Lorri Hafer is teaching the world to sing—and appreciate great music. As one of the original singers of the beloved song, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing,” Lorri has created a timeless classic that continues to provide peace, comfort and hope to all who listen to it. We spoke exclusively with Lorri about the song, being in the moment and how music can heal the world.
Lorri, let’s talk a bit about the origins of the song. It originally started from a Coca Cola commercial, right?
Yes, it did. There was a Coca Cola executive who got fogged in at an airport in London and everyone at the airport was grumpy. But then they started drinking Coca Cola and they all cheered up. So he put together that commercial, and it originally came from a song called “True Love and Apple Pie.” He then called my father to put together a vocal group to sing the new song, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing.” So my mother, who was one of the great jingle singers in New York at the time, and me sang on the record. I was 15 at the time. My father was also producing several other groups, so he thought that he would bring us all together, because he thought that we would blend really well together. And I lead off the song; it’s actually five of me put together.
As you saw, I brought my original 45 rpm record of the song. I absolutely loved the song when I was little—and I still do.
I love that you found it and brought it! After seeing the commercial, and falling in love with it as a family, my father knew that it would be the best record. After all, the country was in turmoil and needed it. And that’s why I never get tired of singing the song, because it is so meaningful to so many people, just like you.
Now what has life been like since recording “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”?
Oh, it’s been amazing. I fell in love with London and started doing recordings over there. I worked in jazz groups and loved that, too. One day, I went to a jam session and met my husband, Mike. We fell in love right away and have been married for 32 years now. Mike plays great piano, too. And our son, Paul, is also a musician. He plays upright base and drums, and my father was a bassist, too. He’s really gifted.
Now, you’re not working together in a traditional sense, but what is it like working with your hubby?
Working together is actually very calming. We balance each other out and bounce ideas off of each other. We did a song together, “The Nearness Of You,” and I sang it the other night at a performance here in NYC. People talk about being in the moment, which is hard because everything pulls you sometimes. It was so different singing it that night, and so lovely.
Could you ever have imagined that “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” has endured for so many decades?
When it came out, I didn’t realize what this song would be like or the reach that it would have—and continues to have. It is a beautiful thing, and I think it is because the song is timeless.
Let’s talk about your new record, The Very Thought Of You.
I am so excited about this album. It’s going to be released in the Orient, too. I’m going to Japan in the beginning of the New Year to perform as well. I love the sound of this music; it is just beautiful.
I definitely think that there is a resurgence of this music. People are looking for that human connection through music, and not necessarily something that is overly manufactured.
There is nothing like the real thing. That’s why my father started The Music of Your Life radio network. He wanted to hear The Glenn Miller Orchestra or Johnny Mathis and not what was on the radio. So he went around to several radio stations and he put together a format called The Music Of Your Life. He asked my mother and I what songs were meaningful to us, to get our input as to what songs should be on the playlist. It was meant to be multi-generational, so that everyone could listen to it. After my dad passed away, we started doing Music of Your Life cruises, but I knew that my father had always wanted me to be on the air as a DJ. So now, I have a show! I announce the songs and I tell little stories, things that have special meaning to me, and my life through radio. You can hear it at Music Of Your Life. I have this passion for the music because it was something that I was raised with. And to be able to continue the legacy is such a blessing.
I once knew a woman who was a horrific braggart. She would always tell me how great she looked, how young she looked, how much smarter she was than everyone else, how perfect her kid was, and so on and so forth.
I don’t like women like that. I don’t respect women like that. They don’t play fair. You don’t look better at the expense of making every other woman look bad.
Anyway, one of her bragfests included how she and her family had dinner at the dinner table every night, which naturally included great conversation and amazing quality time.
For some reason, that one stung. It struck a chord with me, for this simple reason.
My family and I don’t eat dinner at the dining room table each night. Like, ever.
As a parenting editor, I could wax poetic about the benefits of sitting down to break bread with your family. It ensures family bonding and allows you to connect with your kids on a deeper level.
So determined was I, then, to make family dinner at the table become a reality. So the next night, I put the plates on the dining room table. Immediately, there was pandemonium.
“Mom, what are you doing?!?!” asked The Boy.
“Mommy, Sam & Cat is on now! We’re going to miss it!” exclaimed The Girl.
I managed to soothe them long enough to get them to sit down to eat. And do you know what happened next, gentle reader?
Nothing. Not a damn thing.
No one spoke. I asked about their days and got one-word answers. Dinner was done in five minutes and they were back to watching their programs. I was PISSED.
As I petulantly washed the dishes post-dinner, though, I realized something. The kids were FAR more talkative when we were lounging on the couch, watching TV and eating together. I learned so much more about what was going on at school, who they liked, who was a fair-weather friend, and the funny things that their teachers did that day.
In fact, there was so much talking that we often had to pause the TV so each kid had a chance to talk. They often interrupted each other, one more eager than the other to divulge everything about their day.
My dining room table has become a place where the kids do their homework, nothing more. For true connection, we turn on the tube, grab our dinner, and let ourselves be free to be with each other in a much more relaxed environment.
I have learned that it is far more important to follow my heart and gut instincts about what is best for this family than what I read—or yes, even what I write. I follow my family’s groove, and I advise you, dear readers, to get into the groove, too.
When little Sabrina refuses to give up her pacifier, her mommy tells her the story of Chupie, the little pacifier who lives in Binkyland and who one day wanders away to comfort a baby. But when the baby is big enough, he realizes that Chupie has a home of his own and must leave to be with his own parents.
Thalia, the internationally known singer, songwriter, and actress shares this fun and fanciful story about something every parent can relate to—persuading their child to give up the paci.
Vibrant, cute and colorful, Chupie: The Binky That Returned Home is the perfect story to read to convince your child to give up his own pacifier—for good ($17, amazon.com).
Trista Rehn was a pediatric physical therapist moonlighting as a Miami Heat dancer when she heard about casting for a new reality show—one guy getting to know twenty-five girls in the hope of finding a fiancée. As improbable and crazy as it sounded, Trista took the chance—and had her heart broken on the very first season of The Bachelor. But the next season, as the first Bachelorette, her fairy tale fell into place during a whirlwind courtship with poetry-writing firefighter Ryan Sutter, and the two eventually married in a dream-come-true wedding on national TV.
In the midst of building a life with Ryan and raising two children, Trista started to make a conscious effort to remember her favorite part of each day. And she’s made sure to post these thoughts, her own personal expressions of gratitude, every night on social media—even on days when she was dealing with fertility issues, a difficult pregnancy, family deaths, and other challenges that everyone faces.
Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures and the most unassuming things that can have the greatest effects. In her book, Happily Ever After, Trista shares the simple yet profound keys to finding everyday happiness; gratitude and grace. From the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moments that we have with our children to our spouses, pets—even strangers—knowing how to recognize, accept and be grateful for all of our daily blessings is truly what “happily ever after” is all about ($16, amazon.com).
Carla Hall knows her way around the kitchen. The co-host of The Chew recently spoke with Celebrity Parents Magazine about her new partnership with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Country Crock, getting kids into the kitchen early, and the three things that every person should know how to cook.
Let’s talk about your partnership with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Country Crock.
I’ve been working mainly with Country Crock Original, but then these new products rolled out, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple and Country Crock Simply Delicious, and honestly, both are simply amazing. They have no artificial preservatives and they have ingredients that people can recognize when they read the label on the back.
That’s great because people are wary to buy products with ingredients that they can’t pronounce.
Exactly. And as a parent, you want to make sure that your family is eating healthy.
How are you incorporating them into your own cooking?
I have to eat out a lot, but when I am at home, I eat more light. I eat more vegetables. I use the Country Crock Simply Delicious in casseroles and the topping in my pan for baking. It’s also great for a quick sauté. I am not going to say that I don’t use butter, but I do use both. The one thing that I like about it is that since it has yogurt, it has a nice tang to it. When I was at the Food & Wine Festival, we were showing the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Deliciously Simple with pancakes and sautéed apples, which is so delicious and so light. It’s even great cold with herbs in it.
That’s a great point. Everything tastes good warm, but the real test is the next day, when the dish is cold, and how it holds up.
That’s right. And I think it’s because the simple ingredients speak to what’s in the product and how it is delicious cold or warm.
So how is everything going at The Chew?
Everything is going amazing. We’re in our third season; the ratings are off the charts. Our new cookbook, The Chew: What’s For Dinner?, came out a while ago and it’s doing well. It already beat the sales for the first cookbook. People come up to me and say, “The fun that you’re all having on the show is infectious and it makes me want to cook.” I think that is how a lot of people get into the kitchen, because of the fun and the socialization that happens there. That’s why some people cook now whereas they didn’t before. When they say that we have made it approachable, that’s exactly why I wanted to do the show.
I think the kitchen is the bonding spot for families.
Absolutely. Bringing your kids into the kitchen early on makes it a part of their lives. And if you use simple, approachable recipes, it makes it all doable.
Since you’re a chef, I think most people would assume that you’re whipping up amazing meals at home.
Yes, people assume that I cook at home, but I cook at the office and I have a husband who cooks at home. We make it work; he is so supportive. My stepson, Noah, doesn’t like to cook, but since my husband and I do, it’s okay. But I have told Noah that he needs to know how to do three major things.
Which are what?
You need to know how to roast a chicken, you need to know how to do a good soup, and how to do a great breakfast. Those three things will help you get through.
That, and Country Crock and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Another glass of milk. One more bedtime story. Sure, kids can stall when it comes to bedtime, but irregular bedtimes can lead to a larger problem. In a new study in Pediatrics, it found that as children progressed through early childhood without a regular bedtime, their behavior worsened. However, children who switched to a more regular bedtime had clear improvements in their behavior. Not having a regular bedtime could affect children’s behavior by disrupting circadian rhythms, and by the harm that sleep deprivation causes to the developing brain. So make sure that your kids get to bed at the same time consistently each night, and you'll all have sweet dreams.
Four beloved My Little Pony films are returning to DVD when the My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection is released by Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The 2-disc set contains the films Princess Promenade, Runaway Rainbow, Dancing In The Clouds, and Friends Are Never Far Away.
In the highly popular Princess Promenade,Wysteria is beaming with pride! Her gardens are in bloom, her little Breezie friends are in town, and it’s time for Ponyville’s fanciest spring parade, the ultimate celebration of flowers! But things don’t go according to plan when Wysteria accidentally awakens Spike the Dragon, a sleepy, silly, 1,000-year-old dragon! For you see, legend holds that when a dragon is awakened, a new princess is about to be crowned! But who is the Princess of Ponyville?
If it’s all about rainbows it must be about Rainbow Dash. And it is. In Runaway Rainbow, Rainbow Dash loves the time of year when Ponyville and Breezie Blossom are all about celebrating rainbows. Meanwhile, in a new magical place called Unicornia, Rarity is being taught how to be a Unicorn Princess and the importance of making the first rainbow of the season. But Rarity embarks on an incredible ride that includes a magic wand, falling through the clouds right into the middle of Breezie Blossom, a visit to Ponyville, meeting Spike the Dragon, and a huge adventure as she tries to get back to Unicornia. She soon realizes that getting home in time to create the first rainbow of the season is not an easy thing to do - but it is fun!
In Dancing In The Clouds, the Friendship Ball is coming up, and Twinkle Twirl needs to come up with a special dance. A roller coaster ride with friends makes her feel like she’s “dancing in the clouds,” so Sky Wishes helps her make an extra special wish to come up with a dance to make everyone feel that way.
In Friends Are Never Far Away, good friends Sky Wishes and Starcatcher the Pegasus want all of their friends in Ponyville and Butterfly Island to meet. Pegasus ponies are very shy however, so the two plan a special party with music, games and a Pegasus-favorite, ice cream. The party planning doesn’t go so smoothly, but it’s quite an adventure!
The My Little Pony brand has been beloved for three decades, and is now more popular than ever. My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection features 180 minutes of classic My Little Pony fun! ($14, amazon.com).
Let’s be honest with ourselves: we’re likely to overindulge this holiday season. Studies show that though the average holiday weight gain is minimal, the extra pounds are likely to stick with us for life. Renowned health and fitness expert Denise Austin shows us how this year can be different with her latest book, Side Effect: Skinny, filled with her best get-fit tips ever!
Side Effect: Skinny is packed with the absolute best of Austin’s proven techniques to blast fat, slim down, and, yes, look your best by the holidays. From sneaky workouts (work your abs while you’re stuck in traffic, your legs while you cook up a healthy dinner, and your arms while doing some shopping) to fail-proof meal plans and her own family’s favorite recipes, Austin shows readers how positive, nutritious, delicious, and life-changing the side-effects of getting healthy can be ($19, amazon.com).
I’m not even going to intro this. I’m going to let this video speak for itself.
When I first saw Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Volvo commercial, I thought, “Wow, he looks great. Is he on two beds?” And then the camera panned back and, well, the rest is viral video history.
The commercial is epic—as well as JCVD’s infamous split—but what is even more poignant here is the message. The human spirit is unbreakable, and if you want to do a perfect split between two reversing Volvo trucks, well, you can.
Sure, doing a perfect split between two huge trucks might not float your boat, but it’s still amazingly inspiring stuff. After all, there are very few humans on the planet who can pull off a stunt like that—and fewer who could survive it.
And there’s only one who was brave enough to do it.
So think of the things in your life that are like that commercial. What seems absolutely impossible to almost everyone, including yourself, but is something that you really, truly want to do?
What is your Epic Split?
Most likely, you already know what it is. It is the whispering that won’t go away. It is that crazy little dream that is meant just for you. Pursue it. Don’t let it die.
Be like The Muscles from Brussels and perform the seemingly impossible. You can. You have to. After all, there is NOTHING you can’t do. The only thing getting in the way of your success is…you.
So get out of your own way and realize your dream now. It’s only time.
Let's face it: Fall and winter weather can wreak a stinky havoc on your home. But now you can breathe in beautifully scented air with the delicious fall scents from Colonial Candle. You can choose from an autumnal scent such as Teakwood & Amber, or make your home smell delicious with scents like Spiced Apple Toddy, Hazelnut Latte or Cinnamon Truffle. The candles have a clean-burning wick, offering hours of spot-on scents to make your home look--and smell--beautiful (retailers nationwide).