Let's Get Creative
Monty Harper & Mr. Billy
A rainbow of classic rock and modern pop with lyrics to inspire kids and engage adults. Every song on this CD is somebody's favorite.
Monty Harper began his children's music career in 1989 with a volunteer performance at his local library. He has written many dozens of songs celebrating books, libraries, and reading over the intervening two decades, and has performed for many thousands of kids and parents at libraries in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. His two most popular and award-winning CDs, Take Me to Your Library (2003), and Paws Claws Scales and Tales (2006), each focus on previous summer reading themes. Monty is the host of The Program Room, a podcast for children's librarians, and is presenting workshops on creativity for all the public children's librarians in Oklahoma and Kansas this Spring.
After navigating successful careers as a rock guitarist and internet marketer, Mr. Billy reinvented himself yet again in 200?. This time it was a visit to his daughter's classroom that opened his eyes to the rewards of singing for children. In just a few short years he became the preeminent children's act of the Green Bay area, performing for more than 5,000 Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois libraries each summer. Mr. Billy's 2008 Six Leg Songs CD was extremely popular with librarians nation-wide.
Now Monty Harper and Mr. Billy are teaming up to bring you nothing short of the greatest summer reading themed CD ever!
Between October 2008 and January 2009, children's musicians Monty Harper and Mr. Billy wrote and recorded 12 songs together, without ever occupying the same room at the same time. How did this strange trick of digital wizardry come about?
Monty Harper and Mr. Billy's paths first crossed a couple of years ago on the Children's Music Network listserve, where their similar interests led them to speculate the possibility that they could be long lost twins.
Since then they have supported one another's work in various ways, including writing and recording several songs together.
Around August they found themselves doing the "psychic twin" thing once again, as they each prepared to create their own "Be Creative at Your Library" CDs. As the world can only use so many summer-library-program-themed CDs, it seemed only natural that they should team up to do one together.
However, many details conspired to stand in their way. One partner lives in Oklahoma, the other in Wisconsin. One of them works on an iMac computer, the other on a Windows machine. One of them votes Democratic, the other Republican. One of them watches Lost, the other Heroes. One of them drinks Coke, the other Pepsi.
They had found that perhaps they were not so "twinnish" after all.
But through many emails, phone calls, and Skype sessions they managed to plan and write twelve new songs together. Through the magic of electronic file transfer, they melded their instruments and voices together. After all that effort, there is one thing they do agree on. Both are more than pleased with the results!
While Monty and Billy have each produced highly acclaimed CDs on their own, working together has raised their standards of excellence. Their talents are very complementary, and so are these comments, made by each about the other:
"Monty is a phenomenal children's lyricist," says Mr. Billy. "His attention to detail is maddening. And he sings pretty, too."
"Mr. Billy is a killer musician," says Monty. "He works annoyingly quickly, and his arrangements are amazing."
"This CD is our best ever!" they say together. There they go doing that twin thing once again!
So, at least two people are impressed with the new "Let's Get Creative CD." Can we make it three? You be the judge! Click the play button at the top of this little window to hear some samples from the CD.