Music: Miss Abrams and the Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class
Mill Valley

"One of the many great memories of recording the "Mill Valley" album was taking the third graders into San Francisco, to Wally Heider Recording Studio, where all the local legends cut their albums. By the time we started recording the whole album, we were on the charts too, along with Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane -- all of whom were recording at OUR studio!

There I'd be with my little third graders, and in would pop David Crosby to chat with Erik and sneek a peek at us; and then the head of one of the Dead would peer in, utter "Far out" and disappear. The kids were too young to grasp it, and I was too amazed to believe it. In fact I still am ~ especially by the fan mail, after all these years!"

Mill Valley MP3 Singles

From ROLLING STONE, July 23, 1973:
Photo by Annie Liebowitz
at the piano
MILL VALLEY — This smallish community north of San Francisco has long been known as a sanctuary for rock and roll musicians (Janis Joplin and Mike Bloomfield, among many others), a place where heads can live side by side in peaceful coexistence with suburban America. Now there's a song about the town, one of those simple little tunes that runs around your head forever. It was written by a kindergarten teacher named Rita Abrams and sung by her and the third grade class at Strawberry Point School, which is in Mill Valley. Released as a single on Reprise, it's been getting a fair amount of airplay.

This is by no means Rita Abrams' maiden dive into show business. While in Cleveland, she was a member of a gangster-rock group called Bockyboo and the Visions,* and later, in Boston, she sang with the Three Faces of Eve, and all-girl rock and roll band. Currently, in addition to her gig with the third graders, she sings traditional folksongs with a Mill Valley instrument maker (dulcimers, bowed psaltries, hurdy-gurdies) named Lynn Elder. The Kids themselves did not enjoy the recording session much. "It was interesting," said Maryanne Larsen, a poised blonde, "but . . . well, our feet hurt, you know, and my throat got sore, and we kept asking if we could get a drink. We had to sing the songs over and over. But it was kinda fun."

*Rita's note: "I was not a member of the group--they just sang one of my songs."

The letters keep coming:

From Houston, Texas: "Sorry it took me 30 years to thank you for your song..."

Portland, Oregon: "One song will be forever etched in my memory~'Mill Valley'"

Valdosta, Georgia: "I am crazy about your album!"

Grand Rapids, Michigan: "My hope is that you are getting as much beauty and peace out of life as you gave to all of us who are touched by your talent."

Naples, Florida: "If you enter 'Miss Abrams' on ebay, you'll find the current bid for your album is $26."

(And yes, Mill Valley is still her home.)

...Rita Abrams and her 3rd and 4th graders actually created some great music. My favorite is "I Never Asked," the only song she recorded without kids. It's about lamenting the end of a love affair and it's deep. It's on the only album they recorded, on Warner Brothers. Last I checked, Abrams still lived in Mill Valley, so she meant what she said about loving it there!"
Source YouTube


All songs by Rita Abrams except "Buildin' a Heaven on Earth" (Greenbaum), and "You are My Sunshine" (Davis and Mitchell)

To buy MP3 singles, please visit >> Rita's Amazon page

1. Wonder 3:04
2. Floating Away 2:11
3. Buildin' A Heaven On Earth 2:31
4. Running In The Green Grass 2:44
5. Mill Valley 3:02
6. I Wonder Why 1:54
7. This Time Of Life 2:24
8. You Are My Sunshine 2:48
9. I Never Asked 3:15
10. Sweet Summertime 2:41
11. Sad Night 3:02
12. The Happiest Day Of My Life 2:13
13. America, Let's Get Started Again 2:33



I'm gonna talk about a place that's got a hold on me (Mill Valley)
A little place where life feels very fine and free (Mill Valley)
Where people aren't afraid to smile
And stop and talk with you a while
And you can be as friendly as you want to be (Mill Valley)
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley, that's my home

It looks as pretty in the rain as in the sun (Mill Valley)
And there's a mountain that belongs to everyone (Mill Valley)
And there are creeks that run on endlessly
And trees as far as you can see
It makes you feel as if your life has just begun (Mill Valley)
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley

Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley, California, that's my home

I know that there might come a time I'll have to leave Mill Valley
And every memory will seem like make-believe
And all the good things that are mine right now
Will call to me and ask me how
I could have left them all behind
How could I leave Mill Valley
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley, California, that's my home

(Copyright 1970 Great Honesty Music)

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