Raffi – Evergreen Everblue

I have been on the hunt for the video for Raffi – Evergreen Everblue for 7 years now, and I finally found it on youtube today! I read Raffi’s autobiography The Life Of A Childrens Troubadour while I was still at University of Windsor in 2002. His story is so unique in the entertainment world it’s always stuck out in my mind.

Raffi was born in Cairo Egypt in 1948 (the reason I’m mentioning this is that he was a teenager in the 60’s) and moved to Toronto with his family when he was 10. He recorded his first children’s album Singable Songs For The Very Young in 1976 with Daniel Lanois engineering and producing. In his book he wrote that at the time children’s music was all aimed exclusively at kids, and he was trying to make music that young adults in their 20’s who were having kids could also enjoy listening to.

Raffi never intended to be a children’s entertainer when he was growing up. He’d made an album in 1974 aimed at people his own age called Good Luck Boy, but his children’s music was an immediate financial success. He tried following it up in 1977 with another album for his peers called Adult Entertainment but it tanked, so he went back to children’s music later in 1977 with More Singable Songs. His success eventually led to Sharon, Lois and Bram and Fred Penner coming out of the same music scene.

Fast forward to 1990. Raffi’s 42, financially successful but divorced after several years of marriage, and was feeling a bit frustrated. If I remember correctly from the book, he wanted to make another go of making music for teenagers and adults and makes an environmental advocacy album called Evergreen Everblue and a video to go along with the title track. The video features children, senior citizens and David Suzuki singing. He tried to get it played on MuchMusic but nobody was interested. He was pretty pissed off and discouraged that they’d play shitty hair metal like Warrant but wouldn’t play a video about environmental activism.

Anyways, here’s the video. I find Raffi’s career and perspective that he comes from in his book fascinating, and largely overlooked in people’s cultural paradigms considering his overall success and influence. I would love to hang out with Raffi for a few days, do some interviews and either write an article or put together a television segment about it.

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