Part of my role is to challenge you to get out of the comfort zones. Anyone who thinks they will succeed in music without 'knowing' people, and learning and growing though others is taking a bet with real bad odds. I met Ralph Covert at a Grammy event (we're both members) and asked him if he'd be interested in talking to our group of 360 songwriters. He said yes. A summary bio of Ralph is below. He has gone much further than most of us in music it's safe to say.
Here's the challenge. Most of you aren't attending meetings for whatever reason. If you want to take a step forward, I would suggest planning to attend a talk by Ralph.
Please vote. If I get a minimum of 25 Yes votes, I will contact Ralph and figure out a date for meeting. If not, it won't happen as I'm not going to embarrass the Chicago Songwriters Collective name by having someone of Ralph's stature out in front of a group of 5 or 10 folks.
Ralph Covert is a musician who most parents know as the creator of Ralph’s World, the pioneering rock’n’roll band that transformed children’s music with its album debut in 2001 and subsequent tours bringing real music and musicianship to families in the places parents go to hear their own favorite performers: The House Of Blues, Knitting Factory, The Fillmore, Ravinia. And Lollapalooza. He’s been properly praised as the McCartney or Elvis Costello (even the Elvis Presley) for the kindergarten crowd. With more than a half-dozen discs on Disney and the newest on veteran hip indie label BarNone, a Grammy® nom, Parents’ Magazine Video Of The Year, over a dozen music videos seen by millions on Playhouse Disney and Nickelodeon, four acclaimed illustrated books, magazine cover stories, commercials using RW music, even a toy truck that plays one of his songs in Portuguese, Ralph Covert connects with both children and their parents in a way that
moves their hearts while motivating their feet.
But many others know him as the indie rocker of The Bad Examples fame, the Midwestern band who scored regional hits in the early 90’s while also achieving solid success in Europe with songs such as “Not Dead Yet,” “Any Twisted Thing,” “Ashes Of My Heart,” and “One Perfect Moment.” The band’s recently-released album, “Smash Record,” joins a string of acclaimed discs that started with “Bad Is Beautiful,” noted by Goldmine as one of the 50 Essential American Power-Pop Records of All-Time. His anthemic “Not Dead Yet,” has also been covered by Styx, been arranged for and performed by marching bands, and used in the opening credits of HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” In addition to still performing with the band, Covert plays marathon solo concerts of his vast treasureload of original tunes both with and for the “Acoustic Army,” consisting of audience acolytes.
then there’s playwright and composer Ralph Covert. With his collaborator G Riley Mills they’ve written two historical adult dramas each earning Jeff awards for Best New work: Streeterville, the true tale of a shipwrecked captain creating his own land where there was none just off the coast of Chicago, and Sawdust & Spangles, the factual account about the developer of the three-ring circus. The former was just revived this summer. Covert and Mills also have created several family musicals including the perennial and performed nationwide “A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas,” based on the E.T.A. Hoffman tale but updated to the X-box age; and notably “The Hundred Dresses,” based on the Eleanor Estes’ classic, which according to The Chicago Tribune set new high standards for family theatrical musical dramas in its Chicago debut and revival plus had an extremely successful Off-Broadway run last Spring.
Ralph taught songwriting at The Old
Town School Of Folk Music, developing his own methods both master the craft and self-inspire creativity. Some of his students became co-writers and a few entered the studio with him serving as producer with several ultimately having their albums released on Covert’s Waterdog Records imprint. For several summers he held invitation-only songwriting classes at the Waterdog Records recording studio. He is currently working on…. well, he’s always working on something new.