Randy Kaplan, one of the most beloved and innovative children’s performers in the nation, will release his new not-JUST-for-kids CD, JAM ON RYE, on June 1st. The record features its share of Kaplan's trademark fast-talking/half-singing rap-bluegrass barnburners, a Dan Bern cover, a calypso tune, a Tin Pan Alley gem, a couple of lullabies, and the single "Don't Fill Up On Chips" which is already a smash hit on Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live. New York magazine raves, “Roots rocker Randy Kaplan is one of those happy-they-exist people you cant quite tell is playing kids’ music. And yet he is.”
In his songs for children and their families, Randy Kaplan blends American Roots, Country Blues, and Comedic Storytelling. He fingerpicks his way through unpredictable, sold out, live shows, which in addition to his original compositions include Broadway numbers, Delta Blues songs, and Ragtime tunes. “He doesn’t dumb it down for the kids....He just expects them to come along for the ride. And they do,” says Time Out New York Kids.
Randy’s body and range of work is extensive and with the release of each project, a new level of innovation has been reached. “FIVE CENT PIECE combines a gloriously wacky collection of oldies (and originals),” says New York magazine. It features all-time classics like "Over the Rainbow" and "Kids" (from Bye Bye Birdie), as well as a series of Randy's own songs which are, according to one of the original Mommy Bloggers, The Lovely Mrs. Davis, "as imaginative and rambling as a pre-schooler, and musically brilliant." Randy followed FIVE CENT PIECE with Sirius-XM Radio rotation stalwarts LOQUAT ROOFTOP (later released as a picture book), THE KIDS ARE ALL ID, and MR. DIDDIE WAH DIDDIE (released and distributed by Universal Music).
Randy's work has been awarded top honors from NAPPA (National Parenting Publication Awards), been voted a Top Five CD in the Nickelodeon Parents' Picks Awards, been featured prominently in children's magazines and on family websites, and has appeared on the Top Ten lists of NPR, People magazine, Time Out New York Kids, Fids & Kamily, Zooglobble, OWTK, Family Man Online (where it was also awarded the #1 spot), and many others. His recordings have appeared on compilations such as Putumayo's American Playground and Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti. Randy's song "No Nothing" was nominated for Best Children's Song of the Year by Just Plain Folks and his "The Ladybug Without Spots" was the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Song of the Month in May 2013.
Randy studied philosophy, writing, and literature at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as well as at U.C.L.A. He then trained in acting, improvisation, and writing and has credits in prominent theater productions such as Spring Awakening and The Fresca Wars and on TV shows such as Growing Pains, Beauty and the Beast, and A Different World. As a singer, songwriter, poet, and composer, Randy has toured throughout the U.S., released a dozen CDs, had his poetry published in periodicals, received several ASCAP awards, and written and starred in a musical.
For the past eight years Randy has worked with folk and bluegrass master Mike West who produces and records Randy's CDs in Lawrence, Kansas at his Ninth Ward Pickin' Parlor. Parenting magazine called Randy “one of the most exciting newcomers to kids’ music since Dan Zanes” while his hometown zine, The Brooklyn Paper, called him "a national treasure who brings a sly wink to the art of kid's music."
Randy began performing professionally in Los Angeles in 1987 when he moved there to pursue an acting career and took up folk music on the side. He proceeded to record and perform solo and with his band all over the country and never imagined that so many of his groupies would be under the age of nine! He actually started writing and performing for children quite by accident but immediately realized he had found his niche...and he wouldn’t change it for the world.
With groundbreaking music and lyrics that are both educational and enjoyable for kids and parents alike, it is no mystery that Randy Kaplan has grown into the distinguished entertainer he is today. And with a 2-year-old son who is without a doubt Randy’s biggest fan, he certainly has a new built-in test audience! No wonder Randy's concerts bring the crowds to life now more than ever, and that families walk away from a Randy Kaplan show not only wanting more, but having become lifetime fans.