BaristaNet.com: What I’m Listening to With The Kids: The Mighty Sky
Fans of educational music, like They Might Be Giants’ Here Comes Science or an old school favorite School House Rock, will dig The Mighty Sky, the astronomy-themed music CD from Beth Nielsen Chapman, which received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Children’s Album.
In addition to the Grammy honor, The Mighty Sky has already won 9 national awards: ALA (American Library Association) Notable Children’s Recording, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award, Creative Child Magazine CD of the Year, NAPPA (National Association of Parenting Publications) Gold Award, KIDS FIRST All Star Endorsement, Tillywig Brain Child Award, Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products Award and Family Choice Award.Children will discover the mysteries and wonders of the universe with The Mighty Sky, which blends accurate science and creative astronomy-based lyrics in a variety of music styles, from Doo Wop to Zydeco. Each song is a different genre and each phrase delivers an important concept, in a fun way, about foundation celestial facts.
Beth Nielsen Chapman Nominated for Best Children’s Album for “The Mighty Sky”
“The Mighty Sky” is a collection of songs that hit Nashville songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman penned with fellow songwriter Annie Roboff and Rocky Alvey, director of Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory.
Since Chapman sang the songs and released the album, it is her name that appears on the nomination. But Chapman, who has been in Scotland and unavailable, said via email that it was a team effort. The original idea was Alvey’s. He has been interested in astronomy since childhood and a songwriter since the ‘70s. Alvey started writing songs about science and astronomy, and when Chapman heard them she wanted to participate.
“When Beth got hold of it, she just super-charged it,” Alvey said. “We knew we had really good songs. We had written every phrase in every song and every lyric to be really pregnant with a lot of meaning. Most people may not think about it, but almost every sentence has some profound fact about the universe. Not only is it a teaching album, but it’s some really great music.”
Song titles include “The Big Bang Boom,” “Test, Retest and Verify” and “Little Big Song,” which contains the lyrics: “If the sun was the size of a basketball, that would make the solar system small. The earth would only be a grain of sand. You could hold the planets in just one hand.”
— Cindy Watts, The Tennessean
Beth Nielsen Chapman's "The Mighty Sky" headed to Grammys
For some time now, my good friend Rocky Alvey, director of Vanderbilt University’s Dyer Observatory in Nashville, has collaborated with country music star Beth Nielsen Chapman on a children’s CD of great music about the stars. The Mighty Sky, as it’s called, has not only been a big success, but now has a Grammy nomination. Congrats to Beth and to Rocky!!
I encourage you to check it out.
And I also give you the full press release they have just issued, below. This compilation of music is a delight for all ages, and it is the kind of thing we need more of in this world!
Congrats to these talented visionaries and musicians, and bless them for spreading the word about enjoying the night sky to a new generation.
Beth Nielsen Chapman’s acclaimed children’s CD The Mighty Sky has just received a GRAMMY Award Nomination! The Recording Academy will announce the winners on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles.
In addition to the Grammy honor, The Mighty Sky has already won 10 national awards: ALA (American Library Association) Notable Children's Recording, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award, Creative Child Magazine CD of the Year, NAPPA (National Association of Parenting Publications) Gold Award, KIDS FIRST All Star Endorsement, Tillywig Brain Child Award, Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products Award, Family Choice Award and Mom’s Choice Silver Award.
Children can musically discover the mysteries and wonders of the universe with The Mighty Sky. As rich and varied as the galaxy Beth sings about — and just as exciting to explore — The Mighty Sky blends accurate science, creative astronomy-based lyrics and the striking songwriting that Beth is famous for.
REVIEW: UnCovered by Folk Radio
Beth Nielsen Chapman – Uncovered
Uncovered is probably the album that many of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s numerous fans have been dreaming of. Gathering together 12 of her best known songs, many of them US Top Ten hits, with seven that have reached the coveted number one slot, none of which she has actually recorded and released herself before. In making the album, she’s recruited an amazing guest list and also turned it into her own Transatlantic Session, recording with the help of some exceptional musicians in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and her own Nashville studio. The production team includes long term collaborator Annie Roboff, with Vince Gill, Darrell Brown and Phil Cunningham and Beth herself, who have done an incredible job of bringing together a collection of songs that defines an exceptional songwriting career.
You could of course say that there’s something delightfully perverse about Beth Nielsen Chapman. She’s unquestionably the extremely talented songwriter, who can claim all of those Top 10 hits, albeit recorded by other people. Furthermore, other songs have famously been covered by Elton John, Neil Diamond and stellar names far too numerous to list. Yet if you look at her recording career over the last decade, it includes an album, Hymns, sung in Latin, another double CD, Prism, which looks at the world’s religions and features Beth singing in nine different languages, a DVD shot in St Paul’s Cathedral, with the London Oriana Choir that includes Prayers Of An Atheist and a CD, described as being, “For children of all ages,” about the universe and the science of astronomy, co written in part by Rocky Alvey, the director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory and called The Mighty Sky.