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Monday, June 30, 2014

Product Review: Diana Waring 'Experience History Through Music'

I had the privilege of reviewing three books from Diana Waring:

  1. Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West
  2. Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. America 1750-1890: The Heart of a New Nation
Each book is accompanied with their own CD and sells for $18.99 a piece, or buy all three for $50 (This special pricing lasts through JULY ONLY).

America - Heart of a New Nation spans stories starting with the French and Indian War all the way through the first transcontinental railroad. It is presented in chronological order and presents America's history through music. Just in time for the 4th of July.

Westward Ho! includes stories and music from the pioneer era.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder presents a well-known name for Little House on the Prairie fans. This one includes stories written by William Anderson. He was the biographer for Laura Ingalls Wilder. It also includes Little House photographer, Leslie A. Kelly's, pictures. Diana Waring is one of the singers on the musical CD that is included with the book.

These books are amazing! I am so happy I got to be part of this amazing book launch and review - JUST IN TIME FOR THE PATRIOT HOLIDAY OF INDEPENDENCE DAY! As the wife of a musician, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share history with my him and  my children from a platform that is far from boring words on a page.

They are written in such a way that an adult would enjoy reading them and listening to the music, but also so that they could be read aloud to younger children. While the music plays, you might even see your little ones bopping about and clapping with a smile on their faces.

The reading is easy, flowing, and interesting. It draws the reader in to want to know more. I learned things I never knew. For instance, I was surprised to discover how much my state, Missouri, played in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. In Westward Ho! I was surprised to discover the song about the Bo Weevil and the story behind Home on the Range.

Just in time for 4th of July - I want to talk about America. I was thrilled to see the stories behind songs I've sung all my life, like Star Spangled Banner, which was written by a lawyer as a poem entitled, The Defence of Fort McHenry, after quite an ordeal watching Baltimore be attacked from the vantage point of a truce ship where he had been negotiating the release of another American.

It was also fun to discover what a "Yankee Doodle Dandee" really meant. Another fascinating fact I learned was why time zones were formed in America and what they had to do with a train and a song, She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain.

Other songs covered are:

  • The Erie Canal
  • Oh! Susanna
  • Sweet Betsy From Pike
  • All Night, All Day
  • Old Dan Tucker
  • Wade in the Water
  • Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
  • When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  • Shenandoah
  • Get Along Lil Dogies
  • Polly, Wollly, Doodle
  • And More

As their title implies, these book/CD sets provide you with more than just dry, bland historic facts. You will feel as if you are experiencing history through the music on the CD and the stories in the books that tell of the behind-the-writing-of-the-songs facts.

The books each come with a CD. Open up the pages, and you will find intriguing stories that are illustrated with historical pictures, sheet music, and some chord charts.

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