Popular Book Available in Audio


RESOURCE (excerpts)

Popular Book Available in Audio

CD Release Date January 5, 2000

Stories and Songs of Simple Living

Jym Kruse, editor

Alternatives' Popular Book, Cassette and CD Stories and Songs of Simple Living Features Bill Harley, Gayle Ross, Len Cabral, Susan Klein, Dan Keding and Other Popular Folk Artists

Ten American men and women - popular storytellers and folk singers from various ethnic backgrounds - tell and sing their own works in this inspiring new book and tape collection for all ages from Alternatives for Simple Living. Read the book alone or aloud. Listen to the tape at home or in the car. Or listen and follow-along.

These inspiring stories and songs exemplify the life principles of Voluntary Simplicity. They are not 'how to' live more simply. Dozens of fine books are available to tell us the reasons to live more simply and 'how to' do it. These stories and songs REVEL in it!

The voices of these stories and songs are quite different from each other. Some stories are moral tales, some are life experiences. Some are funny, some are quite serious. On the 73 minute cassette and CD, the stories and songs are presented by the artists themselves. In the book, each selection includes an introduction of the artist and the piece. Additional resources are listed in the back.

Most of the artists have been featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN.

1. Dad Threw the TV Out the Window by Bill Harley, commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered newsmagazine. He was described by Entertainment Weekly as the Mark Twain of children's music. Every one of Bill's ten recordings has won a national award, including five gold awards from the Parent's Choice Foundation.

2. The First Fire, retold by Gayle Ross, a direct descendent of John Ross, Principle Chief of the Cherokees during the Trail of Tears. She has two tapes and five books in print and has been named a 1997 Circle of Excellence Award Winner by the Nation Storytelling Association.

3. The Tear by Dan Keding, columnist for Sing Out Magazine. Dan's cassette Stories from the Other Side, was recently included in the American Library Association's publication The Best of the Best for Children. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Sun Foundation for Arts and Environmental Sciences.

4. Ninety-Five and Counting by Jym Kruse, editor of the collection. Jym travels across the nation providing programs and workshops for all ages.

5. It 's How You Say It, by Len Cabral. Of Cape Verdean ancestry, Len tells African and Caribbean folktales at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival, the Kennedy Center and the Inaugural Reunion on the Mall Festival. One of Len's four cassettes has been awarded the Parent's Choice Silver Honor. He's a Rhode Island Jefferson Award recipient.

6. Song of the Whales by Tom & Chris Kastle. As scholars the Kastles have researched the maritime musical heritage of the Great Lakes region and published their findings. They publish the Illinois folk resource Common Times.

7. The Bronco by Michael Cotter, host of Story Radio. As a third generation Minnesota farmer who farms the flat prairie land that his grandfather first plowed in the 1870's, Michael now travels around he country sharing his wisdom and charm.

8. Spirit of the River by Susan Klein, guest host of Minnesota Public Radio's Good Evening show. One of Susan's original stories was featured on ABC News NIGHTLINE. She draws on her experience as a teacher and as an itinerant storyteller in Alaskan Eskimo villages.

9. Enough Is as Good as a Feast by Joyce Earth Mama Rouse. A Nashville songwriter and performer for over ten years, Joyce's song Standing on the Shoulders was premiered at the national celebration for the 75th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage in Washington, D.C.

The artists represented here are among the most loved and cherished in their respective communities, and the diversity of their style adds a rich texture to the canvas of their work, said Jym Kruse, the editor. When I approached the storytelling and folk music communities with requests for contributions to an anthology that would feature the widest reaches of living more simply, I had hoped for a positive response. I could not have anticipated how quickly and enthusiastically the project would be embraced.

The focus of this volume is particularly suited to the world of story, Kruse said. To live more simply has an attractive ring to it, but the stories and songs in this collection demonstrate the much broader implications of simpler living. We choose to live more simply not as an end in itself but as a catalyst that enables even more to emerge.


Started in 1973 as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas, ALTERNATIVES produced books, videos, and workshops that encourage people to examine and challenge the consumer society. Its aim is to promote living justly and celebrating responsibly, by offering resources featuring creative, simple ideas.

For free seasonal and year-round resources for adults and children, visit SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.

Stories and Songs of Simple Living

Jym Kruse, editor

Simplicity / Storytelling / Music

Softcover book 80 pages 6x9" Illustrations


ISBN 0-914966-10-3

Cassette Tape 73 minutes


ISBN 0-914966-11-1

Compact Disc 73 minutes


ISBN 0-914966-13-8

Copies are available at nominal cost from ELCA Archives Office, Jan. 1, 2014.

For interviews or for further information, contact Gerald Iversen at SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com. Visit SimpleLivingWorks.org


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This page last updated 4 October 2012 (originally 27 February 2003)

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