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Remembering the Lovely, Talented Marcia Berman
Marcia Berman, a beloved singer/songwriter of children’s music, was being honored by her colleagues in 1997. Ellie Kahn of Living Legacies Productions was commissioned to produce this video tribute about Marcia’s life and career. It was shown at the celebration, at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City. Above is a screengrab from the video. Marcia passed March 24, 2024 and her community of friends and admirers mourn her loss.
ArtBeat, Feature

Remembering the Lovely, Talented Marcia Berman 

Marcia Berman, a beloved singer/songwriter of children’s music, was being honored by her colleagues in 1997. Ellie Kahn of Living Legacies Productions was commissioned to produce a video tribute about Marcia’s life and career. It was shown at the celebration, at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City. Above is a screengrab from the video. (You can view the video here and learn more about her life and art)
Marcia passed March 24, 2024 and her community of friends and admirers mourn her loss.

Pamela Nightingale and I co-founded the band J.P. Nightingale in 1973, and began performing for children and family audiences while studying Creative Dramatics in college. 

Pam Nightingale and John Wood; also known as J.P. Nightingale, prolific performers of children’s music concerts since 1973. Photo courtesy of John Wood

We met [pioneering children’s music performer] Marcia Berman in the early 1970s, when we produced a children’s concert series together at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. (Editors Note: Marcia was married for a time to Gerald McCabe, furniture designer and founder of McCabe’s Guitar Shop. She was instrumental in bringing some of the first musical performances to the famous venue.)

At our first meeting, we thought what a sweet, classy lady… and then she opened her mouth and sang, and the world stopped turning for a brief moment. She had two more fans. 

The concerts at McCabe’s Guitar Shop were successful, and we met new performers and a growing audience base of supportive families. Further down the road, along with Marcia, Dan Crow, Uncle Ruthie Buell, and Fred Sokolow we created Chanukah At Home, a live concert and album recorded for Rounder Records. 

One of Pam’s fondest memories of Marcia was her willingness to try new things like dance choreography or different harmonies. This was good because Dan had two left feet and I had two right feet which made one complete dancer. 

Marcia Berman in a photo with Patty Zeitlin with whom she partnered making several well-loved albums of pioneering children’s music. This photo was taken for the cover of the publication/newsletter of Pass It On, the journal of the Children’s Music Network in the Spring of 2000.

Marcia had partnered with singer/songwriter Patty Zeitlin, which was a match made in musical heaven. They interpreted Patty’s songwriting skills and recorded many albums. They made beautiful music together (Pam and I performed Marcia’s song “I’m Not Small” for many children but drew the line with high schoolers, since they were bigger than us). 

In this commemorative video you will learn the fascinating story of how that song came into being. Years ago, when Dan Crow mentioned that Marcia had moved to Washington State I imagined her, leather clad, riding on a Harley—a counterculture Daughter of Anarchy! We found that image very funny, but to be fair, we’re not that bright. Now, in the light of her passing, it seems to be appropriate. 

In the words of one of her heroes Woody Guthrie “So long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh.” 

You left your mark and a high mark to reach for. Peace out. Respect!

Above is NOT Marcia Berman, rather a result of Mr. Wood’s feverish imagination with the help of AI.

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