Audience-wise, the difference between a room full of preschoolers and a venue full of adults isn’t much – attention spans are fleeting, and you want to keep everyone entertained.
Musical taste is cultivated early, and for parents and children seeking salvation from the cookie cutter norm, the best musical refuge can often be found underground.
What started as a gift of music for a goddaughter has since evolved into Spaghetti Eddie! And Other Children’s Songs, a fun, energetic, educational and silly kid’s album that is fast accumulating an online children’s cult following.
As Oklahoma City musician Brendan Parker’s first shot at children’s music, the album was written with the intention to entertain children while refraining from driving parents crazy – a double whammy for moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers alike.
With two younger siblings who grew up in the Barney & Friends era, Parker remembers spending his early teens enduring a never-ending soundtrack of Barney’s whimsical voice.
“Just thinking about the big purple dinosaur makes me queasy. I heard those songs over and over and over, and that has led to me writing more parent-friendly things that you could listen to over and over and not want to pull your hair out,” he says.
“I’m at the stage in my life now where people are married and having children, so I’m around a lot of kids and I had a good mentality to write something that kids could relate to.”
Utilizing his wife and close friends with children as well as online communities such as Facebook and parent and children’s blogs as sounding boards, Parker is currently expanding on the album by performing at birthday parties, bookstores and family-oriented events.
With catchy songs that have already become local children’s favorites, like “Kitty Cat Town,” “Ways to Go,” “Pick it Up!” and the title track, “Spaghetti Eddie” offers a little something for everyone.
Having played in a band while living in LA, it has been since he’s been back in Oklahoma that Parker says he has put more time and energy into his music, particularly with Spaghetti Eddie.
“It’s been a lot of fun. Some parents have told me that they can listen to it without their kids in their car, which is a huge compliment. When the kids can learn and have fun and the parents are enjoying the music, I think everyone wins,” he says.