Tales of Rock – The Cool Parents’ Guide to Rock Music for Kids

If there’s one universal truth to parenting, it’s that whatever songs your kid listens to will end up on repeat in your head at 3 a.m. Most of the time we’re fighting off tunes about frogs or balloons or shapes from Little Baby Bum, or we’re reluctantly humming a particularly annoying little ditty about a family of sharks (and just like that, dear reader, it’s now in your head too. Sorry).

Look, we have the power — the obligation — to introduce our kids to better music, for their sake, and very possibly, our own sanity. Nursery rhymes are adorable and learning-shapes songs are valuable. But with the state of things around us, social distancing and staying at home can provide a great opportunity for parents to expose their little ones to better music, some even with helpful life lessons.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly albums from what we dub the “Golden Age of Rock,” the classic oldies of rock ‘n’ roll from the ’50s through the ’70s, to help create a fun music experience for you and your kids. So, clear the living room, turn off the TV and fire up the record player (or Spotify playlist) and, hopefully, get to dancing.

Chuck Berry

The Great Twenty-Eight

Chuck Berry defined the sound and spirit of rock ‘n roll, so it’s only right that our kids hear his music. This compilation album, which Rolling Stone ranked No. 21 on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, starts off with the toe-tapping “Maybellene,” and kids just know what to do when songs like this come on. Later on the album is “Johnny B Goode,” a fun opportunity for you to mention a great scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly baffles everyone at a dance with a rendition of this hit. This album is a necessary lesson on the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Nicknamed the “Father of Rock ‘N’ Roll,” Berry was a major influence on decades of music that followed him.

Little Richard

Here’s Little Richard

With lyrics that go “A-wop-bop-a-loo-lop a-lop-bam-boo,” “Tutti Frutti” is probably the most fun a kid will have singing to a song, and the second you drop a needle on this track, your toddler will light up. It’s the opening track on Little Richard’s 1957 debut album Here’s Little Richard, which also includes “Long Tall Sally (The Thing)” and “Slippin’ and Slidin’ (Peepin’ and Hidin’)” Simply put, these are just fun songs.

The Beatles

Rubber Soul

The Beatles helped define 20th-century rock ‘n’ roll, but not before dominating the pop charts. If we had told fans of the hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand” that the same band would later be making songs like “Helter Skelter,” they wouldn’t have believed us. But, there’s one album, in particular, that is a great introduction to the Beatles for kids, and has both the catchy, pop-like melodies that launched the Fab Four to stardom, but a little more meaningful message than the idea that they want to hold your hand. And it seemingly has no references to drugs yet: Rubber Soul. It’s said that Beatlemania ended on Dec. 3, 1965, the day the record hit the shelves. It was the album that saw the Beatles as men, not boys, similar to a teenager coming of age. And tracks like “Nowhere Man” explored John Lennon’s own dealings with inadequacy.

David Bowie

Hunky Dory

David Bowie is a great artist to introduce to kids early on because he took on many alter-egos, opening up the possibility of a young person to find one that relates to their own personality. His music explores fantasy-like storylines, and he always encouraged young people to be themselves –– no matter how weird. His 1971 album Hunky Dory is especially great for kids, and the song “Changes” reflects those ever-changing personas. He also wrote the track “Kooks” for his first son, which is a great song to dedicate to your own children.

Wings

Wings Greatest

We’re the last people to reduce the fantastic music of Wings to “just another Beatles band,” but once your child realizes that the Beatles broke up in the summer of ’69 and are left wanting more, they may want to hear what one Beatles head songwriter, Paul McCartney, made in the ’70s. Only two years after John, Paul, George, and Ringo parted ways, McCartney co-founded Wings with his wife. Yes, we’re recommending a “greatest hits” album, but it’s a great start for kids, or anyone, who hasn’t taken the time to listen to the band before. It’s a fun record that highlights the best of a great band.

Melanie

Gather Me

This album is packed full of emotional ’70s folk-rock ballads. But track four, “Brand New Key,” recalls the innocent days of young love. A particularly adorable song from singer-songwriter Melanie, “Brand New Key” follows a young, empowered girl thriving off confidence and nudging a crush to play along as she roller skates along — and it’s super fun to dance to. The rest of the tracks are probably more fitting for a teenager, as it covers a lot of heartbreak, but it’s also a great introduction to blues-rock.

Bob Dylan

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Is your child an aspiring poet or songwriter? Look no further than Bob Dylan to inspire that creativity. And his fourth studio album, 1964’s Another Side of Bob Dylan, is a great introductory album for your little one. OK, this is a folk album, but Dylan has become an influential figure in rock ‘n’ roll. Like the album title suggests, this was the first album Dylan released that didn’t reflect his usual politically driven songwriting, making it easy listening for kiddo. In fact, it played on his humor quite a bit too. Give “All I Really Want to Do” and “I Shall Be Free No. 10” a listen with the kids around for a good laugh. “To Ramona,” though, shows Dylan at his best on this album. A beautiful, lullaby-like song, the melody alone is likely to capture your child’s attention.

The Beach Boys

Endless Summer / Pet Sounds

It’s hard to decide which album is best for introducing your little one to when it comes to The Beach Boys. Endless Summer, a great album for those summer pool days in the backyard, captures the best of The Beach Boys’ 1963-1966 catalog. Be sure to pick up the vinyl reissue that includes “I Get Around,” “Surfin’ USA” and “California Girls.” These are all great introductory songs to surf rock and capture a great slice of the band’s career. You can almost feel the warm sun and sound of the hot rods driving by.

Pet Sounds is universally regarded as The Beach Boys’ best album. So, go ahead and save your kid the future embarrassment of admitting they haven’t heard this album by introducing it to them now. It begins with the super catchy tune “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” which captures the thoughts we have when we’re lovesick teenagers. It’s been said that Beach Boy Brian Wilson was aiming for tracks that kids could relate to on this album, and we think he did a pretty good job.

The Monkees

The Monkees Greatest Hits

Yeah, we’re recommending another greatest hits album. But look, this one cuts out some of the more experiential songs the band did (oh, you didn’t know about that?) We’re not going to recommend that you introduce your kids to The Monkees by having them watch the film Head, or listen to The Monkees’ soundtrack for it. Trust us. And, The Monkees didn’t have an endless catalog of amazing songs, but the hits they did have are upbeat, really fun, and definitely kid-friendly.

The Byrds

Mr. Tambourine Man / Turn! Turn! Turn!

This double album (not to be confused with a greatest hits album) was partly taken from earlier writings from Bob Dylan. It contains Dylan originals in a pop-rock-friendly tone, including: “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Chimes of Freedom,” “All I Really Want to Do” and more, so it’s a great opportunity to show your child how songs can be made differently.

Dusty Springfield

Dusty in Memphis

Dusty Springfield was an anomaly among the usual British female pop stars of the 1960s. Her voice was deep and rich, and her music sounded not unlike the hits coming from Motown or Stax. Her singles include “I Only Want to Be With You,” “Wishin’ and Hopin'” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” The latter of which is on one of the singles from her best-rated albums, Dusty in Memphis. A hallmark of the oldies we so love to wax nostalgic, Springfield’s music is a great lesson in love, and perfect for any lovelorn preteen.

Buddy Holly

20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives

Buddy Holly was a pioneer in 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, with hits like “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day.” His signature “hiccup,” unique spin on rockabilly and as-innocent-as-can-be songs make him perfect for introducing a young person to rock ‘n’ roll. After all, he’s said to have inspired greats like Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Unfortunately, he died shortly into his blossoming career, so his discography mainly includes compilations. But 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives is listed on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and includes tracks he made with The Crickets — his band he played with before going solo.

 

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Tips To Be The Best Kisser Ever

1. GO OUT AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

The key to becoming a good kisser is to start meeting new friends. You’ll never really know that some possibilities exist if you don’t get out of your comfort zone and show your beauty to the world. Just like me, I’ll never realize that waiting for the right guy would waste so many opportunities if I hadn’t made time mingling with lots of interesting men.↓

2. YOU SHOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO DATE

Looking back, I never thought I’d say these words right now. I was actually not the type of girl who often went on dates. I was afraid to get hurt and meet a guy who wouldn’t take me seriously. But then, who cares? Sometimes we need to have courage and have fun. There’s no perfect relationship, anyway, so go on a date! Kiss as many guys as you want.

3. LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE

So what if you’re a girl? Are we not allowed to express what we really feel and ask the guy we like on a date (unless he’s already taken)? As long as you’re not breaking the rules, go forth and take the man out! I know that it takes guts to be that kind of girl but if you don’t try it then you’ll lose the game. We are in the 21st century and many women have stood their ground to fight for our rights. One of those rights is to be able to choose who to date and kiss.↓

4. SEIZE THE DAY!

For someone who was never been kissed, the most important step you need to take before the act is to get over your inhibitions. Stop overthinking and just do it! Carpe diem they say—unless you want to lie unconscious on the ground and wait for a prince charming to come save you, which will probably never happen. Girl, princes don’t even come with shining armor so stop daydreaming and start living that dream today!

5. GIVE IN TO YOUR FEELINGS

Once you meet that guy who makes your stomach turn because of butterflies, do not waste any more time. Just pounce on him like a lion focused on its prey. You’ve waited long enough for this to ever ignore the chance. So please, just give in to your feelings. Let your emotions carry you away. Do not be afraid to be out of control. Remember, once you’re out in the jungle, you can only do so much to be wild and free.↓

6. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE!

Your first kiss may not be as magical or amazing as you’ve imagined it to be. But there’s probably a lot of time to make up for it. Don’t pressure yourself too much. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Kiss random guys you like if you’re single. And of course, if you have a partner, experiment all the time. Avoid stressing yourself about getting better too soon—just do what you think feels good for both of you!

7. JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT

Take it slow. Despacito, as what the Biebs has reminded us to do in his anthem of the year. Enjoy the moment. Do not ever stop even if your lips are sore. Take time to savor those “kissable lips” like you’re kissing your significant another goodbye. When you’re done memorizing the curves of his lips, experiment with your tongue—push it in, desperately. Maybe move your hands a bit, rub his chest or wrap it around the back of his head, too. Yes, just like that.

When kissing becomes overwhelming for you, especially if you’re a beginner, just be yourself, try to relax, and close your eyes. Having a memorable kiss truly lies in you. Own it and make that intimate moment a magical one! So, which among these tips would you like to try?

 

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Let’s Talk About Body Image For Asian American Women

In a tug of war between two cultures, many Asian American women are left in the dark.

Asian American women deal with pressure from all levels on body image. (See: Kita – Addicted to Tanning)

Navigating body size and image as an Asian American woman, especially as a daughter of immigrant parents can be difficult,” says Rachel Kuo from Everyday Feminism.

Asian Americans often come from two different cultures: their cultural heritage and the American culture. Because of that, Asian Americans feel ambivalent, caught in the ambiguity of the in-between. For women in this community, body image is a large issue.

The Cultural Pressure from Asia

The ideal woman in East Asia is feminine, slim, and pale-skinned. I only saw women who fit these standards in film, media, and advertisements when I visited Japan and Taiwan. Selling fat-burning pills? I would see a beautiful, slim woman with a bottle of pills in her hands on a poster. It sends out the message that beauty is the norm. It’s supposed to be effortless.

Because of that, being overweight is synonymous with laziness and lack of self-care. In East Asia, people are quick to point out your weight in casual conversations under the veil of concern. If you’re overweight, how can you find yourself a partner? These kinds of words reinforce how beauty is used as a tool to oppress people, especially women.

While it’s true that East Asian people are genetically predisposed to health concerns, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, having a lower body mass index (BMI) than their Caucasian counterparts doesn’t dismiss the issue of body-shaming under the excuse of health. Unfortunately, the body size isn’t the only problem in East Asian societies.

The skincare and cosmetics industries in these countries also feed into this beauty standard through popular products such as skin-lightening cream, sunscreen, and foundation.

In South Korea, the country where K-beauty originated from, extensive skincare and makeup routines are seen as normal — a form of self-care. While that may be true to a certain extent, the pressure to maintain a perfect body and the resulting “Escape the Corset” movement demonstrate the oppressiveness of South Korean society.

From my understanding, pale skin symbolizes wealth because it means a person didn’t have to work under the sun. The conflation between skin tone and beauty comes from a historical context when rich people had the luxury to earn money in ways other than farming. This holds true even today in East Asia, as evident by celebrities and models in China, South Korea, and Japan.

 

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Karate Lessons

Philadelphia, PA – 1975-1976

I was picked on and bullied in Fel’s Junior High School. I never experienced this in grade school. It just didn’t happen there. Maybe all the disfunction in families comes to a head when kids reach the age of puberty, but I just don’t know.

It was hell for me for much of the whole 3 years I spent at Fel’s Junior High school. It felt more like a juvenile detention center than any sort of educational facility. When I think back on my life my memories are pretty sharp and I have great recall and detail. But when I think back to Fel’s, there isn’t much info. It’s as if during those formative years my mind blocked out much of that horrific pain to save me from mental illness later in life.

There was a show on TV at that time called Kung Fu. My parents used to watch it and my dad loved it. I remember watching a few episodes and although I never saw the pilot, I knew what the show was about. It seemed that this Chinese/American guy wanders around the American west and gets into these different situations. Normally there would be some bad guys who would get their butts kicked by the main character each week.

I thought it was all very cool, and Kung Fu and Karate were hot back in the 70s. There were lots of movies about the subject. Even the Green Hornet had a chauffeur named Kato that could do karate. It was Bruce Lee, who sadly died back in 1973, but he had already established himself as a bonafide star in his short time in show biz. He was the real deal.

I figured if I learned kung fu or karate, I could defend myself from all of the animals at school and in my neighborhood. I remember I had gotten a book about Judo and was reading about some simple moves, and I guess maybe I put it to my parents one day that I’d like to take karate lessons. It just seemed practical, cool and I liked the idea and philosophy behind it all. You have this amazing fighting skill but you only use it for the forces of good. You never pick a fight, you only use it to defend yourself and your loved ones. That’s like some superhero stuff right there. I figured that would be perfect for me since I loved comic books and the dudes that were in them defending the world against evil.

So, my parents signed me up for karate lessons. I remember it was $10 a week and back then and my father thinking that it was kind of expensive.

They sent me off to American Karate Studios in Rockledge Pa. That sounds far away, but it was just a bus ride away from my house. I would go there I think a few times a week. For my dad’s money, I would get 2 group classes and 1 private lesson per week.

I would finish school and then walk north on Oakley street to Martin’s Mill Road and hop on the N bus. Which I think either doesn’t exist anymore or they’ve simply changed the name of the bus route. I googled it looking for any old photos online and came up with this:

https://www.yellowpages.com/philadelphia-pa/mip/american-karate-studios-464769411

https://businessfinder.pennlive.com/1977929/American-Karate-Studios-Philadelphia-PA

Could that place still be open?

I would carry a plastic bag that had my Gi in it. That’s the white outfit the karate guys wear. I thought it was super cool and felt like a real kung fu dude when I wore it. It really allows the freedom of movement when you’re doing your moves.

Here’s a couple of old photos my sister dug out of me wearing my karate Gi doing some moves. Future Kung Fu Dragon!

A photo on the wall of my mother on her wedding day hangs on the wall behind me. Check out that ancient vacuum cleaner in the corner!

Anyway, I remember there being a series of belts you had to earn to move up to be a kung fu master.

Everybody started out as a white belt. That’s the beginner level Then you moved on to an orange belt. Then a purple belt. Followed by blue and then green. There were 3 degrees of brown, and 8 degrees of black.

The dream was obviously to become a black belt karate master. That would take years and years to achieve and I didn’t see myself ever getting there. But if I could learn enough moves, maybe I could defend myself against the minions in the neighborhood who picked on me.

There were a couple of kids that were already members and they wore some of the higher level belts. There was a little guy who had a green belt and he was really fast and had killer moves. I figured if that kid could do it, so could I. There was also this girl who was older than me who had a purple belt. She was really cute and always wore her hair back in a thick braid. The only way I ever saw her was with her hair back and in her Gi. I kind of had a thing for her, but I basically didn’t exist in her world and would never have a chance to get to know her. At least in some way, I was invisible to her… like a ninja!

The group classes were rigorous and filled with a bunch of skinny kids like me. We would exercise the moves that had taught us, like snap kicks and punches. It was fun to play/spar with the other boys because it was like we were fighting but no one really hit anyone else.

Once the instructor made us put a smaller kid on our shoulders and we had to do a series of front snap kicks. So while there is this kid sitting upon your shoulders you had to kick to the knee, midsection, and face to an imaginary adversary in front of you. This all had to be done without putting your kicking leg back down. It felt like some real next-level kung fu stuff!

Another time during the exercise and strength training portion of the class, we had to all lie on our backs on the mat and lift our feet up 6 inches off the floor. This was a great way to strengthen the muscles in our core. But the crazy thing was, they would make you hold it up until it was nearly unbearable. Then the instructor would walk through us and step on our stomachs. It didn’t hurt because our stomach muscles were so tense but it was wild. You wouldn’t think that would work but it did. He stepped on everybody. No pain. Future kung fu dragon!

My favorite part of attending karate lessons was the private lesson with my teacher. That’s where you learned all of the new moves and skills associated with your belt level. It was really cool. Like, if someone grabbed you by the lapels there were a series of moves you could perform to immobilize and destroy your opponent in seconds. I love this!

There’s also a dance you learn along with your training. It’s called a kata. It’s a series of punches and kicks you do in a formation and you have to memorize it and be able to perform it. It included many of the basic techniques that you were being taught for your belt level.

(I just got up from my desk to see if I still remembered any of that kata. Guess what? I went right into the routine like it was yesterday. Wow!)

Thank you, Sensei!

I even ordered some cool patches for my jacket. I had a round patch on the back of my jacket with the American Karate Studios logo on it. I also had a tiger and a dragon patch on each one of my sleeves. I was going to be like Kwai Chang Cain in the Kung Fu show on TV!

By the time the semester ended and I was supposed to go to the shore for the Summer I took my test, with one of the owners, (who was a black belt) and I passed! I earned my orange belt!

Of course, my dad said, “They better give you that belt after all the money I gave them for those lessons!”

I should have drop-kicked him.

Karate lessons were a welcome little repose in my tortured life back then. I think it really helped me. I never used any kung fu moves on anybody, but it did feel good learning something new, get some exercise, and be with other kids like myself.

Thank you American Karate Studios and to all of the staff who were kind to me and taught me some cool fighting skills!

 

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5 Bad Habits People Have While Dating That Make Looking For Love Even Harder

You’re driving everyone nuts with these things.

Dating is fun but, unfortunately for those looking for love, it doesn’t always result in a relationship.

There are some common bad habits people have that prevent love from entering your life when you’re trying to find it — but chances are you don’t realize what you’re even doing!

Do you find yourself always asking, “Will I ever find love?”

The truth is that you can, as long as you’re following the right relationship advice and can do damage control when you find yourself behaving badly.

So, are you ready to love and be loved?

Here are 5 bad habits you need to quit if you want to find real love and a healthy relationship.

1. Acting insecure and clingy

You’re worried and insecure that the person you’re dating is going to take off, stop loving you, or start pulling away, emotionally. And doing this will cause them to actually take off, stop loving you, and pull away.

Fear is one of the most detrimental forces in relationships. When you start acting clingy, you come off as very insecure.

Cut the clinginess by cutting the insecurity at its root.

Work on affirming that you are secure in the relationship. Or, if your relationship isn’t actually secure, work on developing your confidence so you don’t feel the need to cling to anyone like saran wrap.

Unless you have an established monogamous relationship, date multiple people at once. Develop the mindset that if your relationship ends, you will be all right, no matter what.

The feeling that you are whole alone is essential to not falling into insecure and clingy behavior.

2. You’re jealous and possessive

Jealousy and possessiveness are huge turn-offs. Have you ever had a partner get super jealous of you?

It feels like you have to constantly keep proving yourself to the jealous partner, hoping they believe that you haven’t done anything wrong. And it sucks!

Honestly, it makes you feel like you should just go out and do whatever it is you’re being accused of so you at least had some fun. After all, you’re going to get accused of wrongdoing anyway.

You have to cultivate your self-confidence. There is no replacement for a solid view of yourself. Do whatever you have to do to make sure that you’re not smothering your partner or accusing them of things they haven’t done.

Don’t let your imagination run wild.

3. You have emotional outbursts

Did you let your emotions get the best of you and have some kind of angry outburst? Is it possible that you might yell?

This used to be me. It’s still a challenge to keep a firm hold on my emotions when I disagree, but it definitely can be done.

People’s conflict styles start from childhood. Having a tendency to get out of control when angry or having a disagreement is a massive challenge to overcome, but you must practice managing conflicts with your partner in a healthy way.

Study and practice techniques like taking time outs to calm down, trying to see the other person’s perspective, and active listening.

If you have a legitimate anger management problem, do the work on yourself to get past it.

4. You overcommunicate

Do you text and call a lot? It may be tempting to text them at work, call them during your lunch break, and generally take up a lot of their time with communication when you aren’t actually in the same room.

Since you’re thinking about them so much, it can make sense that you want to reach out. However, it’s a mistake to be in constant contact.

And to fix this mistake, pull way back. This doesn’t mean disappearing or ignoring their attempts at communication — just become a bit more reserved.

Initiate communication about half the amount you used to. Also, hobbies and distractions are a good idea.

5. You keep hinting about wanting a commitment

While you think that hinting might help you figure things out when you’re wondering what the heck the two of you are doing together, this is a bad idea. Hinting comes off as very insecure and not at all subtle.

Either you have the conversation about commitment or don’t, but don’t go halfway and try and drop hints that you want more. When you do this you are putting the ball firmly in the other person’s court.

It’s like you’re saying, “Since you’re driving, where are we going?”

It’s okay to have a conversation about what you want out of life. But, constantly making veiled references to commitment without having an actual frank conversation is a bad idea.

If your casual relationship has been going on for over a year and you have no idea whether they want to commit to you or not, it is time for a conversation about your mutual goals. But “hinting” sounds a lot like nagging.

Healthy relationships require confidence, trust, and the right amount of communication. So, if you’re looking for love that lasts, it’s time to quit these habits.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1