Sunday, February 20, 2011
Daddy A Go Go - Music That Just Rocks
Daddy A Go Go is the brainchild of John Boydston, who writes, records, plays and produces the music you hear on Daddy A Go Go CDs. Born in Oklahoma, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in Journalism. John spent ten years working as a television news producer, making stops at CNN, WSVN, and WSB before leaving the news biz in the mid-’90s to become a stay-at-home dad, a transition that led directly to the Daddy A Go Go experience.
Daddy A Go Go grew out of the joys and tribulations of hands-on parenting and the realization that “KIDS LIKE TO ROCK.” Synthesized techno-schlock wasn't cutting it once Barney and Elmo had run their (very short) course in the Boydston house. So, with a guitar, three chords, one microphone, an old beat-up set of Slingerland drums, and a little multi-track recorder, the notion of family-friendly rock and roll, Daddy A Go Go-style, gradually began to take shape.
Boydston released his first Daddy A Go Go CD in 1998. Written and recorded entirely at home (between coaching and carpool driving), Cool Songs for Cool Kids made it to the 1999 Amazon.com “Top 10 Best Kids’ CDs of the Year” list. Boydston landed on Amazon’s “Best-of” list again in 2000 with his sophomore CD Monkey In the Middle, which also picked up his first Parents’ Choice® Award and got him a feature in Newsweek.
“Those three events in 2000 kind of put me on the map,” Boydston says, “and I started becoming aware of a groundswell of new indie-spirited children’s music.” That mean a lot more competition, but it also meant an enhanced awareness of the genre and more writers and publications willing to do a Daddy A Go Go story. On the whole, it was great.
Boydston kept the CDs coming. Big Rock Rooster came out in 2002, and Mojo A Go Go – Real Rock for Kids (2004) earned Boydston his second Parents’ Choice® Award. Eat Every Bean and Pea On Your Plate was released in 2006, and Rock of All Ages followed in 2008. All but one of these releases made Amazon.com’s “Best Kids’ CDs of the Year” list. “That was a huge boon,” Boydston adds, “because even in a slow year, being on the Amazon list really gets you out there and sells CDs.”
Not until he received an invitation to play the “Kidzapalooza” Family Stage at Lollopalooza in 2005, did Boydston realize he needed a live band.
Not knowing where to start, Boydston performed at Kidzapalooza solo. But when the SXSW Festival invited him to play in 2007, he says, “I looked around and realized I had my band right here in the house. My older son, Jake, was playing bass with some buddies in a band, and my younger boy, Max, was rapidly turning into a great little guitarist.” So together, as The Daddy A Go Go Band, they played at SXSW and Austin City Limits in 2007 and have been back to SXSW a few times since then. “We had incredible fun for a
few years performing live, traveling, sharing that experience, and playing Daddy A Go Go songs I’d written for and about the boys,” Boydston says, proudly.
Max and Jake still perform sometimes, but as Boydston says, not without irony, “that old band is growing up and moving on.” Jake is nineteen and a freshman at the University of Texas (perhaps those trips to SXSW had an influence?) and Max, sixteen, is in high school, busy with sports and his own bands. He’s quite the musician; according to Boydston, “you’ve gotta look up a YouTube video of him playing a Hendrix song at our first SXSW show when he was twelve.”
Hendrix at a family music show?
“Absolutely,” Boydston confirms, and he is adamant on this point, “with songs about carpools, cartoons, dirty diaper blues, and action figures wrapped around it, Hendrix fits right in with today’s modern family rock show, and that is the entire premise of Daddy A Go Go’s music right there in a nutshell.” That’s what it was, what it is, and with any luck, what it will continue to be for a very long time.
My Take on the CD's
My girls loved these albums! Seeing that we were able to listen to both Come on, Get Happy and Grandkid Rock, these albums were an amazing collection of synthesized rock. Both girls have had the music playing over and over over the past week and I think I now can sing along with the music and I know that they are as well. They bring them along with us as well in the car. There are many of the songs that will definitely stay with you all day if you hear it, so beware! The songs are catchy and with easy lyrics and good music, you cannot go wrong!
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