recess radio program

Even Kids Get the Blues
    by John Cech


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That's 10-year-old Anneli Blume with a little from the title song from a new CD from Re-Bop Records, called Even Kids Get the Blues. Congress declared 2003 as "The Year of the Blues," and this is one of the results: a new generation of kids carrying on in the tradition of this African American art form and turning the woes and worries of their lives into something transcendent. What have kids got to sing the blues about? As the Bluesman Johnny Billingham says, the Blues are all about what you don't have, about what's missing in your life. It could simply be having some peace and quiet on a long car trip with an irritating sibling, or it could be about yearning to do something new that runs against the grain: like a girl wanting to run a backhoe. One 12-year-old latchkey kid is so hungry for human company that it aches:

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And then there's that big missing presence for a lot of children: a loved parent who's no longer on the scene. Yeah, kids have get the blues, alright:

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Copyright 2004 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."