Focus on a Cool Dad

June 5, 2006 by
Filed under: Kids, Movies, TV & Music 

In the latest issue of Cool Mom Picks‘ newsletter was an article about Ella & Bill’s radio show. They make me proud.

Special: Focus on a Cool Dad
Bill Childs

Every working parent’s dream: A job that allows you to bring your child with you. Bill Childs has just that, or at least he does once a week. He’s a law professor Monday through Friday, but on Saturday mornings, he and his 7 year-old daughter Ella co-host cult radio show favorite, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child on WXOJ in Northampton, Massachusetts.

One-time violinist, former college radio DJ, and ex-indie record store owner, it was only natural for Bill to start seeking out great kids’ music when he became a parent. Thanks to an open slot at a community radio station, Bill was able to parlay his passion into a volunteer job and soon had a regular show.

If you have listened to the broadcast then you know that Bill and Ella are quite the team. They work together to pick out the music–kid stuff as well as kid-appropriate grown-up music. Ella does almost all of the engineering, which has been a lesson in patience for Bill. (A dad giving up control of the electronics? Sounds like an urban legend to me.) But overall, they have fun dancing in the studio together, interviewing in-studio artists, and enjoying each other’s company on and off the air. In fact, the commentary is just as entertaining as the music they play.

The radio show is not limited to musical artists. Bill has taken the show “to the next level,” inviting Ella’s first grade class to read their poems on air. He’s also started connecting with local artists as well a possible collaboration with the Eric Carle Museum of Picturebook Art.

And don’t be fooled. This isn’t something Bill drags Ella to do on every Saturday. Aside from her favorite tasks, including “pushing the buttons and talking and playing the music,” Ella said that working with her dad is decidedly “fun.”

Based on what we’ve heard, it’s fun for us too, Ella.

You can listen to Spare the Rock live on Saturdays from 8 to 10am at, or download podcasts of past shows at


2 Comments on Focus on a Cool Dad

  1. JessaLu on Mon, 5th Jun 2006 8:35 pm
  2. That’s awesome! I’ll try to remember and listen :o)

  3. kelli ann on Fri, 14th Jul 2006 12:12 pm
  4. excellent! sometimes the Internet annoys the heck out of me, but stories like this make me feel all warm & fuzzy. off to listen to STR!!!

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