Bill Harley is a children's entertainer and storyteller who has been called "the Mark Twain of contemporary children's music" by Entertainment Weekly. He uses a range of musical styles and appeals to children and adults with quirky, heart-filled lyrics. He received the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album For Children (albums consisting of predominantly spoken word versus music or song) for his Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs.
In addition to children's music, he performs at storytelling festivals around the country including appearances at the National Storytelling Festival.
Harley has also published six books. These include: Sitting Down To Eat which was selected as an American Booksellers Association Pick of the list; Sarah's Story a Storytelling World Award Winner; and The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher his first novel for elementary students. He is currently working on another novel and has another picture book slated for publication.
[ Bill Harley Bio from BillHarley.com. Retrieved January 23, 2008. ] His newest novel, Night of the Spadefoot Toads, will be released in October 2008.
On August 12, 2008, Harley will release Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live on CD and DVD. It features ten songs recorded before an all-ages live audience at the University of Montana.
- 1999 Grammy Award Best Spoken Word Album For Children; Weezie And The Moon Pies
- 2008 Grammy Award Best Musical Album for Children; I Wanna Play
- 2001 National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award
- 2006 Parents' Choice Gold Storytelling World Award; Joey, Chloe and the Swamp Monsters
- 2007 Grammy Award Best Spoken Word Album For Children - Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs
Harley's "Rules of the Universe" and philosophy
"Rules of the Universe"
- It's always harder to put something back together than it is to take it apart.
- If you spend all your time cleaning your desk, you'll just have clean desk. That's not enough.
- Listen - you're missing something cool.
- All children should be given a ukelele when they're born.
- We're more alike than we are different.
- If you're older than two, and can't sing a song and tell a story, you're in trouble.
- Sometimes, a plate of spaghetti is the best thing in the world.
Philosophy ("Free advice, if you want it")
"Everybody worries about things being 'educational' with kids. I believe everything is educational, in that it says something about how one looks at the world - it imparts a knowledge, or world-view. Children learn more from context than they do from explicit lessons, so assume they're working to understand something - they learn vocabulary and language not from a dictionary or worksheet, but from conversation, they learn songs not from reading music, but from singing with someone who loves to sing, and they learn hope and kindness and cooperation not from being told to have them, but by experiencing them."