Chicago’s national treasure


Chicago Parent Staff


Ella Jenkins, the woman considered "The First Lady of Children’s Music," recently added another honor to her huge list of accomplishments.

The Library of Congress selected her original tune "You’ll Sing a Song, I’ll Sing a Song" for its National Recording Registry. The song is one of 25 recordings selected as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" to be preserved forever.

Jenkins says the album upon which the song appears continues to be one of her most popular, with the song sung by children throughout the world.

There are now 250 songs in the registry.

"I was overwhelmed and I couldn’t believe it was really true," she says about hearing the news.

"... I want to share it with more people," says Jenkins, who will celebrate her 84th birthday this month.

Since beginning her career in 1950, Jenkins has introduced generations of children to music. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

Jenkins is scheduled to perform at 11 a.m. Aug. 23, at Ravinia’s Martin Theatre in Highland Park. Reserved seats are $10, lawn is $3. For more information on the concert, call (847) 266-5100 or visit

The other songs recently selected include Roy Orbison’s "Pretty Woman" and Michael Jackson’s "Thriller."

Kids Eat Chicago

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