Award-winning children’s performer Beth Jean’s innovative videos featured on the Emmy®-winning PBS children’s show The Friday Zone have garnered the Wisconsin-based artist fans in numerous households throughout the Midwest. Beth Jean looks forward to reaching families nationwide with the release of her second children’s album, Let’s Put On a Show
Inspired by Beth Jean’s love of musicals and the theater, Let’s Put On a Show encourages kids to use their imaginations to create their own narratives while listening to her music.
“I adore classic Broadway musicals with their big tap numbers, belt-at-the-top-of-your-lungs show tunes, and glitzy, sequined costumes,” says Beth Jean. “I like the idea of people listening to this album and envisioning their own shows. It reminds me of growing up, pre-YouTube, and imagining what the choreography looked like and what the storylines were of the Broadway albums that I listened to. If there’s a message in Let’s Put On a Show, it’s ‘Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to sing and dance your heart out to these fun, silly songs! Embrace what makes you – you!”
With music that’s been described as “quirky pop,” Beth Jean alsobrings a boatload of DIY determination to Let’s Put On a Show. Produced during quarantine, the album came to life through Beth Jean’s particular brand of “girl power.” She wrote and sang all the songs, played a variety of instruments, recorded and produced three songs entirely by herself, and costumed, filmed, and edited accompanying music videos. Co-producers Pat Hanlin (of Josh & the Jamtones) and Brian King pulled together the production elements for the album’s remaining seven songs, adding their own background vocals, instrumentals, and inspiration.
Beth Jean was inspired by “The Magic Store” from The Muppet Movie when she wrote the album’s title track; she even performs a tap solo in the middle of the number! Beth Jean celebrates her own childhood in both the Star Trek-inspired “No Gravity” and “You Are Magic!,” which she wrote as an evocation of classic ‘80s children’s show theme songs. “Never Give Up” and “Whoopsie Daisy!” convey their timeless messages with heartfelt conviction: never give up on your dreams (especially if you’re having fun along the way), and making mistakes is more than okay.
Also noteworthy are the ukulele ditty, “Waddlin’ We Go (The Penguin Song),” the skipping-down-a-sidewalk-on-a-summer’s day tune, “Tweet a Little Tweet Tweet,” and the just-for-fun “I Am a Hamster, Yes I Am Sir!”
Songs from Beth Jean’s self-titled debut children’s album garnered numerous honors in 2018. “Book on the Bookshelf (I’m Reading You)” was first-place winner in the children’s category of the Great American Song Contest. “Funky Farm” was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. “The Martian Song” music video was an official selection of the Venice Shorts Film Awards. More recently, two videos created for The Friday Zone were selected for inclusion in the 2021 Kids First Film Festival.
Beth Jean’s dedication to making one-of-a-kind children’s videos involves everything from editing every sparkle and clay animal to creating her own “mini-sets” featuring light-up cellophane rivers, tinfoil dance discos in outer space, and more. Zipping on a green-screen suit to jump into her unique universe, Beth Jeanperforms in her self-produced segments, “A Beth Jean Daydream,” for The Friday Zone, broadcast from Bloomington, Indiana PBS station WTIU-TV and seen throughout the Midwest. From roaming with gnomes to painting dinosaur toes, “A Beth Jean Daydream” creates a world of lo-fi magic reminiscent of classic ‘80s children’s shows, with a touch of hi-fi for a blend of wonder and quirk.
After starting to “fiddle around” with music at age eleven, Beth Jean became an accomplished, classically trained violinist. She later turned to songwriting and playing guitar along with the multiple quirky instruments that are heard in her tunes today. Before shifting focus to children’s music, Beth Jean wrote pop songs that were heard on such networks as MTV and E!
Beth Jean has sung in music clubs and coffee shops, traded witty comebacks with her improv team on the Second City stage in Hollywood, and played a wide range of theatrical roles in plays and musicals throughout the country. With a strong background in tap dance, Beth Jean also has a resume full of choreographing musicals and revues for regional stages.
When live shows were possible, Beth Jean could often be seen performing onstage for kids and families. She especially enjoyed working alongside Volume One & Chippewa Valley Family, (The go-to resource for news and events in western Wisconsin), hosting and performing in their extremely popular Saturday Morning Kids Summer Concert Series.
Let’s Put On a Show will be available on all popular music platforms.
Visit Beth Jean’s website HERE.
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Beth Jean on Instagram.
Beth Jean onYouTube.