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(as printed on the back of the album)

When asked for his biography, Larry Thor submitted the following:

"Born August 27, 1916 in the first completed room of a new frame house (they'd just moved up from the log cabin) on grandfather's farm, eight miles from Lundar, Manitoba, Canada, an Icelandic village in the sense that Icelandic was the only language spoken by the immigrant citizens.  I was married when I was 21 and have four children by that marriage.  I started in radio after unsuccessfully trying to get work in a mine at Flin Flon, Manitoba, in 1937.  I tacked across eastern Canada on various radio stations until 1946 when I came to Los Angeles.  I've been announcing and acting since, have an un-purchased novel I wrote two years ago which keeps me company on cold days, have tried to interest producers in a couple of TV series ideas, am now married to Jean Howell (Thor), an actress, and we have three children, Kristina, 6; Cameron, 4; and Leifur Hayden, 2 1/2 months.

"Most of the ideas for the songs in this album have come from practical experience; it seems to me that kids and adults are really the same, but in different uniforms.  Sad Day, Lonely Day is perhaps the most accurate song about kids in the entire album.  Kids are torn between what they want to do and what they know they have to do to keep people around.  It's not a sad song; it's matter-of-fact, like kids.  The Gimme Pig?  Every child has it, is it.  You almost have to forbid it.  You have to stop the momentum of 'gimme' - they really need help when they're in the 'gimme' chant.

"I think feelings can be re-arranged; that's what When You Hurt is about.  I see people pick up a child who has been hurt and tell him to be brave.  They should say, and mean; that they know it hurts and that crying may help - the kid's better off if he can hurt.  Picnic is a mischief song; I tried to poke fun at the idea that kids on a picnic will be what we want them to be - that is, as little irritation as possible.  Answer Every Question came right from my son, Cameron.  We woke up early one cool morning and as he sat on the air vent, catching the heat, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  'You'll see,' he said.  And that's really a multi-barreled proposition: innocent, yet loaded.

"Matinee Lullaby was a musical inspiration; it came out of the lovely chord progressions.  I put it into a lullaby for the midday nap - that's when it's really tough to get them to sleep.  Scary Song is for Cameron and my daughter Kristina - there are verses for each of them.  It starts out innocently and then the music and the story develop an ominous feel.  Since You Went Away is like so many children's conversations.  If one child meets another they cheer the other up by talking of violence, of bad conditions.  Worry Time is about what kids worry most about - what they're not caught at; it's very difficult for them to deal with guilt.

"One of the chief functions of television is to give mother a rest.  The kid is doing her a service when he watches; that's what T.V. Song is about.  Galloping on My Dinosaur has a different attitude than the others.  It's just a rollicking old song about a kid with a non-existent pal.  I think we'll always be fascinated with dinosaurs and a little sorry we weren't around to ride them.  Lullaby is a piece of mischief.  If you tell kids not to think about something, that's exactly what they're going to think about.  I think it's easier for them to go to bed if they ramble around among things like crocodiles."

 Once, when Larry Thor wasn't singing, or acting in a film, or narrating on the radio, he said that talking about his own work made him think of Gulley Jimson, the artist-hero of Joyce Cary's novel "The Horse's Mouth," who said to his acolyte Nosey: "Nosey, paint a picture - all talk is lies."

Not quite all talk, for Larry Thor knows the talk to make children laugh.  He knows the goodness of kids, and he knows their squinchy orneriness, grumpiness and sillinesses.  With the sensitive assistance of guitarist Al Hendrickson, Thor presents twelve songs that most kids should find absolutely captivating.

- Billy James


(c) Copyright 2002
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