Recording Artist Jim Rule Kicks Off Summer Reading
Having received a warm welcome last year from local children and parents, awardwinning recording artist Jim Rule took center stage Friday morning as part of the kickoff celebration for the Fulton County Library’s summer reading program.
Entertaining the jam-packed crowd, Rule encouraged those in attendance to “jump, sing and dance” to various sing-songs that included “One Hot, Hot Day” and a song based on the popular children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.”
According to Rule, even though he has been involved in music his entire life, it wasn’t until the birth of his first child in 1989 that he was inspired to put pen to paper and begin writing songs.
“The songs started popping out of my head. I sang at local churches and schools,” said Rule, a first-grade teacher at Penn Elementary School in Reading, Pa. “People were asking to buy my CD, but I didn’t have one to offer yet.”
His fortune changed when he met successful musician and father Pat Woodland, who produced Rule’s first album, “Share This World,” in 1994. With help from Tim Horrigan in 1996 , Rule went on to put together “Let It Shine,” “Like A Star” and two bilingual collections “Too Much Fun” and “Too Much Fun, Too” only one year later. Years later, all of the English-speaking tracks were compiled with additional bonus tracks for the “Too Much Fun All In One” album.
“While I enjoy performing and seeing the joy my music brings to children and parents alike, I learned a long time ago that I am not cut out for touring and living out of a suitcase,” stated Rule. “I like being home for dinner. That’s a big part of why I work as a teacher and am fortunate to be able to perform on the side and in the summer.”
With six CDs under his belt, Rule hasn’t recorded a new album since 1999. He hopes that his future plans will include returning to the recording studio, and maybe a possible collaboration with his eldest son, Casey, who just recently graduated from Lehigh University.
In the meantime, Rule continues to brainstorm and come up with ideas. One of his favorite methods, which he routinely shares with his audience, is writing parodies by taking an existing song and rewriting the words.
Fulton County Children’s librarian Linda Burton informed the crowd during Rule’s performance that the “One World, Many Stories” theme will take participants around the world. Their first stop will be in Alaska with Herb Brambley and his sled dogs. The 2010 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail, Brambley will be visiting both McConnellsburg and Hustontown as well as the Needmore branch of Tower Bank.
Judith Camp will share her tales of “Life in the Congo” the following week, which will be fol- lowed by Jeremy Hollinshead, who will be speaking on Haiti. The “One World, Many Stories” theme will also bring speakers knowledgeable on China, Japan and Peru.
In addition to the summer reading program for pint-sized children, the Fulton County Library also offers adults and teens an opportunity to participate in the summer fun. Adults and teens can register online to participate by signing up on the library’s Web page at fultoncountylibrary.org and clicking on the summer reading program icon. There are no minimum reading requirements, and participants are eligible for random prize drawings.