New album and show: Wilton Wilberry and the Magical Christmas Wishing Well, by Mifflin Lowe ’70. He will perform at 1 p.m., Dec. 27, at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Mass.
The artist: Lowe worked as a copywriter for advertising firms before switching to writing children’s songs and performing in schools, libraries, and festivals. He was commissioned by the Syracuse Symphony to turn one of his children’s books, Beasts by the Bunches, into a piece for orchestra. His other stories set to music include a rock opera about a king who lost his underpants and The Adventures of Cowboy Kareem, the story of a young boy in the inner city who dreams of becoming a cowboy.
The CD: Wilton Wilberry and the Magical Christmas Wishing Well tells the story of greedy Wilton Wilberry, who always gets the “crummy stuff” like socks for Christmas while his older brother and sister get the “good stuff” like skateboards and video games. On the album the story is interspersed with eight original songs. When Wilton gets angry and runs away from home, he discovers a magical wishing well and the rock ’n’ roll Santa within it who gives Wilton everything he wants. Soon toys and candy fill Wilton’s bedroom, house, and yard while no one else gets a thing. But in the end, Wilton is dissatisfied, and the Christmas Princess shows Wilton that the most important gift is the love of his friends and family.
Opening lines of the story: “The holidays were here. Everyone was celebrating and singing songs like ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Joy to the World’. Yes, everybody was happy and merry, and full of good cheer — but there was one person who was not happy and merry at all. And that was Wilton Wilberry.”
Review: Heidi Kurpiela called Wilton Wilberry “a modern-day Dickens tale with a rock ’n’ roll twist” on her blog WhileMyBoyfriendWasSleeping.com.
Listen to “Rock ’n’ Roll Santa” and “My Very Best Present.”