Bill Harley

This article is about the children's entertainer. For the co-founder of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, see William S. Harley.
Bill Harley
Born U.S.
Occupation Musician, Storyteller, Author
Years active 1975–present

Bill Harley is a children's entertainer and storyteller who has been called "the Mark Twain of contemporary children's music" by Entertainment Weekly.[1] He uses a range of musical styles and appeals to children and adults with quirky, heart-filled lyrics. He received the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album For Children (albums consisting of predominantly spoken word versus music or song) for his albums Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs and Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live in 2007 and 2009, respectively. In addition to children's music, he performs at storytelling festivals around the country including appearances at the National Storytelling Festival.

Harley has also published numerous books. These include: Sitting Down To Eat which was selected as an American Booksellers Association Pick of the list; Sarah's Story a Storytelling World Award Winner; and The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher his first novel for elementary students. His second novel for children, Night of the Spadefoot Toads, was released in October 2008 and won a Green Earth Book Award. He is currently working on the "Charlie Bumpers vs." series, about the trials and tribulations of a 4th grade boy.[2]

Harley has performed for more than 2500 schools and currently lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts.






Harley's "Rules of the Universe" and philosophy

"Rules of the Universe"

Philosophy ("Free advice, if you want it")

"Everybody worries about things being 'educational' with kids. I believe everything is educational, in that it says something about how one looks at the world - it imparts a knowledge, or world-view. Children learn more from context than they do from explicit lessons, so assume they're working to understand something - they learn vocabulary and language not from a dictionary or worksheet, but from conversation, they learn songs not from reading music, but from singing with someone who loves to sing, and they learn hope and kindness and cooperation not from being told to have them, but by experiencing them."[6]

See also


  1. Swift, P.J. "Bill Harley - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  3. "Circle of Excellence Award Recipients". National Storytelling Network. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  4. "The Green Earth Book Award". Newton Marasco Foundation. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  5. Morgan, Thomas. "R.I. Humanities Council picks Harley, Kazarian for prizes". Projo 7 to 7 News Blog. The Providence Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  6. 1 2 Bill Harley Bio Archived January 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. from Retrieved January 23, 2008.

External links

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