VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Susie Tallman
Posted Oct 3, 2019 by Jacquie Robison
Celebrating children is something this volunteer knows a lot about. Susie Tallman (Yarbrough), Founder of Rock Me Baby Records, is an accomplished singer whose just-released album, Spanish Songs for Children Learning Spanish is being considered for a Grammy.
Susie, her husband and 3 children live in Albuquerque, NM and are active in their community. She added a fun twist to creating capes for WAWOS by hosting a "Sew & Sip Social" with a group of friends to flex their creative, crafting skills. Meet Susie.
* * * * *
Q. What's your history in the music industry?
A. My history in the music industry started when I was in college and thankfully has continued to this day. I was lucky enough to work for A&M Records and A&M Studios in Hollywood while attending UCLA, and my job continued after university. I was able to work in the studio and help start the record company Interscope Records with producer Jimm Iovine. I was fortunate to work on many projects including The Eurythmics, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, Jon Bon Jovi, Tracy Chapman, NIN, Dr. Dre, Ron Sexsmith, Majek Fashek and Tom Jones among others. I worked in production and project management which afforded me the opportunity to work closely with the artists on everything from hiring musicians and renting studio equipment to traveling to Africa to produce a music video.
Q. You must have seen some amazing concerts -- what's your favorite memory?
A. You're correct, I've seen many amazing concerts! It's really difficult to list one favorite memory, but I have a vivid recollection of being on the side of the stage with Cheap Trick in Boston during a concert. Rocking out to Surrender and watching the crowd at the same time has to be near the top of my list.
Q. What led you to decide to launch your label and focus on children?
A. I decided to start my label in 1999 when I was holding 2 babies for a photo and they started crying. I was not yet a mother, but as a singer, I decided to do the only thing that felt natural and that was to sing a lullaby. My friends asked me to make a "tape" and since I was working at the Record Label and Studio Q Division in Boston, I was able to record my first CD, Lullaby Themes for Sleepy Dreams. That CD became one of the first items for sale on the website BabyCenter and was very successful. And, Rock My Baby Records was born, so to speak!
Children and music have been the greatest sources of joy in my life. My work allows me to combine those joys. More importantly, my work allows me to spread my love of music to others. Exposing children to music at a young age, while their brains are in the critical developmental stage, provides them with immense lifetime benefits. The challenge is to make music that both parents and children will want to listen to, and which also provides an educational benefit. Meeting this challenge is a creative part of my job that I really love. When I get it right and know that I've produced a song that parents will sing along with their children and that will teach their children without their even knowing it, I gain an enormous sense of satisfaction. That is why I do what I do.
Q. Keeping with the music theme, if your life were a song, what would the title be?
A. If my life were a song, the title would depend on which chapter of my life you're talking about. For now, since I am in a place where I'm busy with music and my three kids, I'd have to steal a title from one of the greats and go with Let It Be.
Q. What are your three favorite albums?
A. No fair, that's a hard question! My three favorite albums also depend greatly on where I am in life. My favorite children's album is Marlo Thomas' Free to Be You and Me...my favorite rock album would have to be Fleetwood Mac's Rumours...and it's almost impossible to name just one additional album, but another favorite would have to be Temple of Low Men by Crowded House.
Q. What song do you hear and absolutely have to dance to?
A. Thank you! That's an easy answer: Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling.
Q. In the spirit of WAWOS, and recognizing that we're all working on something, what skill would you like to master?
A. The ethos of WAWOS definitely rings true in my life and I'm working hard on playing the ukulele!
Huge thanks to Susie for being such a passionate ambassador for WAWOS. Follow Susie on Instagram @susietallmanmusic and FB @susietallmanandfriends. You and your family can hear her music on Spotify, Pandora and Amazon music.