Cass McCombs & Mr. Greg Announce Children’s Music Album

Cass McCombs & Mr. Greg Announce Children’s Music Album

Cass McCombs has teamed up with his longtime pal Greg Gardner — San Francisco preschool teacher Mr. Greg — to release an original album of children’s songs. Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing And Play New Folk Songs For Children will be out August 18 on Smithsonian Folkways and features a collection of songs Gardner wrote for his own students, with arrangements by McCombs. Today, the pair are releasing lead single “Wave A Flag For Harvey Milk,” which features the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

Part of the 75th Anniversary Of Folkways Records, the album will come specially packaged in old-school Folkways Records jackets and artwork. The release also contains an illustrated booklet with liner notes by Dublabʼs Mark “Frosty” McNeill, as well as suggested activities for parents and teachers that correspond to each song.

Of the lead single, which features a video with original drawings by Cameron Burr, Gardner says: “A few years ago I created ʻWave a Flag for Harvey Milkʼ as a sing-along coloring book that I wrote and illustrated as a way to introduce my students to some of the positive things that Harvey Milk did for San Franciscans in particular and the LGBTQ+ community at large. Cass and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus then added their musical magic to the song. This year, my students were overjoyed to see the illustrations from the coloring book come to life in a rainbow of colors by the talented animator Cameron Burr. I hope that this video inspires children and their grown-ups to follow Harvey’s lead to make positive changes in the world.”

Gardner continues: “Whenever we have a new project or we’re learning about something new in class, I try to make a little song about it. I’ve noticed that it’s a fun way to introduce new vocabulary, learn about new subjects, and foster a positive and musical classroom community. And as a kid myself, the things that I remember most vividly are those things that I learned through song. At that age, not everyone wants to sit and listen to the teacher talk, or even listen to a book. But a lot of kids tend to become engaged when there’s movement and song and rhyme.”

01 “Little Wilma Wiggly Worm”
02 “Friends From All Around the World (Hello Version)”
03 “J-O-B”
04 “Requiem For Ruth Bader Ginsburg”
05 “A Builderʼs Got A Hammer And Nails”
06 “Each One Of Us”
07 “Whatʼs Your Favorite Kind?”
08 “Iʼm a Nocturnal Animal”
09 “Paper Airplane”
10 “My Skull Is Made Outta Bone”
11 “Wave A Flag For Harvey Milk”
12 “Things That Go In The Recycling Bin”
13 “Roll Around Downtown”
14 “Deciduous Tree”
15 “We Build A Lot Of Muscle As We Exercise”
16 “The Sounds That The Letters Make”
17 “Who Are You?”
18 “Together With You”
19 “Oona Louise, My Friend”
20 “Friends From All Around The World (Goodbye Version)”

Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing And Play New Folk Songs For Children will be out 8/18 on Smithsonian Folkways. Pre-order it here.

Sarah Trott

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