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KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

Tuesdays at 1 PM Pacific

February 09, 2016: The Good Dinosaur, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Finest Hours, Jonathan Sprout: American Heroes

Listen in as we review Kung Fu Panda 3, The Finest Hours and The Good Dinosaur which comes out on Blu-Ray/Digital HD later this month. In honor of President's Day, we interviewed Grammy nominated, award-winning musician Jonathan Sprout about his CD American Heroes #4. Host Keefer Blakeslee is joined by KIDS FIRST! reporters Na'im, Nathaniel, Lainey and Samantha. Before you spend your hard earned money at the movies, be sure to listen to what our youth reporters have to say.

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Featured Guest

Singer-songwriter and recording artist, Jonathan Sprout has dedicated the past 21 years to creating meaningful and captivating "hero music" for children. Sprout began this journey in 1994 after reading the results of a nationwide poll detailing children's top 10 heroes, which included cartoon characters such as Bart Simpson and Beavis & Butthead along with several professional athletes whose off-field antics were anything but heroic. This made Sprout question, "who are our real heroes and why are we not teaching our children about their importance?" That's when Sprout's idea to write and record songs for children about real heroes was born. Since then, Jonathan Sprout has written over forty .....  

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Since his first professional appearance in 1972, Jonathan Sprout has recorded 12 albums, performed 6,618 concerts (including 5,588 children’s concerts) and taught 821 songwriting workshops throughout the United States. His songs have appeared on several internationally released compilation albums.

Jonathan’s four American Heroes albums have won 26 national awards and critical acclaim as groundbreaking CDs in the field of educational children’s music.

As Founder, primary songwriter, and half of the musical group Force For Good, Jonathan released the New Age album Passions in 2020 on the Sprout Recordings label. This instrumental piano-based album debuted at #4 on the ZMR Top 100 Music Charts. It rose to #2 on the ZMR Top 100 Music Charts and was one of the five albums nominated in the 2020 ZMR Best Piano Album with Instrumentation category.

Force For Good's second album, Innocence, was released in 2021. It reached #4 on ZMR Top 100 Music Charts.

Working with Emmy winning film maker, Rodney Whittenberg at Melodyvision, Jonathan created a song-film (music video) for each of the 24 songs on both albums. They have been accepted into 67 festivals and won 19 awards from festivals in Cairo, Sydney, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Vienna, Tokyo, Dubai, Berlin and more. Film topics include climate change, racial and gender equality, renewable energy, the refugee crisis, gun safety, and stewardship of the great outdoors.

Jonathan is currently at work on his next two piano-based albums of original music.


Click the image to listen to song clips and purchase the CD and downloads.

Jonathan's American Heroes #3 CD won 11 national awards, including a GRAMMY® nomination. He was a contributing artist on Healthy Foods, a CD for children, which received a GRAMMY® nomination. All About Bullies...Big & Small, the GRAMMY® winning CD in the Children's Music category, includes a track performed by Jonathan.

Jonathan founded Force For Good at Passions, their first album of New Age instrumental music released in 2020, reaching #2 on the ZMR New Age Charts. In 2021, Innocence, the second album of New Age instrumental music by Force For Good was released. It reached #4 on the ZMR New Age Charts.

Click on concert name for information


Recently debuted, this stirring energetic concert features original songs from Jonathan’s tenth album, American Heroes #4. The concert includes songs and fascinating stories about Samantha Smith, Albert Einstein, William Penn, Dr. Seuss, Theodore Roosevelt and Juliette Gordon Low. Included is “I See a Hero,” a heartfelt tribute to personal heroes.


Featuring songs and stories about Martin Luther King, Jr., Sacajawea,
George Washington, Amelia Earhart, and Abraham Lincoln


Featuring songs and stories about Thomas Edison, Harriet Tubman,
Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, and Pocahontas


Featuring songs and stories about Susan B. Anthony, Johnny Appleseed,
Orville & Wilbur Wright, Neil Armstrong, and Sojourner Truth


Featuring songs and stories about Wilma Rudolph, John Muir,
Elizabeth Blackwell, Thomas Jefferson, and Milton Hershey


An interactive show featuring songs from five of Jonathan's award-winning albums ...
a celebration, focusing on self-esteem


Fifty-minute, spirited songwriting sessions with children, in the classroom


            Here is a list of memorable dates that correspond with Jonathan Sprout’s four AMERICAN HEROES albums.

DATE                                     EVENT                          ________________                               SONG                    

1/1       Thomas Jefferson marries Martha Skelton (1772) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

1/2       Theodore Roosevelt takes office as Governor of NY (1899), song: Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

1/3       Martin Luther King, Jr. appears on cover of Time Magazine as man of the year (1964) Martin (American Heroes CD)

1/3       Amelia Earhart begins her first flight lessons, Long Beach, CA (1921) Amelia (American Heroes CD)           

1/5       George Washington Carver dies, age 79 (1943) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

1/6       George Washington marries Martha Custis (1759) (American Heroes CD) Washington’s Hat

1/6       Albert Einstein marries Mileva Maric, his 1st wife (1903) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

1/6       Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low sets sail from England to the US to begin Girl Guides, (eventually, Girl Scouts of the USA) (1912) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

1/6       Theodore Roosevelt dies in New York, age 60 (1919) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

1/10     Rachel Carson graduates magna cum laude from PA College of Women, BA in biology (1929) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

1/11     Amelia Earhart 1st person to fly solo Honolulu to Oakland, CA (1935) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

1/15     Martin Luther King, Jr. is born (1929) Martin (American Heroes CD)

1/17     Benjamin Franklin is born in MA (1706) Ben Franklin (American Heroes CD)

1/17     Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low dies in Savannah, GA, age 66 (1927) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

1/19     2015 Observed Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday (1929) Martin (American Heroes CD)

1/22     Theodore Seuss Geisel’s book Oh the Places You’ll Go is published (1990) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

1/23     Jackie Robinson elected to Baseball Hall of Fame (1962) Break the Barrier (More American Heroes CD)

1/23     Elizabeth Blackwell becomes 1st woman doctor in modern times (1849) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

1/24     Albert Einstein and his second wife Elsa have dinner and spend the night at The White House (1934) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

1/27     Rachel Carson wins prestigious National Book Award for The Sea Around Us (1953) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

1/30     Orville Wright dies, age 77 (1948) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

1/31     Jack Roosevelt Robinson is born in Cairo, GA (1919) Break the Barrier (More American Heroes CD)

February is Black History MonthMartin (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Take a Ride (Harriett Tubman), Aren’t I a Woman (Sojourner Truth), Break the Barrier (Jackie Robinson), Can’t Stop Running (Wilma Rudolph), Peanut Man (George Washington Carver), Heads, Hearts, and Hands (Mary McCleod Bethune)

2/3       Benjamin Franklin writes petition calling for end to slavery (1790) Ben Franklin (American Heroes CD)

2/3       Elizabeth Blackwell is born near Bristol, England (1821) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

2/5       William Penn begins a five month jail sentence in Newgate Prison, England for having written and published his Quaker beliefs (1671) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

2/11     Thomas Edison is born in Milan, OH (1847)  The Light Went On (American Heroes CD)   

2/11     Sacajawea gives birth to son Pompey in modern day ND (1805) Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

2/12     Abraham Lincoln is born in KY (1809) All across the Land (American Heroes CD)

2/14     Cesar Chavez begins first fast for non-violence over grape strike (1968) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

2/15     Susan B. Anthony is born in Adams, MA (1820) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

2/15     Susan B. Anthony: “Failure Is Impossible” speech (1906) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

2/17/2014 President’s Day: Washington's Hat & All across the Land (American Heroes CD)

2/19     Roberto Clemente signs contract with Brooklyn Dodgers, age 19 (1954) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

2/20     Frederick Douglass dies (1895) Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

2/20     George Washington Carver is awarded Phi Beta Sigma Distinguished Service Key (1938) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

2/21     Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low becomes the US representative at the international Girl Scout organization (1919) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

2/22     George Washington is born in VA (1732) Washington's Hat (American Heroes CD)          

2/25     Martin Luther King, Jr. is ordained in Baptist ministry, age 19 (1948) Martin (American Heroes CD)            

March is Women’s History Month--Sacajawea, Amelia (Amelia Earhart), Take A Ride (Harriet Tubman), Angel of Mercy (Clara Barton), Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (Helen Keller), Aren’t I A Woman (Sojourner Truth), Eleanor (Eleanor Roosevelt), Carry On (Susan B. Anthony), Pocahontas, Can’t Stop Running (Wilma Rudolph), The Least I Could Do (Jane Addams), Doctor (Elizabeth Blackwell), Powerful (Samantha Smith), Heads, Hearts, and Hands (Mary McCleod Bethune), Unstoppable (Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low), and Interconnected (Rachel Carson).

3/2       Workers break ground on Milton Hershey Chocolate Factory (1903) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)      

3/2       Theodore Seuss Geisel is born in MA (1904) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

3/3       Helen Keller (age 6) & Annie Sullivan meet (1887) Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (More American Heroes CD)

3/4       Thomas Jefferson becomes 3rd President (1801 & 1805) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

3/4       Abraham Lincoln becomes 16th President (1861 & 1865) All across the Land (American Heroes CD)

3/4       King Charles II signs William Penn’s Charter of Pennsylvania at Westminster, England, giving Penn an area of land hereby known at Pennsylvania west of the Delaware River (1681) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

3/4       Theodore Roosevelt becomes Vice President (1901) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

3/4       Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated for a 2nd term as President (1905) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

3/5       William Penn marries Hannah Callowhill (1696) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

3/6       John Muir is temporarily blinded (1867) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

3/10     John Chapman dies in Ft. Wayne, IN (1845)             Johnny Appleseed (More American Heroes CD)

3/10     Harriet Tubman dies in NY (1913) Take a Ride (American Heroes CD)      

3/10     Cesar Chavez ends 25 day fast over grape strike, CA (1968) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

3/11     George Washington Carver Museum is dedicated at Tuskegee, AL (1941) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

3/12     Theodore Seuss Geisel’s book The Cat in the Hat is first published (1957) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

3/12     Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low meets with the first troop of Girl Guides in Savannah, GA (1912) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

3/13     Susan B. Anthony dies in Rochester, NY (1906) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

3/14     Theodore Seuss Geisel’s book Horton Hears a Who! is released as an animated movie (2008) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

3/14     Albert Einstein is born (1879) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

3/16     Birth of Clara Barton’s American Red Cross (1882) Angel of Mercy (American Heroes CD)

3/16     Neil Armstrong flies Gemini 8, conducts 1st manual space-docking (1966) First Man on the Moon (More American Heroes CD)

3/17     Amelia Earhart begins her 1st attempt at flying around the flight, leaving from Oakland, CA (1937) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

3/17     Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation is established—a charitable educational corporation to perpetuate her ideals (1953) Heads, Hearts, and Hands (American Heroes #4)

3/17     Cesar Chavez begins his march to Sacramento, CA (1966) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

3/17     Theodore Roosevelt gives away niece Eleanor Roosevelt in her marriage to her 5th cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt (1905) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4) and Eleanor (More American Heroes CD)

3/20     Roberto Clemente is voted into baseball Hall of Fame (1973) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

3/21     Pocahontas is buried in Gravesend, England (1617) Pocahontas (American Heroes #3 CD)          

3/26     Jonas Salk gives live nation-wide radio broadcast announcing the success of his experimental vaccine (1953) He Will Not Give Up (American Heroes #3)

3/31     Cesar Chavez is born in Yuma, AZ (1927) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

4/3       CBS-TV broadcasts The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson (1963) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

4/4       Martin Luther King, Jr. dies in Memphis, TN (1968) Martin (American Heroes CD)

4/4       William Penn marries Gulielma Springett (1672) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

4/5       Pocahontas marries John Rolfe (1614) Pocahontas (American Heroes #3 CD)

4/7       Sacajawea joins the Lewis & Clark Expedition in present day ND (1805) Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

4/8       Amelia Earhart sets autogiro altitude record of 18,451 ft. (1931) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

4/10     Cesar Chavez completes march to Sacramento, CA (1966) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

4/12     Clara Barton dies (1912) Angel of Mercy (American Heroes CD)

4/12     Announcement that Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine is proven safe and effective (1955) He Will Not Give Up (American Heroes #3)      

4/12     Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested for demonstrating without a permit (1962) Martin (American Heroes CD)

4/13     Thomas Jefferson is born in VA (1743) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

4/14     Abraham Lincoln is shot at Ford Theatre (1865) All across the Land (American Heroes CD)         

4/14     John Muir (age 42) marries Louie Strentzel (1880) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)         

4/14     Rachel Carson dies in Silver Spring, MD, age 54 (1964) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

4/18     Albert Einstein dies at age 76 (1955) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

4/18     Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier, plays 1st Major League game (1946) Break the Barrier (More American Heroes CD)

4/16     Wilbur Wright is born in IN (1867) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

4/17     Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at age 84 (1790) Ben Franklin (American Heroes CD)

4/20     Amelia Earhart becomes 1st person to fly solo Los Angeles to Mexico City Amelia (American Heroes CD)

4/21     John Muir is born in Dunbar, Scotland (1838) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

4/23     Cesar Chavez dies, San Luis, AZ, age 66 (1993) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

4/23     Theodore Roosevelt delivers Man in the Arena speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France (1910) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

4/24     Hershey Park opens for 1st time (1907) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)

4/25     Samantha Smith receives a letter back from Yuri Andropov (1983) Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

4/26     John Smith 1st arrives in present day VA (1607) Pocahontas (American Heroes #3 CD)

4/26     Children begin receiving Jonas Salk’s 1st polio vaccine (1954) He Will Not Give Up (American Heroes #3)

4/28     Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom is founded by Jane Addams (1915) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3)

4/29     Funeral of Cesar Chavez in CA is attended by more than 35,000 people (1993) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

4/30     George Washington becomes 1st President (1789) Washington's Hat (American Heroes CD)

5/1       Jane Addams opens 1st public playground in Chicago (1892) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3)

5/1       Theodore Seuss Geisel (age 14) experiences medal mishap with former President Theodore Roosevelt (1918) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4) and Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

5/8       Amelia Earhart becomes the 1st person to fly solo from Mexico City, Mexico to Newark, NJ (1935) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

5/10     International Grape Boycott Day is declared by UFW (1969) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

5/12     Opening of Elizabeth Blackwell’s NY Infirmary for Women & Children (1857) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

5/14     Sacajawea’s quick action saves many supplies during sudden storm, Lewis & Clark Expedition (1805)            Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

5/14     The Wright Brothers fly with their 1st airplane passenger (1908) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

5/15     John Muir & President Theodore Roosevelt camp 1st night, Yosemite (1903) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3) and Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

5/15     Amelia Earhart becomes the 16th woman to be issued a pilot’s license (1923) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

5/15     Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir camp under giant Sequoia trees near Yosemite Valley, CA (1903) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4) and Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

5/16     Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir camp at Glacier Point above Yosemite Valley, CA (1903) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4) and Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

5/17     Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir camp in Yosemite Valley, CA (1903) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4) and Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

5/18     Mary McCleod Bethune dies in Daytona Beach, FL, age 80 (1955) Heads, Hearts, and Hands (American Heroes #4)

5/21     Amelia Earhart 1st solo flight across Atlantic Ocean, age 34 (1932)  Amelia (American Heroes CD)

5/21     Jane Addams dies in Chicago, IL, age 74 (1935) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3)

5/25     Milton Hershey marries Catherine Sweeney in New York, NY (1898) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)

5/25     The Wright Brothers make their 1st and only flight together (1910) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

5/27     Rachel Carson is born in Springdale, PA (1907) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

5/28     Sojourner Truth makes “Aren’t I a Woman” speech in Akron (1851) Aren’t I a Woman (More American Heroes CD)

5/30     Wilbur Wright dies, age 45 (1912) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

5/31     Elizabeth Blackwell dies, age 89 (1910) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

6/1       Isabella Van Wagener changes her name to Sojourner Truth (1843) Aren’t I a Woman (More American Heroes CD)

6/1       Helen Keller dies at home in CT (1968) Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (More American Heroes CD)

6/1       Amelia Earhart round-the-world flight begins, Miami, FL (1937) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

6/2       Every 1st Monday of June in Maine is Samantha Smith Day to commemorate and honor her for opening the door to friendship among nations of the world. Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

6/2       Bronze bust of George Washington Carver is unveiled, Tuskegee, AL (1937) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

6/4       John Muir becomes 1st president of The Sierra Club, CA (1892) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

6/10     Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low helps organize the first Girl Scout Convention, Washington, DC (1915) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

6/11     Thomas Jefferson begins writing Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia (1776) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

6/14     Rachel Carson is awarded master’s degree, marine zoology by Johns Hopkins University (1932) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

6/17     Susan B. Anthony trial begins. She is fined $100 for voting (1873) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

6/21     Amelia Earhart receives Distinguished Flying Cross from U.S. Congress (1932) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

6/21     Theodore Seuss Geisel marries Audrey Diamond, his 2nd wife (1968) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

6/22     Albert Einstein takes his citizenship test in Trenton, NJ (1940) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

6/23     Jonas Salk dies, age 80 (1995) He Will Not Give Up (American Heroes #3)

6/23     Martin Luther, King, Jr. leads 125,000 people on Freedom Walk in Detroit (1963) Martin (American Heroes CD)

6/23     Wilma Rudolph is born 20th child in her family in St. Bethlehem, TN (1940) Can’t Stop Running (American Heroes #3)            

6/27     Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia, AL (1880) Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (More American Heroes CD)

6/28     Thomas Jefferson submits his Declaration of Independence to Congress (1776) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

6/29     Samantha Smith is born in Maine (1972) Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

7/1       Theodore Roosevelt experiences his “crowded hour” on the San Juan Hills, Cuba (1898) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

7/2       Amelia Earhart disappears in the South Pacific (1937) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

7/2       Rachel Carson publishes her second book, The Sea Around Us (1951) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

7/4       Congress adopts edited version of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1776) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

7/4       Thomas Jefferson dies on 50th anniversary of Declaration of Independence, VA (1826) What He Wrote (American Heroes #3)

7/4       Sojourner Truth gains freedom from slavery, age 30 (1827) Aren’t I a Woman (More American Heroes CD)

7/5       Frederick Douglass delivers famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” in Rochester, NY (1852)       Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

7/6       Amelia Earhart sets woman’s speed record of 181 mph (1930) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

7/7       Samantha Smith begins her journey to the Soviet Union, age 11 (1983) Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

7/10     Mary McCleod Bethune is born in Mayesville, SC (1875) Heads, Hearts, and Hands (American Heroes #4)

7/12     George Washington Carver’s probable birth date, Diamond Grove, MO (1864) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

7/13     Walt Disney marries Lillian Bounds in Lewiston, Idaho (1925) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4)

7/14     George Washington Carver National Monument established at his birthplace (1943) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

7/16     Apollo 11 is launched, commanded by Neil Armstrong (1969) First Man on the Moon (More American Heroes CD)

7/16     Cesar Chavez begins a 36 day fast to protest pesticide usage (1988) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

7/18     Walt Disney’s Disneyland officially opens (1955) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4)

7/20     Neil Armstrong first steps on the moon, 10:56 PM EST (1969) First Man on the Moon (More American Heroes CD)

7/22     Samantha Smith ends her journey to the Soviet Union journey, age 11 (1983) Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

7/24     Amelia Earhart is born in Kansas (1897) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

7/24     Roberto Clemente Night at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA (1970) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

7/25     George Washington Carver Museum opens, Tuskegee, AL (1939) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

7/29     CA grape growers sign United Farm Worker’s contract, led by Cesar Chavez (1970) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

7/30     William Penn dies in Ruscombe, Berkshire, England, age 73 (1718) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

8/5       Neil Armstrong is born in OH (1930) First Man on the Moon (More American Heroes CD)

8/6       Roberto Clemente is posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY, (1973) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

8/7       Rachel Carson (age 49) and her niece, Marji witness the firefly incident, Southport Island, ME (1956) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

8/8       Wilbur Wright captures the imagination of the world with his first public flight in Paris, France (1908) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

8/8       Helen Chavez accepts Medal of Freedom for her late husband, White House (1994) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

8/9       Frederick Douglass first rouses interest at an antislavery meeting in MA (1841) Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

8/12     William Penn sets sail from Philadelphia to London (1684) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

8/12     Theodore Seuss Geisel’s book Green Eggs and Ham is 1st published (1960) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

8/13     Clara Barton begins nursing wounded Civil War soldiers (1862) Angel of Mercy (American Heroes CD)

8/15     Tecumseh & William Henry Harrison meet for first time (1810) Tecumseh (More American Heroes CD)    

8/17     Sacajawea concludes her one year and four month journey with Lewis & Clark in present-day ND (1806) Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

8/18     Sacajawea helps Lewis & Clark trade for Shoshone horses (1805) Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

8/18     Roberto Clemente is born in Puerto Rico (1934) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

8/19     Orville Wright is born in OH (1871)   When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

8/21     Cesar Chavez ends a 36 day water-only Fast for Life (1988)            Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

8/24     Theodore Seuss Geisel sets sail for England to study in Oxford (1925) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

8/25     Amelia Earhart sets women’s nonstop transcontinental speed record (1932) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

8/25     Samantha Smith dies in a plane crash, age 13, Maine (1985) Powerful (American Heroes #4 CD)

8/26     “Susan B. Anthony Amendment” adopted -- women are given the right to vote (1920) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

8/28     Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream Speech,” Washington, DC (1963) Martin (American Heroes CD)

8/28     Jackie Robinson meets Branch Rickey, joins Dodgers (1945) Break the Barrier (More American Heroes CD)

9/1       John Muir begins his first “tramp,” a 1,000 mile walk from IN (1867) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

9/1       Milton Hershey School opens doors to 1st two orphaned boys (1910) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)

9/1       William Penn sets sail for America on the ship Welcome with approximately 100 other Quakers. Thirty-one die from disease in the two month voyage (1682) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

9/2       Wilma Rudolph wins her 1st Olympic Gold Medal in Rome, Italy (1960) Can’t Stop Running (American Heroes #3)

9/3       Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery in MD (1838) Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

9/3       William Penn and family set sail on his second and final trip to America (1699) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

9/3       William Penn is arrested in Cork, Ireland for attending a Quaker meeting (1667) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

9/5       Wilma Rudolph wins her 2nd Olympic Gold Medal in Rome, Italy (1960) Can’t Stop Running (American Heroes #3)

9/6       Albert Einstein is voted to become recipient of Nobel Prize in Physics (1922) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

9/6       Jane Addams is born in Cedarville, IL (1860) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3)

9/6       Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, hiking in the Adirondacks, is informed President McKinley has been shot (1901) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

9/8       Wilma Rudolph wins her 3rd Olympic Gold medal in Rome, Italy (1960) Can’t Stop Running (American Heroes #3)

9/9       Rachel Carson’s second book, The Sea Around Us, hits #1 on the NY Times bestseller list (1951) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

9/13     Milton Hershey is born in Derry, PA (1857) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)

9/14     Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the United States (1901) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

9/18     Jane Addams moves into Hull House, Chicago, IL (1889) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3)           

9/22     Abraham Lincoln delivers Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in areas still in rebellion within 100 days will be free (1862) All across the Land (American Heroes CD)

9/22     Cesar Chavez receives congratulatory telegram from M. L. King, Jr. (1966) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

9/22     George Washington Carver announces his creation of peanut milk (1919) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)           

9/24     Theodore Seuss Geisel dies, age 87 (1991) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

9/26     John Chapman is born in Leominster, MA (1774) Johnny Appleseed (More American Heroes CD)           

9/27     Rachel Carson publishes her fourth and final book, Silent Spring, (1962) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

9/30     Roberto Clemente gets 3,000th major league hit (11th man to do it) (1972) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

10/1     Yosemite National Park bill is passed (1890), thanks to persistent urging of John Muir. Come Back Home (American Heroes #3)

10/1     William Penn meets with governors of several colonies to discuss the idea of union of the American colonies (1700) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

10/1     Albert Einstein becomes a United States citizen (1940) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

10/1     The Walt Disney World Resort, including the Magic Kingdom Park, opens to the public (1971) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4)

10/4     Mary McCleod Bethune at age 29 opens the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for five Negro Girls aged 8-12, in a rented building. Tuition: 50 cents per week (1904) Heads, Hearts, and Hands (American Heroes #4)

10/5     Tecumseh dies in battle, age 45 (1813) Tecumseh (More American Heroes CD)

10/8     George Washington Carver arrives in AL to teach at Tuskegee Institute (1896) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

10/8     President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation on October 8, 2012, creating the César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene, CA, at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, the national headquarters of the United Farmworkers of America and the home of César Chávez from 1971-1993 Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3 CD)

10/9     Roberto Clemente signs contract to play professional baseball (1952) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

10/11   Eleanor Roosevelt born, New York City (1884) Eleanor (More American Heroes CD)

10/13   Milton Hershey dies, Hershey, PA, age 88 (1945) Chocolate King (American Heroes #3)

10/14   William Penn is born, in London, England (1644) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

10/17   Albert Einstein arrives NY harbor, age 54, never to leave the US again (1933) E=mc2 (American Heroes #4)

10/18   Thomas Edison dies in Llewellyn Park, NJ. The nation dims its lights for one minute on the day of his funeral (1931) The Light Went On (American Heroes CD)

10/19   George Washington defeats British in Yorktown, VA, ending the Revolutionary War (1781) Washington's Hat (American Heroes CD)                                                                                                                             

10/19   Ben Franklin publishes news of his discovery that lightning is electricity (1752) Ben Franklin (American Heroes CD)

10/21   Thomas Edison invents 1st practical light bulb (1879) The Light Went On (American Heroes CD)

10/22   Cesar Chavez marries Helen Fabela in CA (1948) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)       

10/22   Amelia Earhart sets woman’s altitude record of 14,000 ft. (1922) Amelia (American Heroes CD)

10/24   Jackie Robinson dies in Stamford, CT, age 53 (1972) Break the Barrier (More American Heroes CD)

10/26   Rachel Carson publishes her third book, The Edge of the Sea, (1955) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

10/27   William Penn lands at New Castle, DE, arriving in North America for the first time (1682) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

10/27   Theodore Roosevelt is born in New York (1858) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

10/27   Theodore Roosevelt marries Alice Lee (1880) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

10/28   Jonas Salk is born in NY (1914) He Will Not Give Up (American Heroes #3)

10/31 Juliette “Daisy” Gordon is born in Savannah, GA (1860) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

11/1     Rachel Carson’s 1st book, Under the Sea-Wind, is published (1941) Interconnected (American Heroes #4 CD)

11/2     Elizabeth Blackwell opens America’s first Women’s Medical College in New York, NY (1868) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

11/3     William Penn and family leave Pennsbury Manor, PA, for the last time (1701) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

11/5     Susan B. Anthony votes illegally, makes national headlines (1872) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

11/7     Eleanor Roosevelt dies, age 78 (1962) Eleanor (More American Heroes CD)

11/7     Elizabeth Blackwell begins medical school in Geneva, NY (1847) Doctor (American Heroes #3)

11/7     Tecumseh fights in the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811) Tecumseh (More American Heroes CD)

11/8     Theodore Roosevelt is elected in overwhelming victory for 2nd term as US president (1904) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

11/12   Wilma Rudolf dies in Brentwood, TN (1994) Can’t Stop Running (American Heroes #3)

11/14   Roberto Clemente marries Vera Cristina Zabala, in Puerto Rico (1964) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

11/16   Roberto Clemente is voted MVP in the National League (1966) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

11/17   George Washington Carver Museum Art Rooms opened, Tuskegee, AL (1941) Peanut Man (American Heroes #3 CD)

11/18   Susan B. Anthony arrested & charged with “illegal voting” (1872) Carry On (More American Heroes CD)

11/18   Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, the world's first synchronized sound cartoon, premieres in New York (1928) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4)

11/19   Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, PA (1863) All across the Land (American Heroes CD)

11/22   Roberto Clemente is 1st draft choice of Pittsburgh Pirates (1954) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4)

11/26   Sojourner Truth dies in MI, age 86 (1883) Aren’t I a Woman (More American Heroes CD)

11/28   President Ronald Reagan, by Presidential Proclamation, declares William Penn and his wife, Hannah, to be two of only seven people ever to be made Honorary Citizens of the United States (1984) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

11/29   Theodore Seuss Geisel marries Helen Marion Palmer in Westfield, NJ (1927) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4)

12/1     William Penn with wife Hannah and daughter Letitia arrive in PA for their second and final visit (1699) Come with Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/2     Theodore Roosevelt marries Edith Carow in England (1886) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4)

12/3     Frederick Douglass publishes 1st issue of The North Star newspaper (1847) Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

12/5     Walt Disney is born in Chicago Illinois (1901) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4)

12/6     Thomas Edison makes 1st recording of human voice successfully repeated by mechanical device with "Mary had a little lamb” (1877) The Light Went On (American Heroes CD)

12/7     Benjamin Franklin forms 1st Volunteer Fire Company in Philadelphia, PA (1736) Ben Franklin (American Heroes CD)

12/7     Lewis & Clark camp for the winter & start building Ft. Clatsop in present day Astoria, OR (1805)            Sacajawea (American Heroes CD)

12/10   Human Rights Declaration passed by United Nations, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt (1948) Eleanor (More American Heroes CD)

12/10   Martin Luther King. Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, age 35 (1964) Martin (American Heroes CD)

12/10   Jane Addams is 1st American woman awarded Nobel Peace Prize (1931) The Least I Could Do (American Heroes #3 CD)

12/10   Theodore Roosevelt is awarded Nobel Peace Prize (1906) Man in the Arena (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/12   Frederick Douglass becomes a free man (1846) Agitate (More American Heroes CD)

12/12   William Penn is ordered arrested by the bishop and taken to the tower of London (1668) Come With Me (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/14   George Washington dies at his home, Mt. Vernon, VA (1799) Washington's Hat (American Heroes CD)

12/14   Cesar Chavez is jailed for defying court injunction against boycotting (1970) Si Se Puede! (American Heroes #3)

12/15   Walt Disney dies in Burbank CA, age 65 (1966) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/17   The Wright Brothers achieve the dream of flight (1903) When They Flew (More American Heroes CD)

12/18   Theodore Seuss Geisel’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1st TV broadcast (1966) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/21   Juliette "Daisy" Gordon marries William Low in Savannah (1886) Unstoppable (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/21   Theodore Seuss Geisel’s 1st book And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street is published (1937) Dr. Seuss (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/21   Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated musical feature, premieres in Los Angeles (1937) Through the Eyes of a Child (American Heroes #4 CD)

12/24   John Muir dies (1914) Come Back Home (American Heroes #3 CD)

12/25   Clara Barton is born in MA (1821) Angel of Mercy (American Heroes CD)

12/25   George Washington crosses the Delaware River and captures Trenton, NJ (1776) Washington's Hat (American Heroes CD)

12/28   Amelia Earhart experiences her first flight, 10 minutes, $10 (1920)  Amelia (American Heroes CD)

12/30   Pocahontas saves the life of Captain John Smith’s life (1st time) (1607) Pocahontas (American Heroes #3 CD)

12/31   Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash in Puerto Rico, age 38 (1972) Hall of Fame (American Heroes #4 CD)



(By First Time GRAMMY Nominee Jonathan Sprout “Best Musical Album for Children”)

Many of you have asked for an account of my adventures at The GRAMMYs. Here goes…

I flew into Los Angeles on the Thursday before the Sunday night GRAMMYs. That afternoon, I rehearsed “Doctor” and “Chocolate King” for the first time ever with some of the people who helped write, perform, engineer and produce AH#3 -- Dave Kinnoin, Jimmy Hammer, Leslie Chew and Hillary Black. It was the first time we’d all ever been together in the same room. The rehearsal was magical. Right away, I knew we were going to be able to pull off our “unplugged” version of these two songs at The GRAMMY Museum in two days. We practiced late into the evening and then went to a restaurant in Encino with Regina Kelland, our marketer/publicist, who had flown in from Florida to be part of the weekend. We stayed late into the night, proposing toasts to The GRAMMYs and were the last customers to leave the restaurant. By the time I was back in my room at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, it had been 22 hours since I’d awakened in PA that morning.

Friday night was rehearsal #2 back in Encino at Jimmy Hammer’s studio. We continued working out and memorizing our parts late into the night.

Saturday began at 8:30 with a breakfast gathering of children’s music makers at a restaurant next to The GRAMMY Museum. Nearly 100 children’s singer-songwriters, publicists, and marketers were on hand to network. My fellow GRAMMY nominees and I were introduced before we headed off for a sound check on the GRAMMY Museum stage. Things were a little hectic at the sound check, but we got our few minutes to sing a song , and then it was back to the network breakfast to meet some of my fellow children’s music makers and shakers.  

I met Debbi Derryberry, the voice of Jimmy Neutron, and numerous other people I’d only heard of for years. Just before it was time for me to head for the “green room” before our performance, I was interviewed outside on a café table by John Wood and Dan Crow of (where my CDs are available).

The 200 seat state-of-the-art sound stage at The GRAMMY Museum had hosted a Ringo Starr appearance a few days earlier. We six nominees in the Children’s Music category were asked to perform a couple of songs each. Everyone came -- Milkshake (Baltimore, MD), Ziggy Marley (Jamaica), Buck Howdy (San Diego), Cathy & Marcy (Washington, DC), Greg & Steve (CA), and me.


The show was a sell out. The walls of the theater were lined with people who couldn’t get a seat. Many people were turned away at the door.


Dean Pitchford, songwriter of “Fame” and screenwriter of the movie Footloose (1984), was up for a GRAMMY in the children’s spoken word category. I had a fun conversation with Dean up in the green room, and then it was time for him to head down to the theater to kick off the concert with a reading from one of his books. Eventually, we went on and performed our two songs to an enthusiastic, intelligent and appreciate crowd of mostly music industry grown-ups and their families.

Some facts to put this GRAMMY experience into perspective:  In 2008, there were over 105,000 albums released. At the 2010 GRAMMYs, there were 1,004 nominees from approximately 110 different categories. Nominees are determined by members of the Recording Academy who vote. You can join if you’re a professional who has worked for a while in the field of recorded music. Normally, five nominees are chosen per category. In my category, there were six, which means there was a tie in the voting. The GRAMMY winner is determined by the same voters in a second round of voting.

Many GRAMMY experts claim the highlight of the weekend is the Saturday GRAMMY Nominee reception. It was held after the lifetime achievement awards ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell near Hollywood. The place is an extraordinary mansion with courtyards, gardens, a ballroom, and, in our case, a red carpet. It has hosted performances and events since the 1920s. Judy Garland was discovered here in the 1930s. Amelia Earhart made her last public appearance here before disappearing on her around-the-world attempt in 1937.

We rushed from our concert to our Hotel room, donned our spiffy outfits and were driven to The Wilshire Ebell. We walked the red carpet to the theater and saw Leonard Cohen (“Suzanne”) and others receive lifetime achievement awards (including Michael Jackson’s manager on behalf of Michael), took some pictures, and then attended the reception. Stars were everywhere. We chatted with numerous nominees and spotted Jimmy Jam, Weird Al Yankovic, and New Age gurus Kitaro and David Darling.  

And there was buffet shrimp, king crab legs, lamb, etc., to die for… Everywhere… all evening.

Every nominee gets a beautiful Tiffany GRAMMY medallion. It looks like an Olympic bronze medal, complete with a purple ribbon. You wait in a long line to receive your medal. We stood behind the writer of the most radio-played Christian music song of the year and in front of members of the GRAMMY nominated legendary group Hiroshima. When you get to the check-in spot, you sign your name in a book with a list of nominees before receiving your medal and having an official GRAMMY photo taken of you. The sign in book lists names alphabetically. The name just above mine was “Bruce Springsteen.” Above Bruce was “Brittney Spears.”

Security on Sunday, Grammy Day, was so tight that our taxi driver couldn’t get within two blocks of the arena without the pass we were given to give him. We waited in line to go through airport-type security at around noon in the warm California sun.

Ninety-nine GRAMMYs were given out between 1:00 and 3:00 PM Sunday afternoon in the Convention Center adjacent to The Staples Arena. I sat with my band cohorts a few rows from fellow children’s music nominees Greg & Steve and Cathy & Marcy and their entourages. The children’s music GRAMMY was given out in the #15 spot. Ziggy Marley, the winner, was not present to receive it.

Then it was through tunnels of white tenting over red carpets into The Staples Arena to our special GRAMMY Nominee seats. In the seat behind ours was the attorney for the Zak Brown Band which performed that night and won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist.

The show was one amazing performance after another. Lady Gaga’s leaps, Beyonce’s hair flinging struts and Pink’s circus-like water-drenched spinnings were stunning and unforgettable. If you want to be a star in today’s music world, you’d better be good in gym class too!

Ringo Starr walked out on the proscenium to present a GRAMMY and I realized it was the first time in my life I was in the same “room” as a Beatle. Earlier, I’d walked right past Tony Bennett.

I arrived at The GRAMMYs a nominee and I left a fan. How could we not appreciate the talent and organization, the attention to details of sight and sound and security that had to happen in order to pull off this most amazing concert … this most amazing weekend? The entire weekend was a peak experience that culminated in that riveting three and one-half hour extraordinary concert.

Some people have told me they’ve very disappointed I didn’t win. To be honest, I knew the odds of our winning were slim. I have no regrets about the outcome of the weekend. I knew at 10:00 PM on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, when I first learned about my nomination while checking my email in a motel room in Connecticut, that I was going to come home a winner, regardless of the final outcome.


 Air Guitar at French Creek Elementary
School, Pottstown, PA
 Hero Banner Holders in Indianapolis, IN
 Photo by Scott Friedman
 French Creek Elementary School, Pottstown, PA
 The Light Went On after a concert
 Jonathan with Mrs. Sue Ellen Turner’s class at Lebanon Borough School 3/17/09
 Jonathan in concert
 Jonathan in concert, Indianapolis, IN 5/13/09


 Jonathan in concert, Indianapolis, IN 5/13/09
 Jonathan in concert, Indianapolis, IN
 Jonathan with Poor Richard’s Almanac, IN 5/13/09
 Jonathan in Indianapolis, IN  5/13/09


 Looking for a hero…
 Mrs. Bennett’s Wall Display preceding Jonathan’s concerts at Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School, 2008


 Jonathan Sprout with Siedah Garrett in Los Angeles at ASCAP Songwriter’s Expo, 2009
 Jonathan Sprout at Steckel Elementary School
 “Hero… Looking for a hero… Someone to look up to…”

Jonathan Sprout's CDs can be purchased via CD Baby, or mail order by printing out our order form here!

Jonathan Sprout Biography

American Heroes

More American Heroes

American Heroes #3





  Practical Ideas For Using American Heroes Songs in Your School

  To purchase Jonathan’s music online, click Songs for Teaching, or click
Dr. Dennis Denenberg, Author of two great books about heroes and former Professor at Millersville University.
Learn about  Dave Kinnoin, co-writer of many songs with Jonathan.
Learn about Peter Bliss, co-producer with Jonathan of American Heroes and electric guitarist on American Heroes & More American Heroes.
The Children’s Music Network is a leading national organization with members and chapters in the United States and Canada, and connections with people throughout the world who care about music and children.
For links related to the heroes on my two American Heroes CD's, please click the MY HEROES star, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on a specific hero and scroll to the bottom of that page.
  Joe Mennonna helped produce, engineer and arrange as well as play many of the instruments on American Heroes #3 and on More American Heroes.
  Regina Kelland of Kelland Consulting helps to market Jonathan's CDs.  She is former head of A&M Records Children's Division.
Leslie Chew helped engineer and play guitar on American Heroes and American Heroes #3.  Leslie is an expert sound technician consultant.
A great kids radio show in Philadelphia, Kids Corner, WXPN Radio, where you can request Jonathan's music
The Sierra Club, co-founded by John Muir, has dedicated a page to the story behind Dave Kinnoin's and my song "Come Back Home" about John Muir (on my American Heroes #3 CD)


August 2012  

Olympic Joy

The London Games are over

Some of us are experiencing a post-Olympics let down.  The Games of the London Olympics are over, but their inspiring stories live on.

Every couple of years, the world sends its best athletes to a place where they can come out and play for a couple of weeks.  We watch.  We fall in love with the humble, the brilliant and the flashy competitors.  We envy the bold and daring, we chide the egocentrics, and we weep with the victors whose life-long dreams have finally come true.

The Russians

Did you see the TV commercial about a Russian girl who dreamt of being a gymnast?  She grew too tall.  Heartbreak?  No.  She used her height to her advantage, tweaked the dream, and became one of the best pole-vaulters in the world.

Did you notice how often Russian and American athletes actually hugged each other?  There was a time, not too many Olympics ago, when we Americans and Russians believed we were enemies, when an advertisement about a Russian pole-vaulter here in The US would have been considered inappropriate and un-American.

The Miracle on Ice

I attended the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY.  The night of the Miracle on Ice when the US amateur hockey team defeated the dominant Soviet team, I was performing in concert a few hundred yards away.  I will never forget the wild, well-mannered joy of that night’s celebration.  The young and the old hung from lampposts and danced in the streets waving American flags at a time when it was not cool to be so openly patriotic.

A day or two later, I attended the bronze medal hockey consolation match.  Little did I know a most memorable medal ceremony would immediately follow the game.  Yes, I was there when those ecstatic American hockey players, draped in American flags, jubilantly received their gold medals.    

I also attended the outdoor speed skating event in Lake Placid where Eric Heiden won his unprecedented fifth and final gold medal.  In the bleachers, not far from where I was standing, a small group of ankle-length fur coat-clad Soviets cheered “Veek-tor!  Veek-tor!  Veek-tor!” for one of their compatriots.

They were seriously outnumbered by the rest of us.  We Americans could have shouted them down with “Eric! Eric!  Eric!”  Instead, we cast suspicious glances at them and kept our distance.

If that Olympic event had happened recently, we would have gone out of our way to welcome them.  We would have snapped pictures and swapped email addresses.  In no time, we would have been making plans to visit each other in our homes half a world away from each other.

A Friendlier World

More and more of the world is becoming this way – friendly and welcoming.  Walls between nations keep coming down.  Bridges connecting us to each other are rising up.

Our world is getting friendlier.  I have travelled enough to sense this.  We human beings are growing up.  We are better than ever at getting along with each other.  More and more of us choose to see that we could be enriched, not threatened, by our differences. 

I loved these past two Olympic magical weeks.  Our young ones, our dreamers, showed the world how much fun it can all be, if we could just play by a few simple rules.

Now I have to wait two years before the next Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.  I wonder if Veek-tor will be there.  Maybe I’ll go look for him.



 American Heroes #4 - A CD and a Book!



Horn Tooting

"I speak with people, not to them" is what Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said when asked why he preferred not to give speeches.  I often feel that way as I prepare these newsletters for you.  Like Geisel, I'm not strong with the horn-tooting.  I'm better one-on-one.

My Books

Yes, my books.  Some day soon.  My passion for sharing inspiring information about heroes with our kids continues to grow.  Lately, I have been writing stories about each of the ten heroes on my forthcoming CD/Book.  And, yes, I've decided, with the help of those of you who responded to the last newsletter, to make one book to correspond with the new album/CD.

Theodore Seuss Geisel

Think about Theodore Seuss Geisel, the first of ten heroes on American Heroes #4.

Did you know.....

* He had a wicked case of stage fright?  It all began when he was 14 years old.  He and nine fellow Boy Scouts were to receive medals from former President Theodore Roosevelt in front of a crowd of thousands.  Ted was last in line.  Someone screwed up and brought only nine medals.  Poor Ted was whisked off stage to avoid embarrassing the President.  It was not a good self-esteem moment.

* Twenty-seven publishers rejected his first book.  (Sound a little like Elizabeth Blackwell?)

* Geisel's forty-seven books were translated into twenty languages and have sold more than 200 million copies. Among the ten bestselling hardcover children's books of all time, four were written by him: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Hop on Pop.

* To children of all ages, Dr. Suess remains the most famous and influential name in children's literature.

* His honors included two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Jimmy Hammer and I have written an appropriately zany song about this most unusual guy. 




American Heroes #4 – the CD

For the past 18 months, I’ve been at work researching and writing songs about another ten great American heroes.  It’s been a labor of love which has included reading more than 100 books, working with co-writer Dave Kinnoin and doing countless re-writes and edits.  My goal: all songs written by January 2012.  We’re hoping to release the album in 2013.  The excitement is building.  More to follow…

Steve Jobs, American Hero

With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, we’ve lost a great American hero.    He was a brilliant visionary -- a blender of art and technology -- who helped make life easier and more enjoyable for millions.  I marvel every day at the amazing things my iPhone can do, and I predict, as we get some distance from his life and gain a better understanding of all that he did, more of us will see him as a great hero. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life … Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”— Steve Jobs, 2005





Yours truly has recently discovered YouTube.  I know.  I’m one of the last.  Over the past year, with the help of a couple of techno YouTube-savvy computer experts, we’ve posted video highlights of four of my five concerts as well as an experimental video using a song from our American Heroes #3 album.  “Doctor” is about Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor in America.  You can watch our latest version of the video HERE.


How Many Concerts?!

A couple decades ago, I went through all my old bookings calendars and tallied every show I’d ever performed.  Including my first public performance at a place called Happy Jack’s in Lake Placid, NY (for which I was seriously heckled and paid $12) in 1974, I have sung a little over 1,000 grown-up shows.

In 1981, I saw the light and eventually evolved into a children’s singer.  To date, I’ve performed 4,970 children’s shows (5,986 total shows).  It’s looking like I’ll be singing my 5,000th children’s concert this April.  How should I celebrate? Do we bake a cake?  I must be old…



A New American Heroes Album in the Works…

It’ll be at least a couple of years before it’s done, but I’m now at work researching another ten great American heroes.  This is the quiet, less stressful phase of my album-making process, the part I enjoy the most, where all I have to do is learn about and be inspired by another batch of amazing people.  There are well over 50 books I’ve accumulated, so I have my work cut out for me.  I’m grateful for the help many of you offered me in choosing them.  In time, I’ll share with you these latest heroes and their inspiring stories.


Jonathan Hikes The French, Italian and Swiss Alps…


It was the fulfillment of a decades-long dream.  Last month, I completed a challenging 110-mile hike around Mt. Blanc beginning and ending in Chamonix, France, walking through parts of Italy and Switzerland as well.  With fifteen friends from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and South Africa, I walked through perhaps the grandest scenery I have ever seen, and returned home to the states invigorated and inspired.  Will there someday be an album of songs about Alpine heroes?  We shall see…




Many of you have asked for an account of my adventures at The GRAMMYs last week, so here goes… 


My fellow children’s music nominees and I had been asked to perform a couple of songs each at The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles the day before the awards ceremony, as part of the festivities leading up to Sunday’s televised GRAMMYs.


Los Angeles

I flew into Los Angeles on Thursday.  That afternoon, I rehearsed “Doctor” and “Chocolate King” for the first time ever with some of the people who helped write, perform, engineer and produce AH#3 -- Dave Kinnoin, Jimmy Hammer, Leslie Chew and Hillary Black.  Because of the miracles of modern album making which allowed us to email our recorded parts to each other, this was the first time we’d ever actually been together in the same room. We practiced late into the evening and by the time I was back in my room at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, it had been 22 hours since I’d awakened in PA that morning. 


Friday was rehearsal #2 back in Encino at Jimmy Hammer’s studio.  We continued working out and memorizing our parts late into the night. Saturday began at 8:30 with a breakfast gathering of children’s music makers at a restaurant next to The GRAMMY Museum.  Nearly 100 children’s music makers and marketers were on hand to meet and greet each other.   I met Debbi Derryberry, the voice of Jimmy Neutron, and numerous other people I’d only heard about for years.  Just before it was time for me to head for the “green room” prior to our performance, I was interviewed by the folks at (where my CDs are available) outside on a café table.        


Saturday's GRAMMY Concert

The 220 seat state-of-the-art sound stage at The GRAMMY Museum is a performer’s dream; and every one of the nominees in my category of children’s music came -- Milkshake (Baltimore, MD), Ziggy Marley, Buck Howdy (San Diego), Cathy & Marcy (Washington, DC), Greg & Steve (CA), and me. Dean Pitchford, songwriter of “Fame” and screenwriter of the movie Footloose (1984), was up for a GRAMMY in the children’s spoken word category.  We were chatting it up there in the green room until it was time for Dean to head down to the theater to kick off the concert with a reading from one of his books. The show was a sell out.  The walls of the theater were lined with people who couldn’t get a seat.  Many were turned away at the door. Eventually, we went on and performed our two songs to an enthusiastic, intelligent and appreciate crowd of mostly music industry grown-ups and their families.  The concert was a great success!         


Some facts to put the GRAMMYs into perspective:  In 2008, there were over 105,000 albums released.  At the 2010 GRAMMYs, there were 1,004 nominees from approximately 110 different categories.  There are two children’s categories: “Best Musical Album for Children” and “Best Spoken Word Album for Children.”  Nominees are determined by members of the Recording Academy who vote.  (You can join The Academy if you’re a professional who works in the field of recorded music.) Normally, five nominees are chosen per category.  In my category, there were six nominees, which means there was a tie.  The GRAMMY winner is determined by the same voters in round two. 


GRAMMY experts claim the highlight of the weekend is the Saturday GRAMMY Nominee reception.  This year, it was held after the lifetime achievement awards ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell near Hollywood.  The place is an extraordinary mansion with courtyards, gardens, a ballroom, and, in our case, a red carpet.  This is the place where Amelia Earhart made her last public appearance before disappearing on her around-the-world attempt in 1937.           

Every nominee gets a beautiful Tiffany GRAMMY medallion.  It looks like an Olympic bronze medal, complete with a purple ribbon.  You wait in a long line to receive your medal.  When you get to the check-in spot, you sign your name in a book with a list of nominees before receiving your medal and having an official GRAMMY photo taken of you.  The sign in book lists names alphabetically.  The name just above mine was “Bruce Springsteen.”  Above Bruce was “Brittney Spears.”  That’s the closest I came to either of them that weekend. 


Sunday, GRAMMY Day

Ninety-nine GRAMMYs were given out between 1:00 and 3:30 PM Sunday afternoon in the Convention Center adjacent to The Staples Arena.  (You can watch this for the next couple of weeks at  I sat with my band cohorts a few rows from fellow kids nominees Greg & Steve and Cathy & Marcy and their entourages.  The children’s music GRAMMY was given out in the #15 spot.  Ziggy Marley won it, but was not present to receive it.      

We saw Taylor Swift receive her first and second GRAMMYs and we were all touched by her sincerity and appreciation for the award.         

Then it was through tunnels of white tents over red carpets into The Staples Arena to our special GRAMMY Nominee seats. The show was one amazing performance after another.  Lady Gaga’s leaps, Beyonce’s hair flinging struts and Pink’s circus-like water-drenched spinnings were stunning and unforgettable.  If you want to be a star in today’s music world, you’d better be good in gym class too!        


A Fan for Life

I arrived at The GRAMMYs a nominee and I left a fan.  How could we not appreciate the talent and the attention to details of sight and sound and security that had to happen in order to pull off this most amazing weekend? I knew the odds of our winning were slim and I have no regrets about the weekend.  I knew at 10:00 PM on Wednesday, December 2nd when I first learned about my nomination, that I was going to come home a winner, regardless of the outcome. And there’s always the next album…  This week, I began mapping out goals and tentative deadlines for American Heroes #4. 




Remarkable News! …

Last week, our American Heroes #3 CD was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the category “Best Recording for Children!”  This is a huge honor and I’m all aflutter over it.  I’ll be in Los Angeles for “Music’s Biggest Night” the last weekend in January 2010.


The children’s Grammy will be awarded during the afternoon and can be viewed via audio/video streaming at from 4:00 to 7:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 31st.


As part of the weekend celebration, I’ll be performing with my fellow children’s recording artist nominees at The Grammy Museum on Saturday, January 30th.


Best wishes for the holiday season!  






Election Day (November 3) is a good time to remember Susan B. Anthony (“Carry On,” More American Heroes CD).  For over 50 years, this brilliant feminist crisscrossed America at a breathtaking pace, peacefully proclaiming that women deserve to be treated as equal to men.  She was arrested and fined $100 for daring to vote in 1872.  To the judge who sentenced her, she replied “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust fine.”  She never did. In 1920, fourteen years after Ms. Anthony’s death, the 19th (known as the Susan B. Anthony) Amendment was passed, making it legal for women to vote in the United States. 


 Veteran’s Day (November 11) began as Armistice Day in 1918 at the end of World War I.  (Armistice means “ending of hostilities.”)  After peace was declared on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Allied nations insisted it be a day to remember those who died in the war and a day to give thanks for peace.  In 1954 in the United States, the name was changed to Veteran’s Day.   My American Hero veterans include:  George Washington (“Washington’s Hat,” American Heroes CD) -- Revolutionary War; Harriet Tubman (“Take A Ride,” American Heroes CD) – Civil War spy for the Union Army; Jackie Robinson (“Break the Barrier, More American Heroes) – US Army; and Neil Armstrong (“First Man on the Moon,” More American Heroes CD) – Korean War pilot.  


Thanksgiving (November 26) began in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln (“All Across the Land,” American Heroes CD) was President.  While the Civil War raged on, an optimistic President Lincoln asked Americans to count their blessings and proclaimed: “… I do therefore invite my fellow citizens … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens...” 

SUMMER 2009 

Ah…. The Joys of Summer!

           School has come to a close and I’m feeling grateful for another year of memorable concert experiences.  The new Heroes Four concert has received amazing reviews and bookings for next school year are looking good.

            A day after my final school show, I drove to Virginia and spent a week visiting the “new” Mount Vernon (George Washington), Jamestown (Pocahontas), Yorktown (George Washington), Monticello (Thomas Jefferson) and Montpelier (James Madison, “the Father of our Constitution,” and possible hero on the next CD).  Oh, and I also bicycled 325 miles during five days with 2,000 cyclists on Bike Virginia.  I recommend ALL sites … and Bike Virginia too (it’s an annual event)!


Sprout Concert Photos Posted at my Website

            There are lots of new things going on at  We now have a FAN PAGE where we’re accumulating concert photos and videos.  Do you have any photos or videos of your children singing my music at home or at school?  Please email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   We’ll see if we can put them up.


The Los Angeles Songwriter’s Expo

            Last April, I attended the ASCAP Songwriter’s Expo in Los Angeles with co-songwriter Dave Kinnoin.  More than a thousand of the best songwriters in the world attended to meet and share ideas.  I had the opportunity to meet Richard Marx (“Right Here Waiting”), Paul Williams (“The Rainbow Connection”), Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian of The Hooters (“Time After Time”), and Siedah Garrett (“Man in the Mirror”). 


Sprout Public Concert:  Camden, NJ,  Saturday, July 25

           Every once in a while, I make a concert appearance in “the real world.”  On Saturday, July 25th, I’ll be performing at the WXPN Festival Kids Corner Stage in Camden, NJ from 2:30 to 3:15 PM.   WXPN has been airing some of the new heroes songs.  You may request songs on the WXPN Kids Corner radio show HERE.


APRIL 2009

Last week I performed my 4,726th children’s concert at the Littlebrook School in Princeton, NJ where I was the music teacher some 25 years ago.  This month, I’ll return to Steckel Elementary School in Whitehall, PA to perform there for the 20th time.  Time flies when you’re having fun!


We have these and other Sprout shows listed on my Concert Calendar.



The new album has received over a dozen glowing reviews (and nary a sour one)!  Here are a few excerpts:


“Although the carefully researched biographical anecdotes and historical facts are primarily for the enjoyment of elementary and middle school students and their families, the stories of these remarkable lives are an inspiration to all ages.”   EdPlay Magazine (February 2009)



Fabulous!!, February 22, 2009


S. E. Turner (NJ USA)  

As a first grade teacher, I am always looking for ways to make learning fun. Jonathan has helped me do that! All year long, we add the dimension of his music (and often dancing!) to reading, writing, and viewing stories of American heroes. The three Heroes CDs are a must for every elementary classroom!





Another wonderful CD by Jonathan Sprout, February 22, 2009


Maureen Murphy (Wilmington Delaware)  

Jonathan Sprout has done an outstanding job with his new Heroes 3 CD. As an elementary music teacher and as a parent of a fourth grader, my students and I have enjoyed Heroes 1 and 2 in class and at home. Jonathan has such a wonderful way of capturing the spirit and the life of these amazing people from American history in his songs. The beautiful melodies, engaging harmonies, memorable lyrics and special creative touches make each song unique to the hero. My students are mesmerized by their stories and the songs. You can hear them singing in the school hallways! Our favorite is "Can't Stop Running", but we enjoy them all!

"American Heroes" Review
“This is a must have for teachers!   It is simply awesome. And I say this not just because of the fun upbeat music that gets toes tapping and hands clapping, nor because of Jonathan's wonderful singing, all but for another reason.
… I can imagine this album being perfect for elementary school children of all ages. … I could go on and on about this album, but it may be better for you to check it out yourself!”        Irene Bellamy,


You can order CDs and digital downloads from,, Sing ‘n Learn,, iTunes, Rhapsody, numerous additional digital download sites and in some children’s, educational and record stores.


February 2009

I am very proud to announce that my American Heroes #3 CD is now officially born!


Thirty-nine months, countless re-writes and re-records, four mixes and three CD mastering sessions later - which means the album making team kept finding ways to improve it - it’s here.

Right off the get-go, the album became a celebrated Winner of an iParenting Media Award!  Here are some initial reviews:


"Jonathan Sprout’s American Heroes #3 delivers another rich punchy packet of diversified heroes including Wilma Rudolph, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, John Muir and Pocahontas to name just a few. The songs are hip and happening - finely produced and performed tributes to some brilliant folks who have left a strong imprint on our society. Perhaps American Heroes #10 will have a nod to Jonathan Sprout! Yes indeed, learning can be a memorable experience."  John Wood,   


***** American Heroes #3

Author: Joanie Bartels

“This CD was a true labor of love and it shows on every song! Jonathan Sprout and his co-writers have brought to light/life some of America's most famous and courageous (and some lesser known) contributors to the betterment of humankind in a way that will fascinate and inspire not only young people but their parents and teachers as well. This CD is a must in every classroom and home!”


 ***** Another great CD by Jonathan Sprout

Author: Dr. Dennis Denenberg

“Once again, Jonathan has created awesome songs about REAL heroes and their achievements. His mastery of what they did and their heroic qualities capture the human essence of these incredible men and women. Kids and adults will not only learn about these heroes; they will find themselves singing along! Bravo!”


 ***** Inspirational and fun!, January 25, 2009

Author:  Karen Bartholomew

“Jonathan Sprout's music is infectious. His hooks memorable and singable. This collection of songs about inspirational Americans is educational and moving. I learned something about those I recognized, and was moved by the stories of those I'd never heard of. The variety of styles keeps the whole album interesting. Every song has a different character. I recommend it highly for young and old alike!” 


***** Jonathan Works Wonders Again, January 20, 2009

Author: Brian Malek

“My fifth graders have been waiting for Jonathan's new "American Heroes #3" album for several weeks now and they were NOT DISAPPOINTED. I have been teaching for ten years and Jonathan's songs completely energize and captivate my students every year. His music not only entertains, but TEACHES you about REAL HEROES! Countless parents have told me his CD's have worn out their car stereos. Catchy tunes and educational lyrics...for all ages. Way to go Jon! Another ‘instant classic!’”



October 2008

Ever notice how many times you hear “baby” in pop/rock music? Early on in my career, I promised some friends I would never use that word in a song. Then I got the idea to write a song to be sung to a baby. Andrea Clearfield played the classical piano introduction and ending. Leslie Chew created the smooth drum and bass arrangement.


Dr. Music was recorded in Los Angeles in 1993. That was the year devastating fires destroyed hundreds of homes in the suburbs of LA. We had worked for nearly 2,000 hours on the album and were almost done when the fires erupted. I was not there at the time, but when the fires were at their worst, the recording studio owners were forced to evacuate. Our tapes were left behind.


Using binoculars from their high rise hotel room several miles away, the recording studio owners could see their building off in the distance. All night long, they watched as the fires crept closer. By night’s end, they were certain all had been lost.


Amazingly, the fires were stopped a few hundred yards from the studio, and my hot Dr. Music master tapes were spared a blistering pre-release incineration. I mean, we knew the tracks sizzled, but…


Final touches are now being made on my new CD
American Heroes #3, to be released in January 2009. Future newsletters will include insights into my ten new heroes: Jane Addams, Elizabeth Blackwell, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, Milton Hershey, Thomas Jefferson, John Muir, Pocahontas, Wilma Rudolph & Jonas Salk. Much more will follow.


September 2008


The Lullabies CD has interesting origins. In the late 1980s, I bought my first recording studio. Instead of writing my usual fun, playful pop-rock kid’s music, I often found myself creating semi-classical, dreamy, instrumental synthesizer music. It was strange new territory for the acoustic singer/songwriter I thought I was.


In 1989 while I was in Los Angeles discussing the recording of my 2nd kids’ album, Kid Power, I played a few of the tunes for co-producer Leslie Chew. When Leslie suggested they would be perfect material for a lullaby album, everything fell into place. I went home and wrote lyrics to about half of the songs. The other half-dozen songs remained as instrumentals.


Lullabies For A New Age was released to very enthusiastic reviews. To my knowledge, this was the first children’s album comprised of what was then called “new age music,” thus, the album’s title.


I was in the studio much of this past summer not only finishing up the American Heroes #3 album, but also upgrading and updating several of my old concerts.


The revised American Heroes Two concert debuting in September includes my new song Pocahontas (written with Dave Kinnoin & Jimmy Hammer).


The updated Dr. Music Confidence Concert debuting in September includes He Will Not Give Up (about Dr. Jonas Salk) as well as Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (about Helen Keller). In addition, the show includes a funny new phone skit and a newly recorded version of I Don’t Want To Go Home.


In January, I’ll begin performing the American Heroes Four concert featuring new songs about John Muir, Wilma Rudolph, Elizabeth Blackwell, Thomas Jefferson and Milton Hershey. This show includes an original song about teachers who are heroes called “Good For Me.”


May 2008


This month’s free Sprout
download at myspace is Litterbug from my On The Radio CD.


The Litterbug Story … In the 1980’s, I lived a few yards from the beautiful Delaware River in Bucks County, PA. From my second floor office picture window, I recall once watching a noisy pick-up truck speed by as its driver tossed a bag of cans and bottles onto the road.


My imagination took over from there. Eventually, I created a song about a short-sighted fisherman who doesn’t get the connection between his litter and the shortage of fish he loves to catch. Producer Leslie Chew and I recorded the album in Philadelphia using state-of-the-art (1985) computer sequencers. (We were so dedicated to mastering the programming that we spent nearly 90 hours in the studio before we began hearing music!)


On The Radio, originally on vinyl and cassette, was re-mastered by Leslie in his Los Angeles studio in 2005 and re-released as a CD.


April 2008


* I’m having a lot of fun in the studio updating my concerts. The
Dr. Music Confidence Concert is going through a major overhaul that will go into effect soon. We’ve already added Keep Your Face to the Sunshine (about Helen Keller) from my More American Heroes CD to the show. Miss Keller’s exact inspiring words were: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.”


* Many of you have noticed the remarkable new sound system now in use with my live shows. Two state-of-the-art Bose L1 Model II stacks and bass modules have been added. The clarity and power of this system is stunning. You have to hear it to believe it.


* The MySpace page includes a concert itinerary, 10 full-length mp3’s you can stream and a free download song of the month. This month’s free song is Baby from my Dr. Music CD. It’s one of my personal favorites on that album. The song was written intending to poke fun of the word “baby” which is rather overused in today’s popular music. Co-producer Leslie Chew created a great rhythmic bass and percussive section that carries the song along. Classical virtuoso Andrea Clearfield played the inspiring piano part. The song begins with a fun skit performed by real-life husband & wife Greg & Jill Biros.

 February 2008


Happy President’s Day Monday, February 18th. Though Lincoln and Washington were two of the greatest American Heroes who accomplished great things, you may not have known that…


* Abraham Lincoln, our tallest president (6’4”) is the only president who owned a patent. It has something to do with helping river boats stay afloat.


* Until the New Jersey commemorative quarter was minted in 1999, Lincoln was the only person on both sides of a US coin -- the penny. The person on both sides of that New Jersey quarter is George Washington.


* Washington was known as the best dancer in the colony of Virginia.


* It is said that George Washington was the first person to raise mules in America.


Thomas Edison’s birthday was February 11th. In addition to the 1000+ inventions of Edison’s is his “invention” of the word hello. Evidently, he would speak it while he was testing his improvements on the telephone.


One of the oddest of Edison’s inventions is the cement house. Always the optimist, Edison believed he had found a way to make housing affordable by pouring concrete houses from the ground up and leaving openings for windows and doors. His concrete houses were designed to be energy efficient, cheaper and quick to build. Unfortunately, there were problems that kept this invention from becoming the society-saver Edison dreamed it would be. You can read a funny story about a leaky Edison concrete home by clicking here.


Stage 1 (the research) is complete. Stage 2 (the songwriting) is complete. Stage 3 (the studio recording, mixing and mastering) is more than half done.


I went in “the studio” last September at Hunter Sound in New York. Most all the lead (main) vocals, piano, bass and drum parts have been completed.


Los Angeles record producer Jimmy Hammer will soon be arranging and recording guest background vocalists and percussion parts for the new songs. Guitarist Leslie Chew is now recording additional guitar parts in Los Angeles. In a month or so, co-producer Joe Mennonna will then synchronize their work with our already recorded tracks. He and I will then begin sorting through all the instrument and vocal parts to mix (blend) them into something close to what the songs will finally sound like.


December 2007


Most of the basic and lead vocal tracks have been recorded for my new album. West coast arranger and co-producer Jimmy Hammer and New York arranger, producer and engineer
Joe Mennonna have added remarkable vocal and instrumental arrangements to the songs that Dave Kinnoin and I carefully crafted. It’s all coming together beautifully. We anticipate a summer 2008 release.


October 2007


I wrote a song about Clara Barton
Angel of Mercy for my American Heroes CD. In my research, I found a heart warming story that revealed Miss Barton’s teaching expertise.


Hart Bodine was a big bully. He evidently towered over the five foot tall young Miss Barton, and he was to be one of her students. As I understand it, on the first day of school when Hart began to act up, Miss Barton asked him to go outside alone with her and gather together the whips that had been used by previous teachers to discipline the children. She then told him to break the whips into tiny pieces, took him tenderly by the hand and assured him she would never need those whips, for Hart was one of her big boys and she could depend on him to help her keep order in the school. Hart responded by breaking down in a flood of tears.


Hart’s mother later wrote: “From that time on Hart was a model of obedience in the schoolroom.” In her unpublished autobiography, Barton wrote that “His pledge was kept. Oh how long and well it was kept. In school he was ever at my hand, to do the smallest bidding, never leaving the (school) house until I left at night, and the first to greet me in the morning.”


Years later, when Barton was one of the North’s most famous nurses, she heard that Hart was fighting in the Civil War, stationed in Virginia. She brought him and his mates some jams, jellies and clothing. Hart eventually had a daughter. She was named Clara Barton Bodine.


Now zoom to the year 2007. Last March I was contacted by none other than Clara Barton Bodine’s Great Grandson, John Hart Reese. Mr. Reese has Hart’s military papers and his officer’s Cavalry Sword. He writes, “He was involved in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.  I think he was shot twice and lived! We still have his crutch he made when he was wounded. He was a carpenter by trade and I have his tools and toolbox.”


You can find my song Angel of Mercy on my American Heroes CD.


There are more and more places on the Web where you can find my music.
CDBaby is one of my favorite sites. You can find downloads of my music at iTunes and dozens of other download sites.  Teachers, there’s a great site where you can now find my music – Songs for Teaching, where you can buy my physical CDs as well as downloads of my CDs (with lyrics).


* Do you know of any website, Internet Radio Sites, Podcasts, Internet Magazines, etc. you think I should contact about my music? Kids Internet radio stations? Heroes sites? If so, please let me know.


CDBaby is helping to categorize my music at their site so that people who might like my sound can find me more easily. They want to know what famous recording artist do people say you sound like? I’m a bit clueless. Please email me with your answer. (This could be enlightening!)


July 2007


* TRAVELING NEWS: I recently drove to Indianapolis to perform a concert which afforded me two hero side trips: The Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum and Johnny Appleseed Park.


The Museum is in Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, OH. It’s well worth the trip if you find yourself in northern or western Ohio. The people there confirmed some fascinating things I had read about Mr. Armstrong. He did, indeed, create the phrase “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” as he was descending the ladder of the lunar excursion model about to step onto the moon. The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to witness an earthrise (from their spacecraft), yet Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin were the first to witness an earthrise while standing on the moon. The song about Neil Armstrong, First Man On The Moon, is on my More American Heroes CD.


The Johnny Appleseed gravesite is in a quiet little park on a grassy knoll next to a huge sports stadium in the middle of the city of Ft. Wayne, IN. A few yards from the iron-fenced burial plot is a small one room log cabin surrounded by apple trees. As the only person present on a beautiful spring day, I had the strange sensation that no one else was aware of this tranquil oasis. Go if you’re ever near Ft. Wayne. At mapquest, search for Johnny Appleseed Park to find it. Johnny Appleseed is on More American Heroes.


* THE THIRD AMERICAN HEROES CD: It was nearly two years ago when I began work on my American Heroes #3 CD. In the first year I was consumed with research which included reading nearly sixty five books about my eleven new heroes. This past year I’ve been focused on songwriting, re-writing ... and, yes, re-re-writing & arranging the musical parts.


I find writing songs about exceptional people very demanding. Writing a great song is challenging, but the complexities multiply when the need for historical accuracy becomes part of the lyrical mix. Thus, the many re-writes. At this point, I could fill a third of an album with songs about Pocahontas. In the end, though, just one Pocahontas song will make it on the album. The other versions, as they say, will be history.


In the coming six months I expect to get into a studio and do most of the final recording. I promised myself early on that the only way I’d make this album is if it becomes the best album I’ve ever made. I intend to keep that promise. Stay tuned!


June 2007


* JONATHAN GOES WEST: I flew to Los Angeles in April to participate in the ASCAP Songwriter’s Expo and to write songs for my new heroes album with professional songwriter Dave Kinnoin. (Dave and I co-wrote nearly half of the songs on my first two heroes CDs.) Dave will be flying east this summer to write more heroes songs with me. (I hope to complete the album within the year.) Dave is an amazing songwriter with CDs of his own. You can find him at


* A NEW OLD CD: About a year and a half ago, my first children’s album was remastered in Los Angeles. We updated the artwork and On The Radio was re-released as a CD. Co-producer Leslie Chew and I originally recorded it in the summer of 1985. We worked on the cutting edge of technology, experimenting with recording studio computers (known as sequencers). To my knowledge, ours was only the second rock album ever made for children. (The first was Rock of Ages by Steve Zaldin.) In an era when virtually all children’s music was classified as folk, our intent was to produce music that sounded like what children were enjoying on pop and rock FM radio stations. Twenty-two years old and still fresh, listen to On The Radio at


* FOR TEACHERS: Last February, I presented a teacher workshop at the National Core Knowledge Conference in Washington, DC. With the help of many dedicated teachers, I have created a list of fifteen practical ideas for teaching heroes songs in your school. You can find the list HERE.


April 2007


We have updated information about the disappearance of one of my heroes -- Amelia Earhart.  There's a great article written by Richard Pyle of the Associated Press that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer a couple of days ago.


Ms. Earhart was a hero before her final flight, but her disappearance remains one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th Century.  Evidently, the mystery may be solved this summer!  On July 2, 1937 it appears Ms. Earhart's plane may have landed on Gardner Island (now called Nikumaroro), 350 miles south of the island on which her plane was supposed to land in the South Pacific Ocean.


We have the lyrics to "Amelia" (from my American Heroes CD) HERE.

Summer 2006



These are great times in the history of our planet. Never before have we had so much at our fingertips with so many opportunities to help each other, to bring health and happiness to each other and to communicate so easily with each other.


Over the past few decades people have made amazing advances in medicine. More of us are now living longer healthier lives. Because of computers and the Internet, telephones, television and high speed travel, we are building bridges with and befriending other cultures and countries with whom we were once at war. With the relatively recent introduction of these World Improvement Tools, true heroes are blossoming everywhere.


Never before have the opportunities to do great good been so readily available to so many people. The July 10, 2006 issue of Newsweek Magazine tells the stories of many modern day heroes. Former president Jimmy Carter works tirelessly to improve living conditions around the world. Actor Paul Newman has given millions of dollars to charities with the profits from his salad dressings. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey uses her celebrity to improve the lives of millions of women in Africa and to help tsunami and hurricane victims. Super cyclist Lance Armstrong is fighting cancer around the world. Golfer Tiger Woods gave a $25 million youth education facility to help teach some of the lessons he has learned about hard work.


And get this: Microsoft founder Bill Gates has given nearly $30 billion (yes, that's BILLION) in lifetime gifts to improve health and education around the world. Investor Warren Buffet is in the process of giving $30 billion (yes, that too is BILLION) to help Bill Gates make the world an even better place.


I encourage you to think and learn about these heroes who are focusing their energies in creative ways to make, yes ... a better world.


Winter 2006


Here's an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on January 15, 2006 written by Gene D'Alessandro. It's very well written and researched!


Teaching about real heroes
Singer Jonathan Sprout avoids talking down to children

In his shows on history and self-esteem.

By Gene D'Alessandro
Inquirer Staff Writer


Jonathan Sprout is nowhere near as famous as Trout Fishing in America.


He hasn't sold as many recordings as Raffi, or made as many TV appearances as the Wiggles.


Still, the affable singer-songwriter from Morrisville is one of the most popular children's entertainers in the region.


And with more than 250 annual engagements on his calendar, Sprout might be one of the hardest-working children's acts.


"Everybody gets excited when Jonathan Sprout is coming to school," said Matthew Hassick, a fourth grader at George D. Steckel Elementary in Whitehall, Lehigh County.


"We talk about it the whole week," added Matthew, 9, who has taken in two Sprout concerts and is awaiting his third in May. (Steckel holds the record for Sprout shows, 17.)


Celebrated for his upbeat performance style, Sprout prides himself on the educational bent of his programs. He performs shows about American heroes and self-esteem issues ("Dr. Music Confidence Concerts") and conducts songwriter workshops for youngsters.


Mainly through word of mouth, Sprout has forged a successful career. He plays his songs and holds assemblies all over the country, mainly in elementary schools and theaters in the Mid-Atlantic region.


At a recent morning performance in the Lehigh Valley, Sprout made his Hillside School debut. He performed his "American Heroes" concert for about 120 students. The attentive youngsters - kindergartners through sixth graders - sat on the floor of the multipurpose "cafetorium."


First-year teacher Lynda Hassick had seen Sprout perform at her son Matthew's school two years ago. She was so taken with the act that she recommended Sprout come to Hillside, a private school for children with learning disabilities.


"I'll have a little fun adapting my show to this audience," Sprout said before the concert. "I learned to be flexible with all kinds of audiences, so it won't be a problem."


The Hillside students were a bit subdued, but they warmed up when Sprout broke into the zany "Washington's Hat." The room erupted in screams and guffaws when Sprout donned an outrageously oversize, tricorne hat with fluffy plume and modern sunglasses. Holding a wireless microphone, he invited the students to dance with him.


Clothed in a custom-made polo shirt designed like an American flag - half blue with stars, half with red and white stripes - Sprout used silly props such as a giant dollar bill and a super-size copper penny to punctuate his speech.


"I know [the youngsters] are not getting everything, but it's better to shoot high than cater to the younger kids and lose the older kids," Sprout said. "It's better to be more academic than babyish."


Sprout, 53, grew up in Hightstown, N.J., in a family of educators. He began singing professionally as a singer-songwriter after he graduated from Bucknell University in 1974. He performed his first children's show in 1981 - for his mother's grade school class.


Since he first started performing professionally in 1972, Sprout has recorded eight albums and won numerous awards, including the Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence. To date, he has performed more than 4,300 children's concerts.


"[Sprout] helps the children take a different look at the social studies curriculum; social studies can be so boring reading out of a book," Hassick said. "He makes the people seem so real. The kids can relate to it, and I think it's really awesome."


To Sprout, performing for children is much more rewarding than playing in nightclubs.


"I was always a fish out of water in the clubs and bars. Doing the kid shows, you have to be politically correct and squeaky clean. And I've become that person," he said.


For his "American Heroes" assembly, Sprout paid tribute to Amelia Earhart, Sacagawea and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He combined songs with discussions aimed at helping children understand that real heroes can be people other than sports stars and celebrities.


"They say that when you love what you do, it shows, and he absolutely loves it," Hassick said. "He's more of an educator, and I like that angle to it."


Winter 2004

I was recently given a book by Steven Selzer titled By George! Mr. Washington's Guide to Civility Today. When Selzer was researching the subject of civility, he found that George Washington had written 110 rules of decent behavior at the age of 14. This book presents those rules with Selzer's engaging commentary. It's a wonderful character education tool that has given me a greater appreciation for one of my heroes. The book has also given me hope.


Perhaps you too have been upset by the rudeness and thoughtlessness that others sometimes freely display in public. It seems that in becoming a more accepting society, we have become too tolerant of sports fans who yell obscenities … of inconsiderate motorists whose antics are a threat to our personal safety and peace of mind … of politicians who cut down their competitors with negative advertising and angry accusations.


Rule #22: Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy.


Rule #40: Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.


Rule #65: Speak not injurious words, neither in jest nor in earnest; scoff at none although they give occasion.


Rule #110: Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.


In a letter George Washington to sent to a Joseph Reed on January 14, 1776, he wrote: "For as I have but one capital object in view, I could wish to make my conduct coincide with the wishes of Mankind as far as I can consistently."


Many of you are on the front lines of the ongoing struggle for civility and decency. In and around schools, I've observed countless educators and parents lovingly and persistently teaching their children to see the merits of courtesy and politeness.


Mr. Washington made a life of helping to make the world a better place. In our own unique ways, many of us are doing the same.


Summer 2003


In these challenging times, it serves us to be reminded of people who have made (and are making) our world a better place. Our children need to hear messages of hope and optimism. In the words of Tielhard de Chardin, "the future lies in the hands of those who give our young people reasons to live and hope."


Heroes have a greater impact on us when we remember not only their accomplishments, but also their challenges, obstacles, disabilities and fears. This humanizes our heroes and gives us hope that we, too, can become like them.


  • Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and, to some extent, Sacajawea were slaves who managed to make great contributions in spite of their oppressive circumstances.

  • Thomas Edison was 90% deaf, yet he managed to invent a machine that could record and play back beautiful music that others would enjoy far more than he ever could.

  • Helen Keller could not hear or see, but she taught us how to appreciate the beauties of life.

  • Jackie Robinson was constantly put down by racists, yet he built up the sport of baseball and contributed to improving of the quality of life for millions of the less fortunate.

  • Mobs ridiculed Susan B. Anthony when she began asking for fair treatment of women. Eventually, mobs insisted on giving her standing ovations for her high ideals, her bravery and perseverance.

  • Clara Barton was at first ignored when she opened her own free school in Bordentown, only later to be adored as the founder of one of the first public schools in the state of New Jersey.

  • The Wright Brothers had precious little money to put toward their work with gliders and their Wright Flyer. They were competing with inventors who were supported by powerful financial backers.

  • Abraham Lincoln had almost no money as a boy. He failed but learned lessons from several early business endeavors. He went on to show us a richer version of "success" than most have dreamed possible.


The list goes on. So many of our heroes are people who overcame personal obstacles and made positive experiences out of what the rest of us might think of as impossible odds.

Time and again, I hear "never give up" whispered through my heroes' stories. There are gifts that accompany each disability. There are lessons to be learned from each crisis. There is character to be developed. There are well springs of wisdom to be tapped into and shared. There are heroes to be made.


Autumn 2002


I've had the great pleasure of traveling outside of my United States six times during the past three years. Most recently, I participated in a week long group hike through the mountains and valleys of "the scented island," beautiful Corsica, in the Mediterranean. I was the only American in a group of 12 English, Scottish, Swiss and Australian comrades. We all got along splendidly, and were treated with kindness and respect by our numerous Corsican hosts.


In spite of my September 11 traumas and fears, I hold fast to the belief that 99% of our fellow earthlings are decent, kind and honest people. My trips to other countries have fully justified this belief. Everywhere I've gone people have gone out of their way to display courtesy and kindness to me. Everywhere I've traveled, I've met people just like neighbors who are proud of their homes, their villages and their country.


I love my country and am proud of who we are, and yet I am sometimes embarrassed that people from other countries seem to know so much more about us than we know about them. I wish we Americans were better at speaking other languages. I wish we took more pleasure in appreciating and teaching our children the histories and cultures of other countries. I wish we were a little broader in our scope of thinking beyond our borders.


It's a big, and for the most part, friendly world out there, despite what they say on the evening news. Ours is a beautiful planet. Our children deserve to know this.


Summer 2002


I performed 165 concerts in the first 165 days of 2002. On Flag Day (June 14), I finished up my school performances and began relaxing into a little peace and quiet. It was back in April, I think, when I performed my 3,500th children's concert. Life is good. Dreams really do come true. If you'd known me when I was a kid, you never would have thought I'd turn out to be a performer and a recording artist.


In the summer of 1976, I performed at clubs and restaurants in Lake Placid, NY. After one of my shows, a very wise elderly man came up to me and offered this wisdom. He said the secret to making great music is in writing crescendos and decrescendos, in weaving your melodies and rhythms in and out of intensity, in varying your instrumentation from a full orchestra to sometimes near silence. I never learned this man's name, and still sometimes wonder who he was. One of my favorite quotations is credited to the Senator from Maine, Edmund Muskie, who said: "Never say anything that doesn't improve on silence." I try never to PLAY anything that doesn't improve on silence.


Someday I may write a book about my experiences singing for children. (I'm reading Raffi's autobiography now, and enjoying it.) I've accumulated a lot of great stories. I'm starting to collect great one-liners from kids.


"You don't look like you." -- Newark, DE ... A young boy had been comparing
me with my poster.

"Please send me your autograph, and sign it." -- sent to me by Allison B., age
7, long ago. She's probably now in her late 20's.

"You're older than this picture." ... out of the mouths of babes.


Lately, I've been enjoying the music of Nik Kershaw, Secret Garden and David Foster. These composers and musicians have mastered great melodies without giving up the occasional precious moments of silence. I wish you a summer full of boisterous and upbeat times and full of peaceful silent moments. May you enjoy DOing much and BEing a lot.


With thanks for your kindness and support,
Jonathan Sprout

Join the thousands of happy elementary school audiences that have benefited from this inspiring educational concert series.

Click on concert name for information


Recently debuted, this stirring energetic concert features original songs from Jonathan’s tenth album, American Heroes #4. The concert includes songs and fascinating stories about Samantha Smith, Albert Einstein, William Penn, Dr. Seuss, Theodore Roosevelt and Juliette Gordon Low. Included is “I See a Hero,” a heartfelt tribute to personal heroes.


Featuring songs and stories about Martin Luther King, Jr., Sacajawea,
George Washington, Amelia Earhart, and Abraham Lincoln


Featuring songs and stories about Thomas Edison, Harriet Tubman,
Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, and Pocahontas


Featuring songs and stories about Susan B. Anthony, Johnny Appleseed,
Orville & Wilbur Wright, Neil Armstrong, and Sojourner Truth


Featuring songs and stories about Wilma Rudolph, John Muir,
Elizabeth Blackwell, Thomas Jefferson, and Milton Hershey


An interactive show featuring songs from five of Jonathan's award-winning albums ...
a celebration, focusing on self-esteem


Fifty-minute, spirited songwriting sessions with children, in the classroom


"Please send me your autograph and sign it." -- Alison Burns, age 7


"The best school program I've seen in 16 years of education!" -- Mrs. M. Geibel, Principal, Bordentown, NJ


"I had a multiple CD player in my old car and all 6 slots were filled with Jonathan Sprout CDs. My new car has only one slot, but it still has a Jonathan Sprout CD in it!" -- Mrs. J. Joyce, Park Ridge, NJ


"Jonathan's presentation ~ his stage presence, his message, his music, his caring ~ the total package which is undeniably his own self shining through ~ were all REMARKABLE.  These few words are simply inadequate to express the amazing impact he's had at our school, through visiting and sharing with our kids."
Cathy K., Music Teacher, North Wales, PA


"Jonathan's program is seamless. The lyrics are a lesson and his manner with children is excellent." ... Increase Miller Elementary School, NY   ***** (5 of 5 Stars)


"The children love it and it supports our nonfiction unit for meeting the Common Core." ... Meadow Pond Elementary School, NY   ***** (5 of 5 Stars)


"The most inspiring program we have ever seen. Our PTA invites him back every year. I was so inspired by Jonathan's program that I wrote and earned an IMPACT II Developers Grant on 'Heroes.' The grant enabled me to incorporate parts of his program into my kindergarten curriculum. My Grant held such high interest among my colleagues that 3 teachers from neighboring school districts replicated my HEROES grant so that the chain of knowledge re: Heroes was extended and strengthened mani-fold!”
Vivian Rose, Teacher, Bardonia, NY


"An amazing performer who inspires the children. He is a great singer-storyteller." ... Westorchard Elementary School, NY  ***** (5 of 5 Stars)


"Jonathan, your generosity, mission and talent raise you to the level of the heroes you sing about. I hope it's clear to you
that you've truly touched the lives of our students with your music. Oh, and you totally should've won that Grammy." ... Jen C., Teacher, Haddonfield Friends School, NJ 


"Out of the hundreds of children's performances I have seen and presented, Jonathan Sprout's was the most engaging, fun-filled, informative and provocative one yet! I have never enjoyed a singer/songwriter/performer more than Jonathan Sprout. He is a consummate professional."
Peter Lesnick, Director, Kelsey Theatre, Trenton, NJ


"I love your songs.  Do you like cupcakes?  We loved having you here!  Do you like Mrs. T?  I love you." -- Love, Amber


“Jonathan's performances are sensational! He has an incredible gift that has inspired all of us at Kernsville Elementary to strive to be heroes. His visits are one of the highlights of the year.” -- Dawn Davis, Presenter, Kernsville, PA


“I have been teaching 29 years and this concert is by far the best school assembly we have ever had. The show was definitely “Disney” quality. But more important, the educational content and student participation was outstanding!" -- Robin Atkins, Teacher, Sewell, NJ


"I am so happy, I might exp0load I hope you have fun at any other consort you have.  I wish you could have more songs but you don't so I guess I'll have to stik with theas songs."
-- Your fan, Taylor S. 


“Sprout's music makes heroes come to life. His concerts get an A+ because they entertain and educate.”
Dr. Dennis Denenberg, Author
Fifty American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet


“Jonathan Sprout teaches children the importance of dreaming big through a musical history lesson of our American Heroes. He is our first booking annually!”
Glenn Noack, Principal, Whitehall, PA (where Jonathan has performed 26 times)


"Outstanding! Jonathan Sprout addressed so many issues that are important to children. I've never seen the children enjoy themselves so much - they sang and danced beautifully. Mr. Sprout had a magical quality - and his love and understanding of children permeated the entire program." -- Suzanne Oratio, Teacher, Maywood, NJ


"The children were not the only ones who decided you were great. As teachers we decided yours was the best assembly we've ever had." -- Barbara Hillman, Presenter/Teacher, Wall, NJ


"You toured in six counties, had 21 performances and 14+ workshops ... you gave two performances at geriatric centers and one at an Alcoholic Center as well as a performance that included disabled/handicapped, nursery and developmentally impaired children. You were a fantastic success and so many would like to have you return. The evaluations say it all."
Sr. Carolyn Madden, Arts In Education Presenter, North Country Community College, NY


"The audiences of over 40,000 students, teachers and administrators attending your performances were delighted and excited and most impressed by your ability to combine your fun filled music and songs with wholesome values and discrete messages of loving, caring and kindness to each other as friends. The consistently high quality of the 100 performances and your consummate artistry earns high praise and applause from all of us at Project IMPACT. It was a great pleasure to work with such a committed (and organized) professional."
Lynne Kramer, Director, Project IMPACT


 "My hole class loved singing with you!! You are the funniest person I ever meant.  Thank you for comeing to are fun and crazy school!" -- Love, Treazure W.


“Thank you for a terrific performance at Dickerson School. The teachers and students were absolutely mesmerized and couldn't stop raving about your performance. Your ability to immerse our children in song, while exposing them to the meaning of a hero is outstanding. We look forward to welcoming you back to our school!”
Ann Gegelys, PTO Cultural Arts Chair, Chester, NJ


“Jonathan Sprout's music is memorable and exciting. The heroes he chooses are always interesting wonderful examples of positive, selfless individuals. He has a unique talent for the blending of history and music that the students love!” -- Mrs. G. Kulick, Principal, Stroudsburg, PA


“Sprout's music is all you'd wish for your children…fun to sing and fortified with exciting knowledge for children and parents … A true test of great children's music: Would you listen to it when no children are around? My answer is "Yes!" -- Margot Gyorgy, Presenter, Worthington, OH


“Informative and entertaining. Our students and staff look forward to the show every year” -- Mr. C. Sylvester, Presenter, North Wales, PA


“The best concerts at our school by far; not sure whether teachers or students love Jonathan Sprout more! Squeaky clean and extremely thought provoking. He brings joy to learning."
Lizanne Fisher, Presenter, Ambler, PA


“Jonathan Sprout brings the essence of History with excitement and passion to all ages! Every year we enjoy his music along with our history lessons. His music highlights our Montessori curriculum.” -- Mrs. P. Slater, Presenter/Teacher, Andover, MA


"I think your show was the best in the world! It was outrageous to look at you on the stage." -- Jeff E., age 8


"I have never seen an audience so full of smiling and happy faces as at your concert! (The children) kept singing and humming to themselves as they went out the door to go home. It was almost more fun watching their reactions!" -- T. Mottley, 1st Grade Teacher, Northvale, NJ


"Jonathan Sprout is a presenter's dream... a highly professional artist with a personal concern for the success of the performance... and truly a pleasure to work with! He provides an extensive (and creative) advance publicity packet ...

Jonathan is a dynamic fusion of talent and enthusiasm, with great audience rapport and appeal. His upbeat entertainment consistently draws the largest and most enthusiastic audiences to our summer concert series."
Bonnie Bruccoleri, Program Supervisor
Cultural Arts Commission, South Brunswick Rec. Dept.
Monmouth Junction, NJ


"Jonathan Sprout accomplishes the almost-impossible. He makes children's music accessible to adults as well as children. Jonathan himself is a major selling factor behind his music. His warmth, good humor and genuine love of music and children come through. 'Children of the Future' has been a great hit on KID'S CORNER."
Kathy O'Connell, KID'S CORNER Host
WXPN Radio, Philadelphia, PA


"Our National Theatre audiences were utterly captivated by your splendid songs and vibrant style...they all want more of witty, wonderful, super-duper Jonathan Sprout!"
Kathleen Barry, Director, National Theatre
Washington, DC


"Jonathan is an excellent children's artist. He relates well to the kids and their parents. Tech is simple but effective. Outreach is exceptional. Sales of tapes are brisk, post show. Very helpful with PR. My second time presenting him but not the last."
Peter Lesnik, Director, Norris Theatre
Palos Verdes, CA


"In twenty years, I have never seen a program so well received by students." -- Kenneth S. Ruhland, Principal, Mt. Laurel, NJ


"Kids adore Jonathan Sprout and his often-funny, sometimes-touching, always-insightful music." -- Sharon Shlegel, The Times
Trenton, NJ


"This record is perfect!" (On The Radio) -- Karen Holm-Hudson, WEFT 90.1 FM, Champaign, IL


"Jonathan Sprout makes the most inspirational children's music I've ever heard! On The Radio is one of our best selling tapes. Kid Power is ten times better!"
Ricki Block, Owner, Ariel's Child Toy Stores, New Windsor, NY


“When I grow up I am going to put you in my song." -- Doneysha L., student, Smithville, NJ


"The Phil Specter of the nursery crowd." -- Evan Pritchard, Editor, Resonance Magazine


"One of Pennsylvania's best-loved children's entertainers." -- Kathy O'Connell, host of WXPN's Kid's Corner, Philadelphia, PA


"Your music has always been among the most popular on the Imagination Station."
Sam Cooper, Program Director
The Imagination Station - Radio Just For Kids
St. Louis, MO


" appealing mixture of humor and sincerity... speaks to the natural idealism of youth... an engaging performer who maintains a sense of the absurd without straining for effect."
Tom Armbruster, Denver Parent - Denver, CO
Parent's Press - Berkeley, CA


"Your Kid Power CD is excellent - already used three songs for August Dancing Dog Radio.... by the way, the cover on the Lullaby album is perfect."
Willie Sterba, Producer, Dancing Dog Syndicated Radio, Mineral Point, WI


"A synthesized mix of new age music and simple lyrics...(including) soothing instrumentals, ending with a beautiful tune aptly called 'Peace.'" (Lullabies for a New Age)
Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times


"I am ordering the CD of Kid Power because my daughter Amanda has literally worn out the cassette (not a complaint but a complement.) You go everywhere with her in the car... You have made a lasting impression on my daughter that has not changed since the day you performed here."
Ken MacDonald, Principal, Toms River, NJ


"State-of-the-art recording and great fun."
Sherban Cira, Director of Children's Music
SongTalk Magazine, Hollywood, CA [Kid Power CD]


"If you're going to stock one children's title, this is it."
PJ Birosik, New Age Retailer [Lullabies for a New Age CD]


"Jonathan Sprout's exuberant collection of original rock songs emphasizes the importance of thinking independently, making decisions, and protecting the environment." "...snappy melodies and catchy lyrics..."
Susan Reisner, Booklist [Kid Power CD]


"Mr. Sprout is one of the few entertainers we've worked with who is able to hold a large group of very young children spellbound for an extended period of time... He will give you a day your children will talk about for months."
Phil Meara, Assembly Coordinator, East Windsor, NJ


 "A superb collection of silly and inspiring songs for kids of all ages focusing on the joy of being all one can be."
Cheerful Earfuls Music Catalog, Denver, CO [On The Radio CD]


"I think your collection of lullabies is beautiful. It is a welcome addition to our Bedtime Stories program. I frequently use your LP on my weekly kid's show. "Friends" and "Litterbug" are local favorites. Thanks!"
Debbie Twombly, KMUN - 91.9 FM, Astoria, OR


"Funny and resonant at the same time, Jonathan Sprout's lyrics join his can't-help-humming-along music in songs that will make you want to be a kid again."
Jeanne Kramer, General Manager, KIDS Radio
Springfield, MO


"You don't need another Raffi when we have a Jonathan Sprout."
Connie Flint, Principal, Sicklerville, NJ


[Kid Power] "You won't find a better example of high consciousness, high energy children's music."
Heartsong Review, Cottage Grove, OR


"Your show at our school was a tremendous success! I have never seen all the teachers and students having such a great time together, as I saw at our assemblies. I have had more teachers and students alike tell me how awesome they thought the show was and asking if you would be able to come back again next year... Having performers like you come in makes my job so much easier and more enjoyable. God has blessed you with a tremendous gift!! THANK YOU for sharing it with us!"
DeAnne L. Gerner, Presenter, Jacksonwald, PA


"Bright rockin' tunes predominate on this disc, the best of which is the goofy, inspired silliness infecting the title track."
New York Daily News


"Sprout's zippy melodies, backed by crackling electric guitar, are beguiling... clever..." [Dr. Music]
Parenting Magazine


"...Jonathan Sprout has one of the biggest guitar and drum sounds in children's music, but his high-energy recordings possess subtle charms as well...vocals are clearly understandable... lushly produced... packed with good stuff... exuberant..."
Family Fun Magazine


"Jonathan Sprout cares about kids and music, and his love of both comes through in DR. MUSIC.... Highly produced with a fine rock orientation, he blends good advice with a mix of styles."
Kathy O'Connell, Metro Kids Magazine


"Wherever he goes, singer Jonathan Sprout stresses the value of hard work and patience to his audiences."
The Philadelphia Inquirer


"...great inspiring messages...loads of fun!"
Heartsong Review [Dr. Music CD]


"...this artist's unending creative vision has touched the hearts of over one million people....From the sweetly uplifting 'Patience' to the downright sidesplitting 'Wyatt Burp,' Sprout's top quality, no gimmick children's music is a memorable delight.
New Age Retailer [Dr. Music CD]


"Contemporary musical styles and catchy lyrics....In between lyrical songs are musical interludes featuring appealing tempos and beats....Sprout has a pleasing, animated voice....Listeners will enjoy clapping and singing along to these selections, which offer captivating music and some excellent thoughts and perspectives on growing up."
Booklist [Dr. Music CD]


“A refreshing upbeat collection of fun, toe-tapping tunes. Hip contemporary themes like self-esteem or bullies are dealt with in creative musical ways. The Doctor is in!
Parents Express [Dr. Music CD]


“Dr. Music is a refreshing upbeat collection of toe-tapping tunes. The hip contemporary arrangements defy you to sit still. Themes like self-esteem, bullies and babies are dealt with in creative musical ways, and some beautiful instrumentals tie this attractive package together. The Doctor is in!
L.A. Parent [Dr. Music CD]


"When they're too old for Raffi and too young for Nine Inch Nails, Dr. Music is a nifty prescription: plugged-in-training-rock. Sprout's sophisticated-sounding songs approach worries ("Dancing," The Bully") and goofing around ("Wyatt Burp") with good humor and a good beat."
Doublespace: Radio Aahs Magazine, New York, NY [Dr. Music CD]


"Arguably the hardest rocking kids' artist out there."
Moira McCormick, Billboard Magazine


"His bright upbeat contemporary style keeps the story-songs moving at a good pace and the subject matter interesting. American Heroes is an excellent starting place for some lively discussions both at home and in the classroom."
Deborah Moore, Central Florida Family Magazine


"Kids Rocker Jonathan Sprout was dismayed by the results of a 1994 survey that showed school kids' heroes consisted of professional athletes and cartoon characters. So, Sprout recorded an album about real people with a real impact on humanity. American Heroes covers some of our country's most renowned leaders -- Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. -- as well as more subtle historical figures like Sacajawea and Clara Barton. Sprout's pop-rock offerings are flawlessly performed and produced, if a tad serious. Still, he does wedge in some comic relief, as in the irreverent "Washington's Hat."
Family Fun Magazine [American Heroes CD]


"Gr. 1-4. Jonathan Sprout profiles in original songs famous men and women in American history who exhibited more than physical prowess or "superpowers." He sings about people such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Edison, and others. The soloist, background voices, and accompanying instruments blend nicely, and sound production is excellent. The concept of conveying the exploits of these famous Americans in contemporary song enhances the curriculum. With modifications and copyright permission, it could also become a dramatic production. Individuals listening may spur interest in one or more of the highlighted individuals. Lyrics and information on each person are included in the liner notes.


"The following releases offer family values in the best sense of the term and a celebration of the imagination."


"HEROIC ACT: Jonathan Sprout may not be a household name, but this prolific children's music veteran has earned a devoted following for his rock 'n' roll stylings and positive messages.

In his newest album, "American Heroes," Sprout sets out to let young listeners know that real heroes exist beyond professional athletes and cartoon characters, offering an earnest lyrical tribute to George Washington, Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Ben Franklin, Sacajawea, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Edison and Harriet Tubman.

In rock ballad rhythms, Sprout paints a kid-accessible picture of each historical figure: his songs about Edison and King are preceded by recordings of each.

To lock the message home, Sprout opens and closes with the inspirational "Heroes": "I want to find a hero. Someone to believe in... showing me the way."
Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times


"(The heroes) are musically brought to life in a fun and informative way... Jonathan's 3,000 performances and six albums worth of experience are showcased well on American Heroes -- he's learned his craft well... maybe someday some youngster will get the idea to add Jonathan Sprout to the list of American heroes! He's certainly a role model for the Nineties."
John Wood, L.A. Parent Magazine


"In his latest recording, Jonathan Sprout sings his original songs about real American heroes, such as Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Franklin, Clara Barton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The deceptively simple lyrics describe the compassion, courage, honesty, and perseverance of these admirable men and women. Sprout's tuneful melodies, backed by a children's chorus and contemporary instrumentation, will appeal to adults and children alike. (Ages 5-7)
Jill Jarnow, Sesame St. Parents Magazine


"Instead of pro athletes and cartoon characters, musician Sprout offers children some real heroes to look up to: George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, and Clara Barton, to name a few. Illuminating, uplifting and occasionally funny, these pleasant songs detail the inventions, leadership, courage and compassion of an interesting mix of history makers. A" 
Anne Reeks, Parenting Magazine


“A teacher who has been in our district for some 20+ years commented to me that your performance was the best and most well received show she had ever seen in our schools.”
Susan Greene, Presenter, Cedar Knolls, NJ


“(For graduation,) one of our teachers developed a very touching slide presentation and utilized your song “Heroes” as one of the songs played in the background. Amazingly, the whole school population of almost 950 kids spontaneously started singing along; it was truly a beautiful thing. “Heroes” has become almost a theme song for Shoemaker School.

Your music has touched our lives. Kids today need desperately to hear your positive message. I thought you should know about your legacy at Shoemaker School.”
Richard Frederick, Teacher, Macungie, PA


“In my thirty-one years of teaching, I have never seen a program this good!” -- Susan Sweet, Teacher, Atglen, PA


“... A truly superb and inspirational concert ... You directly reflected the characteristics you write and sing about.” -- Nancy Lasner, Presenter, Newtown, PA


“Our car does not run without your tape!” -- Cathy Lazar, Presenter, Tenafly, NJ


“Every child likes good music and every child needs a real hero. Sprout has made that irresistible and necessary match in American Heroes.”
Deborah Moore, Parenting Plus Magazine 


“We feel fortunate to have had a musician and songwriter of such high caliber devote his extraordinary talent to our children. Jonathan’s performances are a rare mix of child sensibility and adult compassion. By the end of both programs, he had children and adults alike dancing in the aisles. Our audiences, gave Jonathan Sprout standing (and singing and dancing) ovations.” -- Susan Richmond, Presenter, Concord, MA 


“Jonathan’s American Heroes Two concert is entertainment at its best. Our staff and students sang and danced while learning information that addressed the Core Curriculum Content Standards for Social Studies. Our best assembly to date, well worth the investment of time and money.”
Dr. Alyce Anderson, Principal, Brick, NJ


“A unique blend of education and entertainment ... our children are still walking around singing your songs. Extremely enjoyable.”
Hopewell Elementary School PTA, Center Valley, PA


“This fresh album combines educational lyrics and catchy beats to make a highly entertaining listening experience that marches to the beat of a different drum.”
E-Toys [American Heroes CD]


“He’s so contagious. His messages are always so positive and motivating, filled with merriment and joy and good music.”
Ruth Sauter, Presenter & Director of Music & The Arts, The Doylestown Intelligencer, Doylestown, PA 


“You are a truly gifted performer who delivers such an important message. You are a great role model for the students, too ... I can’t wait for your next Heroes CD!”
Carol Strause, Teacher, Mertztown, PA 


“Jonathan Sprout's cool name isn't the only thing school-age kids appreciate about this guitar-toting, heavily touring troubadour. For one thing, he has a great singing voice, and he pairs it with contemporary-sounding, unkiddified music. His 1996 award winner American Heroes strings together folksy guitar lines, a smidgen of smooth R&B, a few handfuls of pop and rock, and a rhyme style teetering on the edge of hip-hop in a happy, nonjarring hodgepodge. But what's most impressive about Sprout on this release is his mission: after catching wind of a survey showing that most kids list athletes and cartoon characters as their heroes, he set out to spread the word on some other legendary folks. In inspiring and sometimes funny song-sketches, he relates the adventures of Thomas Edison, Sacajawea, George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Franklin, Clara Barton, and Abraham Lincoln. In addition to planting the seed for more substantial heroes, of course, Sprout's also lending levity to some important history lessons here. American Heroes, then, should be shared with anyone who's feeling a little directionless, and it'll also come in handy for those whose social-studies grades are on the slide.”
Tammy La Gorce, Editorial review 

“Jonathan Sprout whips out his prescription pad as general practitioner on 1994's Dr. Music, dosing up a country cure here (the goofy, gassy "Wyatt Burp"), some healing hip-hop there ("Games"), and even a restorative hard-rockin' number ("Patience"). As with Sprout's American Heroes, the music here is impressively and adventurously performed. Where many releases for kids rely on the hackneyed hokey-pokey to get them grooving, Sprout energetically insists that "we're gonna clap our hands / and sing along / and dance around / and rock & roll!" ("Here Comes the Show"). The songs' subjects aren't strictly for fun: "The Magic Word" recalls the door-opening power of the P word ("You know that people love it / That's the beauty of it"); "The Bully" bravely pokes past the thorny exterior of the cantankerous Bobby to blow his bad-boy cover ("From behind the tough disguise / Bobby has tears in his eyes"); and "Patience" is in praise of the star struck Jamie, who has her sights set on becoming the next Hendrix but hunkers down to practice, practice, practice, "even when it isn't fun." In all, Sprout in a stethoscope works. If flat, uninspired, flimsily produced kids' music is what ails you, the doctor is in.
Tammy La Gorce, Editorial review 


“Jonathan Sprout created this matrix of “American Heroes” after reading that youth are increasingly idolizing contemporary celebrities rather than important historical figures. He responds to the trend with a string of songs -- rhythmically vivid and entertaining -- about heroes such as Thomas Edison, Sacajawea, George Washington, Amelia Earhart, and Martin Luther King Jr.” 


“Students were amazingly mesmerized by the music and learned a lot about many incredible heroes. The children spoke about you for days after your performance.”
Judy Niconovich, Presenter, Stroudsburg, PA


“ Thank you for your wonderful American Heroes performances. I was already a fan of the concept of honoring people who exemplify positive qualities - honesty, dedication, charity, innovation - but I was especially impressed with your innovative methods of introducing these role models to children. The students received not only an informative history lesson through anecdote and song, but also many self-esteem boosters as well. You were thoughtful, thought-provoking, well-spoken, and professional. More important, you made each child feel good about his own

potential and place in history. The sound was superb (a feat in our not-so-perfect auditoriums!) due to your wonderful sound system and clear, strong voice. … in the Klosowski household you qualify as a true American Hero!"
Lynne Klosowski, Presenter, Ringwood, NJ


“One of the best performances we’ve ever had ... truly excellent.” -- Diane McDonough, Presenter, Warren, NJ


“In a perfect world, Jonathan Sprout’s American Heroes series of CDs would be distributed in every classroom. ... (A) treasure trove of historical information ... A marvelous introduction to the lives of history’s finest. More American Heroes has found a home in my CD player. ... “Aren’t I A Woman,” telling the story of Sojourner Truth, is an anthem for all ages and genders.

This is what learning should be -- a joyful musical experience. ... With this series of albums, “failure is impossible.” -- Kathy O’Connell, Metro Kids, Philadelphia, PA 


“A noteworthy new recording appropriate for home and school ... applauding the extraordinary actions of American heroes...”
Fred Koch, Chicago Parent [American Heroes CD]


“Snappy tunes and catchy lyrics ... rousing songs about American legends ... Even 8-, 9- and 10-year olds will enjoy Sprout’s unique blend of pop and rock, rhythm and blues, and ballads. ... upbeat and uplifting ... anthems for achievement, perseverance, charity and honesty.” -- Melissa Sodowick, The Times, Trenton, NJ


“(These) heartfelt songs paint inspirational portraits of men and women who changed American history.” -- Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times [American Heroes CD]


“Whoever said learning about the past can't be fun? Jonathan Sprout has presented the lives of 10 Americans whose contributions to society have changed the course of history and whose influences continue to impact us today.

Instead of simply stating dry facts and figures Jonathan has gone to the heart of what made these people great by the use of his prodigious talent for songwriting and singing. His musicianship shines through on every song as he illuminates the lives of great American Heroes such as Jackie Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Neil Armstrong and showcases inspiring and moving portraits of their struggles, self doubts and ultimate breakthrough to greatness.

Not enough can be said about Jonathan's own contribution to education and learning. With this CD he presents American history and its heroes in a new and intriguing light and debunks the myth that one is too old or too young to learn about this great country and the colorful heroes that made it so.
Carole Galvan, Editor,


“Catchy songs ... likely to have your students singing, learning, and asking for more.” -- NEA Today


“Most worthwhile program EVER!” -- Twenty one year veteran 1st grade teacher, York, PA


“An inspiring collection that teaches as it entertains.” -- School Library Journal [More American Heroes CD]


“Jonathan Sprout's "More American Heroes" is a sprightly digest of American history that will have kids singing their way to cultural knowledge.”
Andrew Bartlett,


“Jonathan Sprout is back with another worthy album singing the praises of exemplary U.S. citizens. Handsome production values burnish Sprout’s midtempo pop-rock and ballad tracks, some embellished by vocal snippets from the heroes themselves, including Neil Armstrong and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Sprout details the Wright brothers’ first airplane flight in the percussive “When They Flew,” recounts Susan B. Anthony’s efforts for women’s suffrage in the fervent folk-rocker, “Carry On,” and lauds Helen Keller’s bravery in the lyrical “Keep Your Face To The Sunshine.” In all of these songs, Sprout looks at what qualities made these people extraordinary, and then suggests that these are attributes we all have within us. Not only do kids learn about towering figures of American history here, but they also carry away some valuable life lessons.”
Family Fun Magazine [More American Heroes]


“Chock full of catchy ditties about historical American figures ... the CD offers tons of sing-a-long worthy entertainment that comes in the appealing form of musical history lessons.”
Cassandra K. Hirsch, Parent’s Express


“Grades 4-8. In a sequel to American Heroes (1996), singer-songwriter Jonathon (sic) Sprout celebrates 10 famous Americans through original songs. Catchy pop and rock tunes praise such diverse heroes as Sojourner Truth, Neil Armstrong, and Tecumseh. The professional lead and backup vocals are easy on the ear, as are thought-provoking lyrics. Particularly engaging are “Carry On,” (a tribute to Susan B. Anthony) and “Keep Your Face to the Sunshine,” which evokes Helen Keller’s life without mentioning her name. The songs provide good resource material for American history projects and units on historical figures, here introduced in an imaginative and unique style. A neat resource for elementary and junior high school library collections.”
Laurie Hartshorn, Booklist [More AmericanHeroes CD]


“He’s truly inspiring – so unbelievable with the Student Body! Student response to him is incredible. His original songs continue to move us!”
Christiane Schell, Presenter, Golden’s Bridge, NY


“Kids' music veteran Jonathan Sprout follows up 1996's American Heroes with this second collection of musical biographies. Flawless production and an Adult Contemporary style (think Phil Collins or Lionel Ritchie) help describe the lives of historical luminaries from Sojourner Truth to Neil Armstrong. Perfect for 3rd - 5th-Grade classrooms, where students can pick apart Sprout's detailed lyrics and use them in conjunction with textbook info.”
Warren Truitt, Librarian, [More American Heroes CD]


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