Arts & Entertainment

Somers Music Producer Releases Parent-Friendly Album for Kids

5d9199f3957459e5b663_c3bbd3cb47c565e07402_54021.jpg
Andy Zulla with his daughter, Kayley, who provided inspiration for the Rock-n-Stroller series Credits: Andy Zulla
5d9199f3957459e5b663_c3bbd3cb47c565e07402_54021.jpg

SOMERS, N.Y. – He has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and won some of the industry’s greatest awards, but Somers resident Andy Zulla’s latest project might be his most important contribution to the sanity of many parents. He has released “Rock-n-Stroller,” a compilation of classic and timeless songs from the ’60s through ’90s with kid-friendly lyrics sung by young singers.

Zulla, who has been awarded a Grammy, an Emmy and a Telly, came up with the idea after his daughter, Kayley, was born.

“The seed of the idea came when another parent said to me, ‘Hey, you’re in the music business; why don’t you do something about this,’” Zulla said. “One of the things I found with my daughter was she liked to listen to cover songs with kids singing them. The only thing is, the CDs available focused on current day pop music. I thought, what if I made CDs of songs that parents actually liked. Songs they know and love, classic tunes you still hear on the radio and at bars, parties, etc., but recorded them with talented young singers.”

Sign Up for E-News

Busy working on other artist’s projects, Zulla put the idea on hold. He has made hit records with many stars, including Rod Stewart, Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Teddy Geiger, Clay Aiken, Natalie Imbruglia, Heather Headley and Diana Ross.

Then, while collaborating on a film project with Broadway veteran Matt Zarley, in 2015, the idea came up in discussion.

“I was telling Matt that finding enjoyable music to play for the kids can be quite challenging,” Zulla said. “There’s a lot of stuff out there, but most of it are things the parents don’t really want to listen to.” Zarley, who lives in L.A., said he was connected to the Broadway community and could help round up talent to record the project. “Rock-n-Stroller” was born.

To create the playlist, the duo combed through greatest hits lists from the ’60s through ’90s and came up with a long list of timeless classics that they figured most people knew and recognized.

“We then eliminated any songs that couldn’t be made ‘kid friendly’ with just a few minor lyric tweaks,” Zulla said. “We then took this revised list and set up an online survey through Survey Monkey and sent it out to as many parents and grandparents we could find to choose which songs they’d most like to hear recorded. The top 30 were divided up into the first three 10-song CDs.”

“Rock-n-Stroller Volume I,” which is currently available on Amazon and iTunes, features classic hits such as “Don’t Stop,” “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” “Get Into the Groove,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Start Me Up.” Clips can also be heard on rock-n-stroller.com.

Unlike Zulla’s typical projects, where he is hired by the record labels or TV networks to produce music, Zarley and he are working this project as an independent release.

“We are acting as the record label by creating and producing the project all by ourselves as well as setting up the distribution and marketing,” Zulla said.

Volume II will be released Sept. 8, on Amazon and iTunes. The duo is continuing to work on a whole series of albums. In addition to the cover song CDs, they are also producing other kid/parent-friendly music, including an upcoming lullaby album.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

The power of less productivity

Many of the people I meet are trying to do too much. This can be in the domain of home, work or community groups. Often the problem is that these people volunteer to help but do so to their own detriment and then become overwhelmed and ineffective. I have clients who volunteer to join committees, run errands, do someone else’s job or say they will show up for an event when they should just ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...