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Audiobook DJ

Rabbit Ears


The Rabbit Ears production of The Velveteen Rabbit will be available January 9, 2007 through regular distribution channels.  The title is currently available only at Starbucks.  Random House's Listening Library and Rabbit Ears Entertainment began releasing parts of the famous Rabbit Ears collection last August.  Well-known actors lend their voices while equally well-known musicians provide original music with the stories.  You can see what's ready to be released next by going to the Rabbit Ears site.  I know on my to-do list today is to give a listen to another Rabbit Ears title - Treasury of World Tales.  I'm looking forward to it!




Horrible Tragedy

Fleming.jpg Audiobook narrator and producer Kate Fleming died last Thursday (Dec. 14) at her home while trying to retrieve equipment from her studio basement during a flash flood.  An account of the tragedy can be found here.  Reactions from her colleagues include the following:

George Guidall - Kate's tragic death is a significant loss for all of us. A dedicated person and a joy to work with. It's the industry's loss and leaves us with a special sadness.

Barbara Rosenblat - Apart from anything else, young Kate was a very pro-active recording artist and I enjoyed sharing various audiobook panels with her over the years where she was always approachable by newcomers who wanted to learn and enter this discipline. Last spring at the Audies in DC, I had the pleasure of dining with her at a wonderful dinner hosted by Michele Cobb of the APA. Her wit, friendship and camaraderie made her a welcome addition to any event. Her body of work will continue to win new fans and keep a firm hold on the thousands of listeners who have enjoyed her work for years. This is a powerful loss to us all. My thoughts and condolences go to her loved ones.

Bruce Coville - I'm stunned by this news. There was just such a vitality about Kate that it's almost impossible to imagine it being snuffed out like this. We had dinner earlier this year when I was out in Seattle and we were hatching plans to work together, something we've been talking about for two or three years now. It was a joy just to be in her presence.  What horrible, horrible news.

Richard Ferrone - Kate's death is unbelievably tragic. She is...was one of the transcendant stars of the audiobook world. I am devastated. ... 

Scott Brick - I'm absolutely stunned. I've been crying for an hour now. I can't believe I'll never see or talk to her again. Kate was the sweetest, kindest woman with the most infectious laugh I may ever have heard in my life. Last time we got together, we talked about the possibility of working together, and said we'd have to do so soon. I'll regret to my last day that we didn't think of it sooner. God, I'll miss her.

Simon Vance - I discovered this news this morning. Kate was probably my best friend in the business of audiobooks. I just returned from recording an audio book under her direction last week - she was an absolute joy to work with. I am devastated. Please send all thoughts and strength to her partner Charlene whose pain simply cannot be imagined


Grammy Spoken Word Nominations!


Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)
(Narrated/dramatized books include authors' names in parenthesis for identification.)


  • I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! (Bob Newhart)
    Bob Newhart
    [Hyperion Audiobooks]
  • New Rules - Polite Musings From A Timid Observer
    Bill Maher
    [Phoenix Audio]
  • Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (Jimmy Carter)
    Jimmy Carter
    [Simon & Schuster Audio]
  • The Truth (With Jokes) (Al Franken)
    Al Franken
    [Brilliance Audio]
  • With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together (Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee)
    Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
    [Time Warner] 



Grammynoms.jpgBest Spoken Word Album For Children
(For albums consisting of predominantly spoken word vs. music or song.)

  • Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs, Bill Harley [Round River Records/Empyrean Records
    Bill Harley
    [Round River Records/Empyrean Records]
  • Christmas In The Trenches
    John McCutcheon
    [Peachtree Press]
  • Disney's Little Einsteins Musical Missions
    Various Artists
    Ted Kryczko & Ed Mitchell, producers
    [Walt Disney Records]
  • Peter Pan
    Jim Dale
    [Listening Library]
  • The Witches
    Lynn Redgrave
    [Harper Children's Audio]





R.I.P. Dewey

librarycat.jpgSPENCER, Iowa (AP) — The final chapter is closed on Dewey Readmore Books. The 19-year-old cat, who became a mascot for the city's library after being found in a book drop, died Wednesday in the arms of librarian Vicki Myron....
The temperature was minus 10 when Myron and another librarian found Dewey under a pile of books in the library's book drop when they came to work one morning in January 1988.  "We didn't know if someone abandoned him or if a Good Samaritan found him on the street and shoved him in the book drop to get him out of the cold," she said. "His paws were frozen. We warmed him up and fed him and he just purred and cuddled. From day one, we felt he'd be the right personality for the public."  Since then, Dewey became famous, with television crews coming from as far away as Japan to do stories about him, Myron said. The cat's name was chosen in a contest shortly after he was found. He was named after the Dewey Decimal System, which is used in most libraries to catalog books.

Dewey, who Myron said came running for cheeseburgers, boiled ham and chicken garlic TV dinners, had been experiencing health problems recently and was diagnosed with a stomach tumor shortly before Nov. 18, which was officially marked as his 19th birthday.  After his health rallied, he started "acting funny trying to hide" and Myron decided to take him to the vet and have him euthanized. Library employee Kim Peterson said the staff is talking about having Dewey cremated and burying his ashes at the library.


Audiobooks + Video


Taking their cue from the adage, "Seeing is believing" Simply Audiobooks has produced a couple of short videos promotoing audiobooks.  The first offering, "When You've Got Audiobooks" looks at alternate uses of book paper when books are no longer needed.  Yes, it's silly, but silly's OK every now and then.  The second video, "Add Some Character To Your Commute" is just plain clever.  I want more of these!

Stephen King & Audiobooks

stephen.jpgStephen King's latest column in Entertainment Weekly is one big promo for audiobooks.  Way to go Stephen!  You can see a list of his top 10 titles and, if you want, add your own top picks!  Audiobook fans know how great audiobooks are, but it doesn't hurt when a celeb author or other well-know individual helps plug the medium.


Not As Easy As It Looks

aegypt.jpgJim Crowley is narrating his own book, Aegypt, for Blackstone.  Jim's Live Journal entry gives some insights into the difficulties of narrating, discussing the fact that it's hard work.   It's always interesting to hear authors, or anyone else for that matter, tell about their narration experiences.  Narrating is not "just" reading the book, and those authors that think it is are doomed to recording a book that may be less than inspiring to hear.  Sometimes authors can rise to the ocassion - offen, they cannot.  I wish Jim success!


Motorola iRadio and Audiobooks

Yet another distribution outlet for audiobooks!  Read all about itLOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Millions of loyal public radio microphonesmall.giflisteners will soon be able to tune in to their favorite public radio programs and podcast on-the-go and on-demand through the award-winning Motorola iRadio(R) service.  A lineup of award-winning content from NPR, American Public Media and Public Radio International (PRI) takes its place today amongst Motorola iRadio's 600+ channels of commercial-free, CD-quality music programming.

"Motorola iRadio shares the public radio system's mission to offer Americans high quality audio content that is meaningful and relevant to their lives," said Jeff Stinson, Senior Director of Business Development, Motorola Digital Media Services. "We are pleased to build on listeners' enjoyment of their local public radio stations by bringing this strong slate of content to their mobile phones."  Motorola iRadio is the first digital music service to offer a truly seamless listening experience with audio that easily transitions from one location to the next-through the car stereo, home stereo and mobile phone. The service includes a growing library of more than 600 channels of music and talk, best-selling audiobook content, educational and language courses, self- help programs, local news and weather, and classic radio shows, all alongside your personal digital music collection. Motorola iRadio is currently in consumer and partner trials in several major US cities.




1earshot100.jpgAudiofile has just started a new podcast - check it out!  These podcasts contain clips from the audiobooks that have received the Earphones awards for best audiobooks.  It's one more way that AudioFile is bringing audio content straight to your doorstep/computer.  This is good stuff! 



Audio Magazine

audio-moving wave.gifAudiobooks are on the top of my list, but an audio magazine is an interesting concept, too.  Take a look at Mech Museand see what you think.  They have an interesting selection of audio stories.  The bits I've listened to are well produced, written by recognizable authors, and the artwork on the site is not bad, either.  Plus, you can't beat the price - it's free.  Or, you can pay a fee and get the ad-free version.