Ella Jenkins and a Union of Friends Pulling Together

Themes: Art & Music, Labor

Legendary children’s performer Ella Jenkins and a group of young and older musical friends introduces children to the ideas of unity, cooperation, and labor unions through songs, recitation, and poetry. The CD features harmonica, piano, percussion, banjo, guitar, vocals, and chorus. The recording reminds us how unity and strength are part of family ties as well as adult life and work. [Publisher’s description.]

Liner notes and song samples.

Produced Smithsonian Folkways.

Related Resource

Interview with Ella Jenkins by the National Visionary Leadership Project. The bio on the interview begins: When folk singer, Ella Jenkins, sang the words “You’ll sing a song, and I’ll sing a song, and we’ll sing a song together”, she gathered the world’s children around her like a cultural pied piper. The Grammy winning children’s folk artist has entertained children in a musical career spanning nearly fifty years. This has been accomplished through her performances in all seven continents, leading young people in song using her unique call and response methods. Taught the harmonica as a child, Jenkins has mastered over fifty world instruments such as the ukulele, kalumba drum, and maracas. She paired these in her compositions with traditional instruments like the piano, guitar, and tambourine. Yet, these instruments have become the tools Ella Jenkins uses to teach respect, cultural and self esteem in harmony with the joy of musical expression.