THE WALKING OLIVER CHILDREN’S MUSIC STORY
Walking Oliver was officially established as an independent children’s music label in 2002. The company develops, creates and records quality music for kids and their families.However, the story of Walking Oliver is a bit more than that, because at its heart, it is the story of a father who wanted to share love, laughter and the joy of music with his son. (It might also be the story of a dog named Oliver, but we’ll leave that to you to decide.)
As it happens, the particular father in question is the world-renowned opera singer Paul Austin Kelly. Finding himself on tour and away from his family for weeks at a time, Paul would write funny little poems and email them to his son. Given his musical inclinations (not to mention his prodigious training) it wasn’t long before these little poems revealed themselves to be lyrics that lent themselves quite nicely to musical interpretation!
Although Paul had always enjoyed and appreciated children’s music, it was not until he had a son of his own that he experienced first-hand what parents worldwide have been lamenting for years: the scarcity of quality music for kids. Recognizing the need for popular kid’s music that is not only fun, but that also exposes young people to a wide range of valid and diverse musical forms, he began composing and recording his songs in his state-of-the-art home studio. Friends and parents, even music colleagues and teachers he’d met during his travels were soon clamoring for copies. Lo and behold, a fledgling music company had been born. Soon he began collaborating with other musicians, poets and artists.
In 2002, Paul Austin Kelly made it official. From country to folk, jazz to hip hop, rock to pop and even classical, Walking Oliver recordings would be imaginative, insightful musical journeys, always backed by quality musical performances, always delivering on the promise of quality music for kids.
Still, it has been with the collaboration of his artistic partners that Paul’s original mission comes full circle. After having been in contact for more than three years via email and telephone, famed children’s illustrator Korky Paul
finally hopped aboard the Walking Oliver bandwagon and not only designed the irresistible WO logo, complete with a whistling, finger-snapping Oliver, but also joined the team as designer and illustrator of their CD mini-books and labels, giving Walking Oliver both a fun-loving canine mascot and fantastical full-colour fun to accompany children’s listening experience. Because while Walking Oliver will always be first and foremost about quality music for kids, music is just the beginning. Through music, words and art, Walking Oliver is dedicated to creating those special moments of love and laughter for kids and their families.
And oh yes, about that dog named Oliver. He was there at the moment of inspiration, the very moment Paul was deciding to commit his energies to the creation of children’s music. In fact, he was barking rather loudly and demanding his afternoon walk. Well, that’s the dog’s story anyway.
As a Postscript, 27th September 2010 :
We are very sad to announce that Oliver, the beloved, colorful and fun-loving Weimaraner that is our namesake has left us to go to that great big boneyard in the sky. He had a long, happy life – 12 years, which is quite old for his breed – and survived mishaps that would have done in many a lesser dog, including being hit head-on by a postal van when he was a puppy to a venomous snake bite in his old age. He was quite an amazing dog and we of Walking Oliver will miss him greatly. But we are pleased to say that his name will live on in the company that he inspired and above all, in the music.
STILL THE STORY CONTINUES….