09 September 2004

Big Blue Marble

kids rock!
Big Blue Marble: kids rock! a growing list of kids making music

If you were a kid in the 1970s and early 1980s, you may remember an internationally syndicated TV program called BIG BLUE MARBLE. The "Dear Pen Pal" feature of the show gave children the opportunity to correspond by mail with children in other countries of the world. Many of those kids are still writing to one another today.

The Big Blue Marble soundtrack of songs sung by kids was released on A&M Records in 1974. Here is an ancient page with some show details that I put together in 1994.

In short, kids rock! Here are kids all over the marble making music of their own! [stream]

Know more cool kids' music on the web? Please post your link in the comments. Thanks!

4 comments:

Gina L. said...

Hi! I was surfing around the web and came across your sight and your blog about Big Blue Marble. The computer here at work doesn't have speakers so I can't hear the music, but I did want to make a comment about the "Dear Pen Pal" feature of the show.

In grade school I didn't have a single friend so by the time I got to 8th grade it was simply a way of life for me. That's when PBS started airing BBM and I kept watching the pen pal segment every week. In December of '74 I decided to give it a shot and sent in my name, age, sex, etc. to the address on the screen and waited...and waited...and waited....;-) Finally, in June, 1975, I got a postcard in the mail with the name of a 15 year old girl from Jamaica in the West Indies. Two weeks later I rec'd her reply and that began an amazing friendship.

Two months ago, Blossom and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, not as friends, but as sisters. When she married in the early 1980's she made me the Goddess-Mother of her son and daughter. Last summer my God-son moved to Delaware with his fiance and they married in September; they live a half-hour away from me!! Next weekend -- 21st August -- my family and I will be meeting them for dinner at a nearby restaurant for the first time. They are both excited and I'm just about jumping out of my skin!!! While I've never had the chance -- yet -- to meet my sister, I'll be able to hug my nephew and, thru him, her. He's not so little tho -- he's 23 years old now and 6 feet tall!!! I might blog on again afterward to let you all know how I made out.

Till then, I want to urge anyone with pen pals not to give up. Keep writing. Thanks the Gods for e-mail because now I've got friends from all over the planet!!! It's the only way I can keep up with everyone!!!

Bye for now.

Gina L.

Katya Oddio said...

Hi Gina! Thanks for sharing your penpal story. You might be surprised by how many people out there have relayed similar stories about the Big Blue Marble pals. It blows my mind just how many are still in contact. We were lucky kids!

Gina L. said...

Dear Katya,

Hi! Hope this finds you well!!! It's been almost 2 years since I wrote to tell you about how Dear Pen Pal helped me find my first friend. In August, 2005, I was about to meet my god-son Dayne and his wife Maureen for the first time. Let me update you on that.

The morning of 21st August, 2005, I awoke an absolute wreck from sheer excitement. My folks, brother and I were scheduled to meet up with them at a nearby Red Lobster restaurant at 3:00. At a little after 2:00 I started video taping a home movie for Dayne's mother Blossom. We all spoke to her on the tape and I gave her a little video tour of my house. At about 2:35 we started out for the restaurant which is about 10-15 minutes away. However, we got only 5 minutes out when I realized I forgot to take the wedding gift we got Dayne and Maureen!!!!! So back we went, I got the gift and we started out again. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at Red Lobster. I took an outside clip of the place to show Blossom and we all went in to see if my god-son had arrived yet. Turned out he hadn't.

My biggest worry was that I wouldn't recognize him and I wondered how much he'd changed since the last photo I had of him. As we sat waiting several couples came in but the men were all middle-aged and kind-of portly so I didn't think any of them were correct. Then the outer doors opened and a young couple came in. Katya, I knew my baby as soon as I saw him!!!!! He looked just like his high school graduation picture!!!!! I hugged Maureen first, then Dayne -- we both laughed because we gave each other bouquets of roses!!! My brother kept the video camera rolling and got everybody hugging and saying hello. Since the dish set/wedding gift was kind of heavy I had Dayne take it as we all headed into the dining room.

Dinner was a blast! We sat around talking about everything and eating up a storm!!!!! Dayne said that he still had every present I'd sent him over the years -- all the books and especially a toy race car I'd gotten him when he was maybe 4 or 5 years old. Maureen and I started forming a lasting friendship that day that's only gotten stronger. Since it was my b'day weekend we cut a cake for me and kept video taping for Blossom. All too soon, however, it was time to go home. Dayne hugged me and said he was missing me already. He was so adorable and such a loving, respectful young man and I loved him more every minute.

When we got home I finished the video tape for Blossom around the outside of my house. I had that and the still photos we'd taken all developed the next day. I sent Maureen the DVD and she made two copies, one for Blossom and an extra one as a back up for me. A few weeks later I heard from Blossom, telling me how much she enjoyed the video and that she kept watching it over and over again. She also said that when Dayne called her to say what a terrific time he'd had and how great it was to meet all of us, she had tears in her eyes. She put the 8x10 framed group shot photo I sent her in her living room and told me that whenever she passes by she looks at the photo and says "Hello, my sister!" Needless to say she had me crying, too!!!!!!

The months passed and in January Maureen sent me some photos she'd taken when she'd gone back to Jamaica for her grandfather's memorial service. She also included three photos of a very handsome 14 year old boy and a cute-as-a-button 6 year old girl, Dayshawn and Kameela respectively. She neglected to tell me who they were, however, so when I phoned Blossom she explained that they were Maureen's kids from her first marriage. Turned out she married when she was very young (age 17) but the marriage didn't work out. She later met Dayne whenever she went to Jamaica to visit her grandmother, who lives next door to Blossom. Maureen is about 8 years older than Dayne but they are so cute together that you'd never know it.

We kept in touch all winter and then last August I thought we'd start a tradition and meet up again at Red Lobster. This time the kids were supposed to come. Unfortunately they were spending the weekend with their Dad at Rehoboth Beach, DE, and got back too late. We're still hoping to meet them some time soon. Anyway, the second dinner was just as much fun as the first and I couldn't stop hugging Dayne!!! We took more photos and another video for Blossom. I got a great pic of Dayne and Maureen together and had it blown up and framed for his Mum again.

Blossom loved the second video as well and put the second pic next to the first. During our dinner Maureen told us she and Dayne planned on getting Visa's for B, her husband and daughter (none of whom has ever left the island!!!)and surprising them with plane tickets to the US this summer. Well, it's almost August so I'm hoping it won't be very long till I get to meet my sister after 32 wonderful years, not to mention her husband and my beautiful niece who's now almost 23!!!!!!

Well, Katya, that's it for now. I'll update again after our meeting. Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Lots of love,
Gina L. :-D

Oddio Overplay said...

Big Blue Marble intro on YouTube