Revisiting a concept that began in the early 1970s, actress Marlo Thomas has assembled an all-star cast for a new children’s project. Due Nov. 16 via Kid Rhino/Atlantic, “Thanks & Giving: All Year Long” features music from Sheryl Crow, Hilary Duff and Faith Hill, along with contributions from film and TV stars Billy Crystal, Sara Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston.
“I often wondered why we only think about thanks and giving one day a year,” Thomas says. “The truth is, we really thank and give each and every day.
Credited to Marlo Thomas & Friends, the new project is not unlike 1974’s “Free To Be … You and Me” or 1988’s “Free To Be… A Family,” which were essentially soundtracks to a children’s television specials, but stood on their own as music and story recordings.
The “Thanks & Giving: All Year Long” CD focuses on such concepts as family, friendship and giving through original stories, songs and poems. Crow kicks the disc off with the song “All Kinds of People,” while teen star Duff adds “(I’ll Give) Anything But Up!” and Hill offers “Sing Me the Story of Your Day.”
Uncle Kracker teams up with Thomas for an entry dubbed “I Want It!”; Thomas also contributes two other solo tracks and a collaboration with Muppets Bert and Ernie). Other musicians contributing to the project are Jimmy Buffett, the Bacon Brothers, Amy Grant and John Hiatt, while actors David Hyde Pierce, Rosie Perez and Antonio Banderas and comedians Wayne Brady and Robin Williams have also leant a hand.
In conjunction with the CD, Simon & Schuster is publishing a companion book under the same name. The anthology — which Thomas describes as “often touching and poignant, it’s never over-serious” — boast contributions from such notable figures as author Maurice Sendak (“Where the Wild Things Are”), artists Marc Brown and Matt Groening (“The Simpsons”), folk singer Tom Chapin, golfer Tiger Woods, entrepreneur Donald Trump and actors Frankie Muniz, Paul Newman and Whoopi Goldberg, among others.
Proceeds from both projects will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded in 1962 by Thomas’ father, entertainer Danny Thomas.
Here is the “Thanks & Giving” track list:
“All Kinds of People,” Sheryl Crow
“The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage,” David Hyde Pierce
“I Want It!” Uncle Kracker and Marlo Thomas
“Teenie Meany,” James Earl Jones, with Marlo Thomas
“Attitude of Gratitude,” Jimmy Buffett
“A Different Aladdin,” Billy Crystal
“A Smile Connects Us,” Kermit the Frog
“The Thing About Generosity,” Marlo Thomas
“Unsung Heroes,” Wayne Brady
“Josie’s First Allowance Day,” Rosie Perez
“The Little Stuff,” Marlo Thomas
“The Nothingest Girl in the World,” Sarah Jessica Parker
“(I’ll Give) Anything But Up!” Hilary Duff
“Point of View,” Robin Williams
“You Know My Brother (He’s So Heavy),” the Bacon Brothers
“Cheesybreadville,” Antonio Banderas
“Snow, Aldo,” Jennifer Aniston
“Sing Me the Story of Your Day,” Faith Hill
“A Tale of Two Friends,” Bert, Ernie and Marlo Thomas
“Thank Someone,” Amy Grant and John Hiatt