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Country Goes Raffi
    by John Cech

How many times have you heard that celebration of everything that's joyful about and vital to conserve in the oceans, all rolled up in the children's song "Baby Beluga"? If you've had youngsters in your household in the past two decades, you've probably heard it more times than there are drops of water in the sea, in the clear, warm tenor voice of the well-known Canadian singer-songwriter, Raffi. Now, you can hear it like this, from Billy Gilman:

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This is one of the 14 songs on a new CD called Country Goes Raffi from Rounder Records, part of the proceeds from which go to the non-profit Partnership for Children's Health and the Environment. And what a treat it is to hear Allison Krauss and The Wilkinsons, Marty Stuart and Kathy Mattea all doing down home, finger-picked versions of these tunes, many of which were, or are, the favorites of their own children. Lari White says in the liner notes for the CD that she jumped at the chance to record one of Raffi's signature songs, "Shake My Sillies Out," because she sings it in the car with her daughter all the time. You might want to try it, too, the next time the carpool is caught in traffic and everyone's hungry and cranky and on the edge of gloom and needs to do a little dancing in place to make the light change.

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Copyright 2005 John Cech

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April 2005
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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."