Terry Woodford, music biz veteran & creator of “Canine Lullabies”

Terry Woodford—who has extensive experience as a songwriter, record producer, and recording engineer, having worked in one capacity or another, with such artists as The Commodores, Hank Williams, Jr., and The Temptations—discusses some highlights of his music biz career. Woodford describes beginning to teach some of these and other skills, developing what became the first four-year college curriculum focused on the music industry. As an outgrowth of that foray into academia, Woodford recounts, he was serving as a judge in a contest, and was asked to create music for children. Acknowledging he was reluctant at first—it didn’t fit with his image of himself as a big-time record producer—but once he got over that, he explains, he came up with the idea of recording a human heartbeat, and marrying that to traditional nursery songs. The resulting music, when tested in a hospital ward housing newborns, nurses reported 94% of crying babies were calmed to sleep by the music in less than two minutes, according to Woodford. This idea got applied to dogs, but not officially by Woodford for another 13 years! Initially, families that had the music to use with their infants noticed that the family dogs seemed to be greatly soothed by the lullabies. Woodford would periodically hear from people, enthusing about how the music was affecting various canines, including at shelters, but he was incredulous about these reports, feeling these folks were exaggerating or projecting their own reactions onto their dogs, and so on. Still, he started offering the music, now called “Canine Lullabies,” to shelters and rescue organizations, and one day got a call from someone at a humane society near the Colorado home Woodford was living at the time, requesting some “Canine Lullabies” CDs. Woodford offered to hand deliver them, and once he witnessed his music’s impact, it changed his view on the whole enterprise, and its potential. Since then, he says, 2500 humane societies, shelters, and rescues have begun playing the music at their facilities. We hear a snippet of a “Lullaby,” touch on other animals affected by the music, and briefly discuss still other applications for this music, including humans with Alzheimer’s. (https://caninelullabies.com, https://www.facebook.com/caninelullabies/, http://woodfordworld.startlogic.com, )

ALSO: I spoke with Dina Athanassie, of Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), about ACT’s 11th Annual SpayGhetti & No Balls Dinner—one of the year’s biggest fundraisers for the clinic that provides low-cost spay/neuter procedures and other veterinary services—slated for Saturday May 19, at Yungling Brewery in Tampa. It was mentioned that I’m emceeing the event. (http://actampa.org, https://www.facebook.com/events/410173769447873/)

COMEDY CORNER: John Mulaney’s “Horse In A Hospital” (http://www.johnmulaney.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Canine Lullabies’ “London Bridge” (portion), instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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