I've been far too tardy in mentioning these two stories, but what I love about them is the idea that making music for kids and families is now an acceptable thought to artists whose artistic legacy would be secure even if they stopped making music today and spent the rest of their lives on the tennis court or at their local coffee shop.
Case #1: Los Lobos, who are looking into recording a kids' album (scroll down). "I want to research children's music from Mexico and Latin America. And maybe write a couple of our own; as a songwriter, I'd like to try to write a few, to see what I can do," says Louie Perez, the band's percussionist.
Case #2: Levon Helm, whose Midnight Ramble series I've previously been enthused by, received a nice write-up in the New York Times (additional charge now applies). “Kids need to see real people playing real songs on real instruments,” said Helm, whose latest Ramble featured Elizabeth Mitchell and Susie Lamper (keyboardist for Laurie Berkner) and -- this is pretty awesome news -- is recording the kids' rambles for release on CD and DVD by the end of the year. Helm's interest is spurred in part by financial necessity, but I gotta tell you, kids' music is not the place to go to become rich.
Financially speaking, in any case. In other ways, perhaps. But with the cash, not so much.