SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Here’s a story that will be a relief to any parent who has listened to “Baby Shark” a thousand times. There are now baby lullabies that appeal to tiny tots and their parents. They were created by a sister of rock royalty.
Lisa Roth, younger sister of Van Halen's David Lee Roth, is co-creator of Rockabye Baby Music, which creates lullaby renditions of familiar songs by popular music artists.
Roth explained the concept to News 8's Marcella Lee.
"The series started as a rock series, mostly because of the irony. It's so fun to say, 'lullaby renditions of Black Sabbath' or 'lullaby renditions of Led Zeppelin,'" said Roth.
Over the years, the music catalogue has expanded to include a multitude of genres, from heavy metal to Motown, rock to reggae, and pretty much everything else in between.
"I wanted to create something for the adult," Roth said. "Something they could relate to, maybe create a bridge between who they were before they had children, and who they became as a parent."
The idea was sparked in 2006, when Roth was unable to find a perfect baby shower gift for a friend who loves music.
"I went shopping and saw nothing that I was excited to give her, and I thought, 'I work at a record label, I think we can do something about this,'" she said.
That is how Rockabye Baby was born.
The first three albums released in 2006 were Metallica, Coldplay, and Radiohead. Since then, there have been nearly 100 total releases from artists including Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Lady Gaga, The Beatles, and Elton John.
The newest album, featuring songs from Drake, was just released on February 22, 2019.
Rockabye Baby songs come in several formats. Online you can opt for mp3 format, you can order a CD or there's also a vinyl version for some albums. Their content is also available on streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. To date, the company has tallied more than 512-million streams, and has sold more than 1.8-million CDs and two-million digital track downloads.
Roth is Vice President and Creative Director of CMH Label Group in Los Angeles. She says their team of talented producers works to find just the right mix for the baby friendly lullabies.
"The Rockabye Baby palette is made up of very organic sounding instruments, like glockenspiel, wood blocks and xylophones," Roth explains.
Heavy metal and rock songs can be especially challenging, but Roth says they've gotten creative as they translate songs into sweet sounds, while also working to retain the original intention of the artist.
"The great thing is, there are no lyrics, “ she adds, “You don't have to worry about harming your baby's psyche early on."
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Roth says. She's heard people say they play the music during dinner parties, yoga classes, and to calm their dogs, in addition to their kids.
Several of the artists who have heard the lullabies their own songs have praised the Rockabye Baby renditions. Elton John has said he's played the music for his own children.
Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, wrote in a liner note: "As a musician, you want your music to live on forever. In my mind, this is a perfect way to introduce a new generation to my music. I have a grandson who I can't wait to play these for."
Def Leppard's Joe Elliot wrote: "I am very flattered to have our songs covered in such a unique way. To think that our music will inspire children like my own is a good feeling! With this album, we can truly Rock People of All Ages!"
As far as being the sister of Van Halen's famous lead singer, Roth admits she waited several years before moving ahead with lullaby renditions of Van Halen songs. She says she wanted to make sure they could do it justice, and she doesn't typically like to mix family with business, but adds, they finally did an album because, "you can't have a rock series without Van Halen, and I love it."
She says her brother has been very supportive.