Make sure hope never ends...
Award-winning children's musician Roger Day has devoted his life to making sure that future generations sing loud, jump high, and--most importantly--dream big. His signature wit, whimsy, and wordplay have helped put smiles on the faces of kids from one to ninety-two. Roger believes that in order to "Build a Better World" we must start with children, for they are the future. Using the gift of music and laughter, he is doing his part to, as his signature song states, "make sure hope never ends."
Awards & Achievements
- A two-time Parents' Choice® Gold Award Winner
- National Association of Parenting Publications® Gold Award
- Dove Family Foundation Winner
- NACA Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity
- #1 Song on XM/Sirius Kids Place Live "I Like Yaks"
Patrick Hinley Work/Play®
Music from the Heart and the Head
What does a former camp counselor who studied German and spent ten years playing college coffeehouses do with his life? Write and sing award-winning children’s music, of course. Roger Day takes inspiration from The Beatles, U2 and even The Clash. A two time Parents’ Choice® Gold Award winner, he’s worked with artists such as the Indigo Girls, Nanci Griffith and The Crickets (Buddy Holly’s legendary band). Roger’s skilled musicianship combines with his wit and wordplay to create a musical experience that parents enjoy as much as their kids.
First Song for Kids
Roger Day wrote his first children’s song one Christmas when cash was short and the family gift list was long. The reaction from nieces and nephews was an enthusiastic “More please!” Encouraged, he kept writing. Soon he had enough songs for an entire show – he just wasn’t sure where to play them.
College Community Service Shows • Harry Chapin Award
Then Roger got an idea. Whenever a college booked his regular coffeehouse show, he would come into town early, meet up with group of student volunteers and put on a community service children’s show at a local Head Start program. These made such an impact that the National Association of Campus Activities recognized Roger with THE HARRY CHAPIN AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUMANITY, its highest public service award.
Leap of Faith
By this time, Roger had two children of his own, with one on the way. He loved playing for colleges but knew that writing and performing for kids was his true calling. So in a leap of faith, with no clear idea of where it would lead, he retired from the college circuit, became a full-time stay-at-home dad, and started writing full-time for kids while his wife Jodie worked as an elementary school speech pathologist.
Parents' Choice© Awards &
Radio Disney • SiriusXM Radio
That leap of faith paid off. Roger now had enough songs for an entire CD. He released "Rock 'n' Roll Rodeo" in 1998 followed by "Ready to Fly" in 2001. The Indigo Girls sang with him. Nanci Griffith too. Roger won his first Parents’ Choice® Award. Word spread. In 2003 he filmed a family concert DVD "Roger Day LIVE!" He won another Parents’ Choice® Award and The Film Advisory Board Award for Outstanding Family Video. The following year he made his Public Television debut.
"Dream Big!" came next in 2007. Radio Disney played the title song; “I like Yaks” went to number 1 on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live; and he won his first Parents’ Choice® Gold Award. He won his second Parents’ Choice© Gold Award with the 2010 release "Why Does Gray Matter?" Described as “Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st Century” it made innovative use of “the brain” as a theme for every song. It got a nice mention in the New York Times and was featured on the KidsHealth.org website.
Marsh Mud and Vulture Vomit
Never has Roger Day’s gift for “wit, whimsy and wordplay” been more in evident than on the DVD/CD "Marsh Mud Madness."
In 2009 he was invited by Georgia Sea Grant to visit the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA. His job was to shadow the scientists, help them with their research and write songs about what he learned. Roger came up with 14 new songs about the fascinating plants and animals that live in and around the saltwater marshes and beaches of barrier islands and how each one plays an important role in a healthy ecosystem. Even regurgitating vultures!
The Savannah Music Festival was so excited that they invited a thousand students to the Trustees Theater in Savannah and filmed Roger’s new show with his band “The Mosquito Burrito Brothers”. The live concert DVD and CD released in 2013 earned Roger his 5th Parents’ Choice© Award and prompted the Christian Science Monitor to say, “The science is sneakily good, the songs are fun, and the rhythms are downright infectious.”
Crisscrossing the Country
Roger Day now plays well over a hundred shows each year from the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY. The Target Children’s Book Festival has invited him to play festivals in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston. The International Children's Festival in Edmonton, Alberta brought him to Canada and the Ruth Eckerd Hall to Clearwater, FL. Roger’s music has spread far past the family Christmas tree.
Born in Birmingham – Educated in Virginia -
Proud Father of Three - Boy Scout Volunteer
Roger was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. A 1985 magna cum laude graduate of Washington & Lee University in Virginia, Roger currently lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife Jodie and their youngest son Jacob, the newest starter on Franklin High School’s championship soccer team.
Their oldest son Thomas was Tennessee's Presidential Scholar in 2011, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington & Lee University in 2015 and will start medical school in the summer of 2017. Their daughter Marjory will be a 2017 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College where she will earn a Math major and finish her term as President of the Panhellenic Council. She will be starting a second degree in engineering in the fall of 2017.
An Eagle Scout – and the proud Dad of two Eagle Scouts and a Silver Award Scout – Roger spends his free time as a volunteer leader for Boy Scout Troop 137. In 2013 he led an expedition of 50 scouts and adult leaders on a 12-day backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and lived to tell the tale.
Photo by Heather Klausner