Seems there’s been a bit of a gaffe discovered concerning that delightful new CD Wings of Hope. The $5,000 project was a joint production, so to speak, of the office of the state of Ohio, the Ohio Resource Network for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Someone had the what-were-they-thinking idea to have inmates at a penitentiary record an album for young children, featuring lullabies, sing-alongs, nursery rhymes, and tips for parents performed by inmates, some of whom were incarcerated for aggravated murder, robbery, and kidnapping. Many of the songs on the disc are classics like “This Old Man,” while others were composed by the inmates themselves. Can we look forward to hearing indecent interpretations of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,” “Pop! Goes the Weasel,” “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater,” and “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain”? But the crowning moment of embarrassment turns out to be the revelation that the man who worked as a technical adviser and consultant to the songs’ performers was 49-year-old Raymond Towler, who was sentenced to 12 years to life in 1981 for kidnapping two children, the assault of a boy, and the rape of a girl.
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