Jackson Browne duet released on SingSOS

“Day After Day (Dr. Maturin’s Daughter)”, Jackson Browne’s duet with Valerie Carter, originally recorded in 2007, has been released on a benefit album of original songs to help spread the word about autism.

Songs of the Spectrum is available as an MP3 download ($14.95) and audio CD ($19.95) at SingSOS.org. Both versions include electronic files of selected autism resources including book excerpts. Proceeds benefit a host of autism charities: Autism Speaks, Connecticut Center for Child Development, Alpine Learning Center, Learning Spring School, McCarton Foundation, The New York Conservatory for the Arts, and more.  The album also includes songs performed by Dar Williams and Jonatha Brooke.

The album consists of original songs written by John O’Neil, a New York Times editor whose 2004 essay about his autistic son was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Jon Fried and Deena Shoshkes, a husband/wife team that performs as the Cucumbers.

Click through for the full press release.

NEW ALBUM OF ORIGINAL SONGS ABOUT AUTISM FEATURES JACKSON BROWNE, DAR WILLIAMS & OTHERS COMBINED WITH ‘E-BUNDLE’ OF AUTISM RESOURCES AND BOOK EXCERPTS

Unique Holiday Gift of Uplifting Music Lets Families Share Hope;
Serves as Fundraising Tool for Autism Organizations Large & Small

Nov. 19, 2009 — SingSOS! announces the release today of an album of original songs about autism. SingSOS!/Songs of the Spectrum is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that enlists the power of music to spread the word about autism spectrum disorders and the importance of early detection and intensive intervention.

The music is available in digital download and CD form at singsos.org. On the album and at the site, there is also a hand-selected set of high-quality information for parents and educators about autism in free downloadable form, including excerpts from books by leading experts.

This album is unique and timely because:

  • Autism is of greater concern than ever, with recent studies putting prevalence at 1 in 100.
  • It features an appealing mix of established artists – along with Browne and Williams, there are performers like Marshall Crenshaw and Jonatha Brooke and emerging names, including Christina Courtin, Richard Julian and Ari Hest.
  • In a field flooded with misinformation, the album offers a hand-picked selection of brochures, articles and book chapters, along with links to videos and interactive tools – a one-stop shopping resource for those with a need to know more.
  • It offers both a message of hope and an unflinching look at the realities faced by the families of people on the autism spectrum.
  • Unlike most charity CDs, this features a unified set of songs with a single point of view.
  • An innovative distribution plan engages the autism community to spread the word.

Beginning Nov. 19th, the album can be downloaded at www.singsos.org for a $15 donation or ordered as a CD for $20.  It will also be available via through major online outlets including iTunes and Amazon. All proceeds go to a nonprofit group chosen by the donor.

Featured beneficiaries include three national organizations — Autism Speaks, the Autism Society and Easter Seals — and six programs in the New York area: the Alpine Learning Group, the Connecticut Center for Child Development, the Learningspring School, the McCarton School, the New York Center for Autism and Spectra Academy.

Other nonprofit groups providing services to the autism community will also be able to use the album as a fundraising tool by registering on the site. SingSOS wants to help the groups doing the grassroots work and encourage them to further spread the word about the importance of early detection and intervention.

Starting Nov. 30th, experts from the featured schools will discuss the issues raised by the songs and answer reader questions on a blog at singsos.org.

The original cover image is by Jonathan Lerman, the winner of a recent SingSOS contest for artists on the spectrum.  Several other autistic artists contributed art to the CD packaging and our  website, where all contest entries can be seen.

The songs on the album are a collaboration between John O’Neil, a New York Times editor whose 2004 essay for the paper about his autistic son James was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Jon Fried and Deena Shoshkes, a husband/wife team that performs as the Cucumbers. Fried and Shoshkes are close friends of the O’Neil family, and have witnessed first hand James’s struggle and progress. One song was co-written by O’Neil’s oldest son, Chris, about the issues siblings face, and James contributed the final track, a poem about the different point of view of someone on the spectrum.

“Early intervention and dedicated, relentless treatment can have a genuinely transforming effect,’’ said O’Neil. “We want to bring listeners inside an experience that is so hard to see and so hard to understand. Autism has understandably been called an ‘invisible epidemic.’ We hope to make it tangible.”

“This is different from other charity albums, which are usually compilations of unrelated songs. It takes a unified set of songs by writers steeped in the experience, and puts them in the hands of some of the best vocalists and song interpreters of their generation,” said Jon Fried.  “The songs tell a cohesive story that affected families and others with an interest in or connection to autism can follow.  We’ve had listeners tell us ‘You are singing my life’ and ‘Now I feel less alone.’ ”

A performance of the SingSOS songs was the concluding event of the United Nation’s activities marking World Autism Awareness Day in April 2009.

The complete list of SingSOS! vocal artists is: Jackson Browne and Valerie Carter (duet), Dar Williams, Marshall Crenshaw, Teddy Geiger, Jonatha Brooke, Richard Julian, Dan Bern and Mike Viola (duet), Don Dixon and Marti Jones (duet), Ollabelle, Christina Courtin, Ari Hest, Kelly Flint and The Cucumbers.

For more information, visit www.singsos.org

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About Corey Blake

Corey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life.
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