Peppermint Tree composer dies

I’ve just been informed by a kind visitor to this site that Evelyn D. Lohoefer De Boeck, composer and musican on the children’s LPs Come and See the Peppermint Tree and Sometime Anytime, has died. The Washington Post has published her obituary.

“I don’t know if children’s interest in the songs proves that I’m a child at heart,” Mrs. De Boeck told The Washington Post in 1960, “or that children’s capacity is greater than people realize. Everything is fresher to them and everything is possible.”

The obituary also includes some interesting remarks from the autobiography (prohibitively expensive, unfortunately) of Donald McKayle, the singer she worked with on these albums.

Evelyn D. Lohoefer De Boeck

What a very gifted woman, and how lucky for us that she found a way to share her gifts.

Sometime Anytime

A special treat for all you Peppermint Tree fans! A fellow Evelyn D. Lohoefer fan who wishes to remain anonymous has given us more songs to discover, or rediscover, as the case may be. The original vinyl had been well-loved, and that is why not all tracks were able to be digitized.

These songs are very much in the same delightfully quirky vein as the ones on Come and See the Peppermint Tree. All thanks to our anonymous friend for this labor of love!

Listen to “Parade”

Download the collection of songs, plus scans of the cover and liner notes: Sometime Anytime (91 MB zip file)

Sometime Anytime

Artists: Evelyn D. Lohoefer, Donald McKayle, Catherine Stephenson, Lee Reynolds, Charlie Byrd, Wallace Mann, Larry Logan, Bertell Knox
Cover art: Remy Charlip

Tracks included in this download:

Watching Things Go By
Gingerbread Man & Red Wagon
The Rooster with a Purple Head

Folk Songs for Little Sailors

Another of the Hance childhood favorites from the rare Riverside Wonderland series, this is a compilation of sea chanteys sung and played by folk professionals. Oscar Brand stands out as a performer.

Take a listen:

Oscar Brand sings Bunch of Roses

Download Folk Songs for Little Sailors (89.2MB zip file)

LP jacket for Folk Songs for Little SailorsFolk Songs for Little Sailors
Riverside Wonderland RLP 1424


Sail Away, Sail Away – Bob Gibson
The Walloping Windowblind – Oscar Brand
The Bold Fisherman – Oscar Brand
High Barbary – Billy Faier
The Sailor’s Hornpipe – Billy Faier
The Fishes Song – Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl
The Golden Vanitee – Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl
Two Little Boats I Spy – Louise DeCormier
The Mermaid – John Runge
The Flying Dutchman – Dean Gitter
Belfast Hornpipe – Margaret Barry
Sir Patrick Spens – Ed McCurdy
Bunch Of Roses – Oscar Brand
Midnight On The Ocean – Oscar Brand
Sailing Along And Singing – The Renaissance Chorus

Come and See the Peppermint Tree

Got an extremely rare download for you. This is an album that my sister, brother and I had when we were kids in the sixties. We had a kids’ turntable; must have been a Fisher-Price one, I think. We played this record to death!

The songs on this record go a way toward explaining me and my siblings’ sense of humor. Interspersing magical things—such as sliding down rainbows, talking critters, and elves—with everyday experiences, like finding a penny or playing on a swing, the story is partly sung in a wacky falsetto, partly narrated, partly evoked with quirky piano accompaniments that used more modernistic dissonant touches than I’ve ever heard in kids’ music, then or since. The whole thing had an edge…so sincerely, enthusiastically silly it verged on weird and nutty.

Listen to “My Shoes Went Walking”

We’ve spent years searching for a reissue, or someone else’s rip, or a less damaged copy—anything—for years, to no avail. Recently, I discovered that my brother-in-law owns a vinyl-to-digital converter. So on my last family visit, I borrowed the LP from my mom and converted it.

I’ve cleaned it up as best I could with Audacity; that is to say, it’s pretty gnarly. Track #21 had pretty hopeless skips, which I could not really repair properly. Well, take it or leave it!

Download it here: Peppermint Tree (95 MB zip file)

Come and See the Peppermint Tree

Artists: Donny McKayle, Evelyn D. Lohoefer, Stan Raiff, Charlie Byrd
Composer: Evelyn D. Lohoefer
Riverside Wonderland RLP 1453


Follow Me
Kitchen Stuff
My Shoes Went Walking
The Yellow Bee
The Elf
A Shiny Penny
My Pretty Red Swing
Dance Awhile


Jump and Spin
Riding on a Star
Me, Too
All Mixed Up
The Dress
The Ribbon
Carrots and Things
The Crow, The Worm and The Fish
The Moon in the Yard
The Peppermint Tree
Mr. Sandman