Judy's Tune RoomJudy's Tune Room

Judy Pancoast: Live from the Library

February 23, 2005

by Lisa Betty Cline

The first clue should have been her spry sneakers. And her short-sleeved shirt. And the door to the performance room that was propped slightly open “for comfort,” I was told.

But if you didn’t know Judy Pancoast from Judy Blume, how would you know what was to come? How would you know that this beloved children’s icon would incite the kind of energy scientists would vie to harness? How would you know about the twisting and shouting, and hooting and hollering, and wagging and wiggling that was about to ensue? …Within the tranquility of a library, no less.

Judy Pancoast, for the uninitiated, is an entertainer, an artist, and a sheer delight. For the past 10 years, she’s taken her talents to New York, to Kenya, and many places in between. Critics put her somewhere between Jimmy Buffet and Karen Carpenter for the pre-teen set. I’d add a dash of Beach Boys.

She has performed twice for the President of the United States, and last Thursday at 4 p.m., she performed for about 75 Charlestown residents — most of them under the age of five.

The 45-minute program began with a resounding rendition of “Wild One,” to which the crowd responded aptly by going unabashedly wild.

Pancoast then continued with this call-out: “Are there any monkeys in the room?” Small bodies popped up like pogo sticks. When prompted to “make like an ape,” the kids did so with surprising competency. They were especially convincing when further directed to “be very loud, squeaky monkeys.” Only one shy soul left the room uttering “too loud, mommy,” though she quickly returned when Pancoast hit the first few bars of her popular hit “Monkey Girl.”

Tarzan yells followed. Then, a short lesson in showing off, which, for the record, “is okay as long as you’re not saying you’re better than anyone else.” This launched the more heart-felt tune, “Look at Me.”

Signs of Pancoast’s teaching degree shine through much of her material. Teaching through song is her “thing.” Playing with them means reaching them, she has been reported to say.

A New Hampshire resident, Pancoast has a small audience of her own at home in her husband and two daughters (ages 15 and 10). She also has a magical musical Web site, where you can get to know her better: www.judypancoast.com.

As an encore, the kids were invited to select two free books from tables upon tables of children’s literature in the room next door.

The books were compliments of Reading is Fundamental, Massachusetts Biomedical Research Corporation and the Friends of the Charlestown Branch of the Boston Public Library. The concert was compliments of library organizers, Sarah Pennell and Maureen Marx. And the spontaneous release of unbridled cleverness was all Judy Pancoast.


Judy has been endorsed by the Coalition for Quality Children's Media
Home     About Judy     Judy's Concerts      Headlines     News     Concert Calendar      Tune Room Store     Contact Judy

This site is protected by copyright laws under US and International law. All rights reserved. © 2005 Judy Pancoast LLC
This web site was designed by West Web Pages & West Multimedia Productions


To view music video click here