self-esteem.
In 1991, Alsop released Pluggin Away, an album about a variety of concerns for kids, from the pressure to conform to the environment. Four years later, Alsop released Chris Moose Holidays and again won a Parent’s Choice Award. During this period, Alsopconcentrated on the lecture circuit and produced two more videos, including When Kids Say Goodbye and Get Real.
– Artist Biography by P.J. Swift