Swedith in Tina: the CD. Stories for kids of all ages


About the CD

The Story Behind the Stories

The Swedith in Tina (rhymes with China) CD, is a remastering and reissue of a vinyl record for children of all ages co-created back in the late sixties by Dan Sankowsky and Marcia Hutchinson.

At the time, the two shared an apartment while attending graduate school at University of California, Berkeley where Dan was a graduate student in Mathematics, and Marcia, a graduate student in Anthropology. The stories on the album were culled from the best of 36 weeks of children's radio show material they produced for KPFA, a Pacifica station in Berkeley.

Stories of Wisdom, Cooperation, Joy and Absurdity

map of tina-link to large mapThe material in the stories is timeless: tales of a utopian world, the island of Tina, populated by unique, eccentric, and lovable characters; stories that contain wisdom, creativity, kindness, humor, cooperation, questing, and pure absurdity.

Characters from a Bowl of Fruit Cocktail

Swedith in Tina originated in a bowl of Del Monte fruit cocktail when Marcia Hutchinson discovered that she could create crazy voices and characters. One afternoon, Marcia and another roommate were sitting around in the apartment eating fruit cocktail. For some reason, from some surprising part of her being, Marcia began making up stories about each of the fruits in the cocktail and about their respective hierarchical positions in the fruit cocktail universe.

Each fruit acquired its own voice, character, and accompanying silly facial expression. The cherry, that rarest of fruit pieces, became the character, Cherry Face, who later morphed into Swedith. Marcia was met with such amusement from her cohorts that she kept playing the characters around the house, and they evolved as her skills developed. Very soon Dan began participating in the process. He aided and abetted her and before long was writing stories about these eccentric and endearing characters and their adventures on Tina.

They approached the KPFA Pacifica radio station and accepted the opportunity to have a weekly children's show. And so Swedith in Tina was born, with Marcia as performer and Dan as writer.

First Radio, Then Vinyl and Now a CD

For 36 weeks they had a cult following of kids and hip adults in the Berkeley area until they were kicked off the air--for the "crime" of sacrilege--for a program of Christmas carols sung by all the characters. The two later moved to Boston where they turned the best of the stories into a record produced by the-now-defunct Riverboat Records. Even with nonexistent promotion the record attracted a cult following who, to this day, go out of their way to find the writer/performer team.

The Characters

Swedith in Tina is a collection of stories --for children of all ages--about several pure creatures who live in sun-ripened ease on a small island called Tina (rhymes with China).

  • Swedith is a creative sweeper wielding her broom in the interest of art and telling jokes that nobody gets;
  • Just Plain (J.P.) Goose is a proud and sophisticated former resident of Goosevile;
  • Lina, the hippo, is fat, pink, primal & completely at ease with her beauty;
  • Tink, the elephant, is a philosopher and inventor;
  • Snee, the rabbit, is the character most closely aligned to young children.
  • Many other characters come and go.

The 5 stories range from a simple tale of self-acceptance to a satirical look at life in Gooseville (where there are many gooses) as told by Goose. They can be enjoyed by very young children for the pure silliness of the sounds. Older children will take away gentle lessons in how to live life. Adults will appreciate the sly humor embedded in the stories at every turn.

The CD tracks:

  • Track 1: Little Snee has a big problem
  • Track 2: Lina takes a buntin'
  • Track 3: Tink makes a piano
  • Track 4: Lina finds a little friend
  • Track 5: Goose tells some stories

The Album's Creators

Marcia Hutchinson performs all the characters in many voices, and wrote all the songs. Besides making crazy voices, she is also a Web Designer, a retired Psychologist, author, and artist.>>More

Dan Sankowsky wrote all the stories. For many years he was professor and chair of the Management Department in the Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University, an author, and a dabbler in the visual arts. >>More

Both live in the greater Boston area where they hone their jasmine polyps on the druid filter of a Labrador bassinette wired in sequential farthing logic and rendered in a warm oven for 11 & 1/2 hours

spacer Lina's House Lina's Private Pool Beanbag Pond Monk's Tree House Alfred's Hut Swedith's House Snee's House and Carrot Patch