Isn’t it great when one of your heroes turns out to be a simply wonderful human being?
By now everyone who reads this blog must have heard my pleas about voting for Cory & The Tigermen who are semi-finalists in the SchoolJamUSA competition sponsored by NAMM. I’m very hopeful she’ll make it to the finals, but that depends on votes from all the good folks out there – every day for the month of November. It’s a pretty tall order for a 15-year-old to galvanize that kind of support, but she sure is trying!
And anyone who has visited Cory’s website knows that her next album (due out in December) is titled Reading in the Dark – every song was inspired by a book. As a parent (and shameless promoter), I am thrilled that she has undertaken such a creative challenge. As an educator, I am even more thrilled that she has chosen to build on her experiences reading literature ranging from Shakespeare sonnets to young adult novels that deal with issues of struggling identity.
One of the novels Cory read last year is Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Sharing the same name is certainly a hook, but beyond that, the story is just dynamite and engaged my daughter Cory immediately. She also had the privilege of hearing him read from the book at a Philadelphia Free Library event – and she went home that night to write a song, she was so inspired.
Cory Doctorow published Little Brother under a Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone can download and read the book for free, and even use it to some extent. My Cory got very excited about that, and decided to use language from the book in a song. All her other songs have been written in her own words, drawing on inspiration after reading the authors’ works. In her Little Brother song, however, Cory Hite was able to use Cory Doctorow’s text in her lyrics. Due to some restrictions on the Creative Commons license, Cory contacted the author for explicit permission. It’s no surprise that he immediately granted her permission and wrote a very encouraging response.
It’s just so gratifying when one of your idols becomes a “real” person after you have some contact with them – and they turn out to be supportive, generous, and just plain nice. What an inspiration for a teenager struggling to find her own creative voice as a songwriter! Do yourself a favor and check out Little Brother, as well as Cory Doctorow’s other books. Yes, you can download them for free – but if you’re like us, you’ll love the books so much that you’ll be buying multiple copies to give as gifts.