Gullah Gullah Island
|Gullah Gullah Island|
|Theme music composer||Peter Lurye|
|Opening theme||"Let's All Go to Gullah Gullah Island"|
|Ending theme||"Let's All Go to Gullah Gullah Island"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original language(s)||English, introducing Gullah|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||70 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Picture format||SDTV (480i)|
|Original release||October 24, 1994 –|
January 9, 1998
Gullah Gullah Island is an American musical children's television series that was produced by and aired on the Nick Jr. programming block on the Nickelodeon network from 1994 to 1998. The show starred Ron and Natalie Daise, who also served as the cultural advisors, and was inspired by the Gullah culture of Ron Daise's home of St. Helena Island, South Carolina, part of the Sea Islands.
- Vanessa Baden - Vanessa Alston
- Hillary Hawkins (singing voice of Vanessa)
- James Edward Coleman II - James Alston
- Ron Daise - Ron Alston
- Corey Murphy - Rick
- Natalie Daise - Natalie Alston
- Manolo Villaverde - Abuelo
- Iris Chacón - Juana
- Pixee Wales - Grandma Pixee
- Amy Brandis - Susana
- Mike Walker - Ranger Mike
- Anita Endsley - Miss Audra (1995-1997)
- Corey Hayes - Corey
- Marcus T. Paulk - Himself
- Siti Opeal - Miss Siti
- Simeon Othello Daise - Simeon Alston
- Shaina M. Freeman - Shaina Alston (1994–1997)
- Tristin Mays - Shaina Alston (1997–1998)
- Cristian Sola - Miguel (1997)
- Sara Makeba Daise - Sara (1994–1997)
- Mia Barrington - Mia
- Lisa Campbell - Susie
- Greg Davis, Jr. - Greg
- Armando Guerra - Armando (1994–1997)
- Philip D. Garcia (1994–1996) - Binyah Binyah Polliwog
- Justin Campbell (1996–1998) - Binyah Binyah Polliwog
- Ana Christina Randolph - Marisol
- Bryan Nguyen - Bryan
- Zachary Chartier - Zachary
- Jessica Gorski - Jessica
- Kelly Holden - Greta
- Willa Nathan - Willa
- Jaymen-Angel Clark - Peter
- James J. Kroupa - Chansome the Pelican
Season 1 (1994–95)
|01||"Ron's Birthday"||Chuck Vinson||Jeffrey Solomon|
|02||"Charleston Market"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|03||"The Binyah Binyah Polliwog Show"||Liz Plonka||Fracaswell Hyman|
|04||"Gullah Gullah Island Day"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|05||"Going Places"||Chuck Vinson||Susan Kim|
|06||"Yes I Can"||Liz Plonka||Eric Weiner|
|07||"Rain, Rain Go Away"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|08||"Baby Animals"||Liz Plonka||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|09||"Oops!"||Liz Plonka||Teleplay by: Fracaswell Hyman|
Story by: Fracaswell Hyman & Jeffrey Solomon
|10||"James' Treasure Box"||Chuck Vinson||Mollie Fermaglich & Fracaswell Hyman|
|11||"Please Don't Eat the Alstons"||Liz Plonka||Jeffrey Solomon|
|12||"Carnival"||Liz Plonka||Pat Cummings|
|13||"Relaciones Familiares"||Liz Plonka||Fracaswell Hyman|
|14||"The Green Show"||Liz Plonka||Susan Kim|
|15||"The School Show"||Liz Plonka||Teleplay by: Eric Weiner|
Story by: Eric Weiner & Fracaswell Hyman
|16||"Say What?!"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|17||"Rhythm & Rhyme All the Time"||Liz Plonka||Teleplay by: Carin Greenberg-Baker|
Story by: Carin Greenberg-Baker & Fracaswell Hyman
Season 2 (1995–96)
|18||"Let the Games Begin"||Chuck Vinson||Craig Shemin|
|19||"Friendship-Just the Perfect Blendship"||Chuck Vinson||Kermit Frazier|
|20||"Natalie's Sick"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|21||"Taking Care of Business"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|22||"Double Dutch"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|23||"Look Who's Balking"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|24||"Move Your Body"||Chuck Vinson||Willie Reale|
|25||"My Favorite Things"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|26||"Beat It!"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|27||"Armando's New Home"||Carl Lauten||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|28||"Spring Can Really Hang You Up"||Chuck Vinson||Teleplay by: Marc Catapano|
Story by: Marc Catapano & Kathleen Minton
|29||"Whose Friend Are You Anyway?"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|30||"Gullah Gullah Ghoul-Land"||Chuck Vinson||Hillary Rollins|
|31||"Things that Go Bump in the Night"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|32||"The Pet Show"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|33||"The Troll That Ate Gullah Gullah Island"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|34||"The Talent Show"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman|
|35||"Grandmas and Grandpas"||Chuck Vinson||Teleplay by: Lynn Nottage & Fracaswell Hyman|
Story by: Lynn Nottage
|36||"Get Out of My Hair"||Chuck Vinson||Teleplay by: Lynn Nottage & Fracaswell Hyman|
Story by: Lynn Nottage & Maria Magdalena Perez
|37||"Feeling Soup"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|38||"Mercy Mercy Me"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|39||"Miss Ella Mae Breadsticks"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman|
|40||"Shaina's Birthday"||Chuck Vinson||Pat Cummings|
Season 3 (1996–97)
|41||"What's Up with Jobs?"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|42||"Away All Boats"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|43||"How You Sound"||Chuck Vinson||Kermit Frazier|
|44||"The Gullah Gullah Games"||Chuck Vinson||Teleplay by: Marc Catapano|
Story by: Marc Catapano & Kathleen Minton
|45||"Chansome's Big Surprises"||Chuck Vinson||Kermit Frazier|
|46||"A Day at the Beach"||Chuck Vinson||Hillary Rollins|
|47||"Binyah Binyah's Parade"||Chuck Vinson||Andy Yerkes|
|48||"Animal See, Animal Do"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|49||"Food, Glorious Food"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|50||"Home Alone With Grandma"||Chuck Vinson||Kermit Frazier|
|51||"Fixing a Hurt"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|52||"Special Places"||Chuck Vinson||Kermit Frazier|
Season 4 (1997–98)
|53||"Simeon's Day"||Chuck Vinson||Teleplay by: Carin Greenberg-Baker|
Story by: Nancy Krulik & Carin Greenberg-Baker
|54||"Family Day"||TBA||Eric Weiner|
|55||"The Mighty Cootas"||Otis Sallid||Don Gillies|
|56||"Campout"||Otis Sallid||Eric Weiner|
|57||"Here Come the Hatchlings"||Carl Lauten||Teleplay by: Carin Greenberg-Baker|
Story by: Carin Greenberg-Baker & Annie Evans
|58||"Binyah the Barbarian"||Otis Sallid||Teleplay by: Carin Greenberg-Baker|
Story by: David Wyatt
|59||"Magic Show"||Carl Lauten||Noel MacNeal|
|60||"Gullah Rocks"||Otis Sallid||Lisa Jones|
|61||"Stray Dog Blues"||Otis Sallid||Teleplay by: Carin Greenberg-Baker|
Story by: James Ponti & Carin Greenberg-Baker
|62||"James' New Buddy"||Otis Sallid||Teleplay by: Kermit Frazier|
Story by: Maria Perez & Kermit Frazier
|63||"The Hottest Day of the Year"||Carl Lauten||Teleplay by: Marc Catapano|
Story by: Kathleen Minton & Marc Catapano
|64||"A Barrel of Laughs"||Chuck Vinson||Eric Weiner|
|65||"Binyah Goes to School"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|66||"A Gullah Gullah Christmas"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman|
|67||"Big and Small"||Carl Lauten||Don Gillies|
|68||"The Big Sleepover"||Chuck Vinson||Carin Greenberg-Baker & Kermit Frazier|
|69||"Lightning is Frightening"||Otis Sallid||Carin Greenberg-Baker|
|70||"Polliwog Day"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman|
Origin and development
Ron Daise's book Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage was published in 1987. He and his New York-born wife, Natalie Daise (née Eldridge), followed by creating and touring with a multimedia show, Sea Island Montage, based on the book as well as stories from oral histories of elderly St. Helena Island residents. After one of their performances, the Daises met with an executive producer from Nickelodeon. Creator Maria Perez-Brown had planned on building a multicultural program featuring a "magical island" and was inspired by the Daises to use the Sea Islands and elements of Gullah culture. Part of Nickelodeon's initiative to broaden its preschool programming, Gullah Gullah Island was the first show of its kind to star an African-American family set in an indigenously black community. The show's originality caused some upfront concerns. "We were apprehensive about naming it 'Gullah Gullah Island'. We wanted to make sure the portrayal was positive and didn't in any way poke fun at the culture or the community," Ron Daise said of creating a show based on an existing culture.
Gullah Gullah Island is a sing-along half-hour live-action show. The format was part of a flexible thinking initiative that taught children to make good choices rather than using rote memorization.
Ron and Natalie Daise play the Alstons, who live on the fictional "Gullah Gullah Island". Additional cast featured the Daise's actual children Simeon and Sara among others, including a full-body puppet frog, Binyah Binyah ("binyah" is the Gullah word for "island native"). The show was taped and recorded at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando at Universal Studios Florida, with the show Clarissa Explains It All shot on the same set interior and exterior. Modifications were made, like adding different shades of red to the home as shown on Gullah Gullah. Outdoor shots featured Beaufort and Fripp Island, South Carolina. Charleston, South Carolina, was featured in one episode when the family took a trip to the City Market.
Episodes are presented with a unified plot and not separate segments, featuring singing, dancing, learning and encouraging children to think about things like taking care of yourself, animals, telling the truth, social skills, and problem solving. The show also highlights the culture and language of Gullah, descendants of former slaves who live on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.
The show ran for four seasons from 1994 to 1998, with a total of 70 episodes. Following the series' end, reruns aired through July 2000. Reruns also aired on Noggin (now Nick Jr.) from February 2, 1999, to April 2004, and again from 2008 to December 31, 2011.
Several special home video releases accompanied the original broadcast, including Gullah Gullah Island: Binyah's Surprise (1994), Gullah Gullah Island: Play Along With Binyah and Friends (1994), Gullah Gullah Island: Dance Along with the Daise Family (1997), and Gullah Gullah Island: Christmas (1998).
Home videos of the show were released on VHS format by Sony Wonder from 1995–1996 and later by Paramount from 1997–1998. As of February 7, 2012, every season of the series is being released to DVD through Amazon.com's MOD (Manufacture On Demand) program. Nickelodeon licensed a series of children's books, musical cassettes and "Binyah Binyah Polliwog" plush animals.
The first 37 episodes are available to watch on the Noggin subscription service as of October 14, 2015.
|"Gullah Gullah Island: Season 1"||February 8, 2012 (region 1)||1-17|
|Three-disc release, contains 17 episodes, exclusively released on Amazon.com, as a "CreateSpace" program of "Burn-On-Demand" DVDs.|
|"Gullah Gullah Island: Season 2"||February 8, 2012 (region 1)||18-40|
|Four-disc release, contains 23 episodes, exclusively released on Amazon.com, as a "CreateSpace" program of "Burn-On-Demand" DVDs.|
|"Gullah Gullah Island: Season 3"||February 8, 2012 (region 1)||41-52|
|Two-disc release, contains 12 episodes, exclusively released on Amazon.com, as a "CreateSpace" program of "Burn-On-Demand" DVDs.|
|"Gullah Gullah Island: Season 4"||February 8, 2012 (region 1)||53-70|
|Three-disc release, contains 18 episodes, exclusively released on Amazon.com, as a "CreateSpace" program of "Burn-On-Demand" DVDs.|
Critical reception of the show was consistently positive, both as a children's show and as groundbreaker for African American programming, it was praised for "vividly colored sets, infectious sing-alongs, unique character accents and quirky humor that defined the show and introduced millions of children to an overlooked but centuries-old branch of African American culture." It was described as "a combination summer camp, cheerleading session and music video." The issues, especially with the first season, had to do with show's depiction being unrealistic. "The songs were lively and catchy, the kids were cute and the general theme was unlike other kids' programming," Jenifer Managan of the Chicago Tribune wrote. However:
... it stars "perfect" parents, Ron and Natalie Daise, who with their three children (who never fight), neighbors and friends seek to entertain and socially educate kids through a sing-song series. While the show encourages active participation from at-home viewers, the dictionary responses and incomparable energy from the Daises make normal parents look like misfits. Perhaps as the show seasons, the lip-syncing will improve and the characters won't be so picture-perfect.
In 1996, TV Guide named the show one of "10 best children's shows". During its original broadcast run it was Nickelodeon's highest-rated preschool show, averaging more 750,000 viewers per episode.
|1995||Parents' Choice Award||DVDs - Home Video||Gullah Gullah Island: Sing Along With Binyah Binyah||Won|
|1996||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Educational/Informational Youth or Children's Series/Special||Gullah Gullah Island||Nominated|
|1997||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Educational/Informational Youth or Children's Series/Special||Gullah Gullah Island||Nominated|
|Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series||Kathleen Minton (executive producer), Maria Perez-Brown (executive producer), Diane Fazio (supervising producer), Stephanie N. Jones (coordinating producer)||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Award||Children's Script||Eric Weiner||Look Who's Balking||Nominated|
|1998||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Educational/Informational Youth or Children's Series/Special||The Christmas Special||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performance in a Youth or Children's Series/Special||Ron Daise, Natalie Daise||The Christmas Special||Nominated|
|2000||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Educational/Informational Youth or Children's Series/Special||Gullah Gullah Island||Nominated|
In 1997, five episodes of a "Gullah Gullah Island" miniseries titled "Binyah Binyah!" were produced at the now-defunct Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida, and aired from February 2 to February 6, 1998. A separate theme song written by Sean Altman was given to these episodes. The miniseries also featured several new puppet characters in addition to the original cast and focused on polliwog Binyah Binyah journeying to locations outside of Gullah Gullah. Ron and Natalie Daise were part of the cast as well. It was never broadcast again after its initial airing of episodes, nor was it released to home video. A promo advertising the series' debut is the only known footage; all five episodes were believed to be lost until 2017 when snippets of episode 5 and all of episode 4 surfaced online, evidently coming from a homemade VHS tape of old Nickelodeon shows. As of 2019, the fourth episode can be seen on YouTube.
- "Think For Yourself". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- HALL, JANE (1994-10-21). "Nickelodeon Expanding Its Lineup : Television: The channel's schedule is designed to appeal to both older and younger children. The preschool slate is an attempt to take on an area dominated by PBS". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
- Gullah Gullah Island Episodes 1994, TV Show. "Gullah Gullah Island (70)". TV Guide. © 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- deVere, Paul (September 2008). "Ron and Natalie Daise: A Conversation". CH2 (Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine). Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Daise, Ronald (1987). Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage. Orangeburg, SC: Sandlapper Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 103. ISBN 087844081X. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- McClure, Greg (April 30, 2013). "Gullah stories, songs featured in BCC presentation at Fowler Hall". Purdue University. Purdue News. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Ron and Natalie Daise starred in and served as cultural consultants for the "Gullah Gullah Island" television show on Nick Jr. from 1994-98. It was named one of the 10 best children's shows by TV Guide in 1996 and in 1997 was nominated for a daytime Emmy in the preschool series category. The show was nominated twice for the NAACP Image Award and won two Parent's Choice Awards. Ron, a native of St. Helena Island, S.C., and Natalie Daise have been performing together since 1983 and were married in 1985. They then began touring with their show, Sea Island Montage, based on Ron's book Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage, in 1986. The performances were based on stories from oral histories of elderly St. Helena Island residents.
- Cooperstein, Natalie (May 25, 2013). "Natalie Daise Reveals What it Takes to Become Harriet Tubman" (SPOLETO). Evening Post Industries company. The Post and Courier. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Daise: I was already a storyteller before the show. My husband had written a book about Gullah culture called "Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage." He interviewed a lot of the elders on St. Helena Island and I brought those stories to the stage. At one performance, we met an executive producer from Nick and she said, "We could do a show with you guys!" I was pregnant with my second baby at the time and we shot the show in Orlando until he was five.
- Spivack, Elena (February 27, 2014). "Author, actor shares Gullah songs, stories at Gund". The Collegian of Kenyon College. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Daise managed to bring Gullah culture to children's television with Gullah Gullah Island, which ran from 1994 to 1997 and was the first children's programming to feature an African-American family. "Somehow — this has been misreported every time — this was not our [intention]," Daise said. He said that, by chance, he lunched with a producer who was visiting a prominent writer on St. Helena Island. For three days after, the producer stayed in Daise's home, observing him and his family. "That show is our life, but we did not create it," he said.
- McCormick, Moira (April 25, 1995). "Nick Jr.'s Preschool Lineup Debuts on "Gullah Gullah"". Billboard Magazine. pp. 77–78. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- RUIZ PATTON, Susan (April 24, 1998). "'Gullah' Coming To Fest * Nickelodeon Show Will Be Part Of Asa Packer Series". The Morning Call (LeHigh Valley). Retrieved 7 June 2014.
The tour brings Ron and Natalie and their huge yellow pre-school frog friend, Binyah Binyah Pollywog, directly to fans of "Gullah Gullah Island." (For the uninitiated, the program teaches about helping people and enjoying life while it celebrates the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of the Gullah people, originally West African slaves whose descendants still live in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia.) Going on the road was old hat for Ron and Natalie, who, before "Gullah Gullah Island," traveled the country for a decade performing "Sea Island Montage," a two-person show featuring the songs and stories of the Gullah people. Ron said that he and Natalie aren't terribly disappointed they won't be making any more "Gullah Gullah Island" shows. After all, he said, they have shot four seasons of shows already, a year more than Nickelodeon's standard three-year production for successful pre-school shows. There may be some specials. And they know the show will inspire generations of pre-schoolers to come through syndication.
- Brown, Carolyn (February 1996). "The Promise Of Programming". Earl G. Graves, Ltd. Black Enterprise. p. 172. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Managan, Jenifer (April 25, 1996). "Gullah-baloo Preschoolers And Their Moms Are Crazy For 'Gullah Gullah Island'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Ron and Natalie live in a Buford County, S.C., a Gullah community, with their two children Simeon, 2, and Sara, 5, who also are cast members of "Gullah Gullah Island."The recipient of two Parents' Choice Awards, "Gullah Gullah Island" is more than just playful entertainment for preschoolers. The series revolves around an African-American family--the first in preschool television--and it celebrates the real-life culture and language of Gullah, descendants of formerly enslaved Africans on the Sea Islands off South Carolina and Georgia. Ron, who grew up on St. Helena Island as a native Gullah, wrote a book titled "Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage" that included a collection of islander memoirs and spirituals. He and Natalie toured the country performing original productions of songs and stories depicting Gullah legends and lore, which eventually spawned the TV series. "We were apprehensive about naming it `Gullah Gullah Island,' " Ron said. "We wanted to make sure the portrayal was positive and didn't in any way poke fun at the culture or the community.
- Managan, Jennifer (October 19, 1994). "Think For Yourself New Nick Shows Stress Reasoning Over Memorization". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
"Gullah Gullah Island." The shows are part of a reported $30 million initiative to expand Nick Jr., the cable network's preschool block (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) weekdays and to promote flexible thinking, an approach the network says encourages kids to think on their own when making choices rather than using rote memorization.
- Hendry, Erica (March 2011). "Holding on to Gullah Culture A Smithsonian curator visits a Georgia island to find stories of a shrinking community that has clung to its African traditions". Smithsonian Magazine.
Bailey drove Amos around the island in a boxy utility van, pointing out houses and fields and slipping into island dialect: binya is a native islander, comya is a visitor. r
- On TV (July 7, 1996). "Polliwog Helps Bring Gullah Culture To Life". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
Gullah Gullah Island, the first preschool show centered on a black family, is the network's top-rated live action preschool show with an estimated 767,000 children between ages 2 and 5 watching daily.The Daises live in nearby Beaufort with their children, 6-year-old Sara and 3-year-old Simeon, who are both in the cast. The show's rising popularity has forced them to get an unlisted number, but fans and their parents still seem to find their way to the Daises' doorstep. Since last fall, the network has licensed a series of children's books, videos, CDs and cassettes. The first of the Binyah Binyah plush animals hit the stores in April. The children in the cast are consulted about the dancing and dialogue in the show. "We use kiddieography instead of choreography," said choreographer Ken Grant as he watched Vinson take another angle on the beach. The cast, which includes three child actors in addition to the Daises' two children, tapes exteriors for about three weeks each year near Beaufort. The interior scenes are shot at the Nickelodeon studios in Orlando.
- "Nick Kids Random Facts". NickKids.net. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Random fact: the house on Gullah Gullah Island and the house on Clarissa Explains It All were the same house.
- Suhay, Lisa (October 2, 2013). "Real-life 'Gullah Gullah Island' in danger The real life residents of former Nickelodeon television series, 'Gullah Gullah Island' are in danger of losing their island to developers, presenting a rare opportunity for families to connect childhood memories with current events". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
Granted, the Gullah Gullah Island show is long gone, having run from 1994-1997, but the lessons it taught our kids on healthy eating, telling the truth, and problem solving are worth revisiting today. We can use this news item as an opportunity to talk to our kids about problem solving and how the real life residents on this island may need help solving this problem. Reading the news I realized that every day the news gives us a chance to work a "flash challenge" with our kids. It's worth saving and by extension so is this real world Gullah Island community. Granted, the Nickelodeon show was filmed on the more touristy Fripp Island, Ga., but the cultural base for the show was all Sapelo.
- Amazon DVD. "Gullah Gullah Island, Charleston Market". Amazon.com. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- Smith, Bruce (AP Writer) (June 6, 1996). "GaGa over Gullah". Freelance-Star. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Duckett, Jody (August 2, 1998). "Imaginations Can Visit 'Gullah Gullah Island'". The Morning Call. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
The tour brings Ron and Natalie and their huge yellow pre-school frog friend, Binyah Binyah Pollywog, directly to fans of "Gullah Gullah Island." (For the uninitiated, the program teaches about helping people and enjoying life while it celebrates the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of the Gullah people, originally West African slaves whose descendants still live in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia.) There will be familiar songs and stories and children will be encouraged to participate. But Ron doesn't want to say too much about the theme of the low-tech touring show. "It's to encourage the children to use their imaginations to pretend," is all he will say. "I'd like it to be a surprise for the audience." A big difference between the television show and the touring show is there's a lot less dialogue without the presence of the show's close-knit "family" of three children and relatives and friends. The Daises' own children, Simeon, 4, and Sara, 7, both act on the television show. The touring show started as a 30-minute live gig at bookstores and malls. It was called "Nick Jr. Story and Song Play Along." The crowds were so large that in January, Nickelodeon launched a 1-1/2-hour show for larger venues. Going on the road was old hat for Ron and Natalie, who, before "Gullah Gullah Island," traveled the country for a decade performing "Sea Island Montage," a two-person show featuring the songs and stories of the Gullah people. They also have toured extensively to promote their independently produced books and records, including Ron's children's book "Little Muddy Waters: A Gullah Folk Tale" and the recently released recording "Sleep Tight: Lullabies & Night-Night Stories." Ron said that he and Natalie aren't terribly disappointed they won't be making any more "Gullah Gullah Island" shows. After all, he said, they have shot four seasons of shows already, a year more than Nickelodeon's standard three-year production for successful pre-school shows. There may be some specials. And they know the show will inspire generations of pre-schoolers to come through syndication.
- Binyah's Surprise. November 5, 1997. ASIN 6304328613.
ASIN: 6304328613CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- Gullah Gullah Island: Play Along With Binyah and Friends. November 5, 1997. ASIN 630432863X.
ASIN: 630432863XCS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- Gullah Gullah Island - Dance Along with the Daise Family. November 5, 1997. ASIN 6304328583.
ASIN: 6304328583CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- Gullah Gullah Island Christmas. Paramount. September 8, 1998. ASIN 630507206X.
ASIN: 630507206XCS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- "Gullah, Gullah Island DVD news: Announcement for Gullah, Gullah Island". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
- "Gullah Gullah Island: Season 1 (3 Discs): Movies & TV". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Gullah Gullah Island: Season 2 (4 Discs): Movies & TV". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Gullah Gullah Island: Season 3 (2 Discs): Movies & TV". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Gullah Gullah Island: Season 4 (3 discs): Movies & TV". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- Novak, Tom (September 5, 2013). "BCC brings creators of '90s nostalgia heavy kids' show 'Gullah Gullah Island' to Fowler". Purdue University. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
Some may be a little too young to remember, but many students won't be able to forget the vividly colored sets, infectious sing-alongs, unique character accents and quirky humor that defined the show and introduced millions of children to an overlooked but centuries-old branch of African American culture. The Gullah culture exists on the rice plantation islands of South Carolina and southern Georgia, where slaves from Sierra Leone were taken to work at because of their knowledge of rice farming. Because bridges were not built to these islands until the mid 20th century, their culture remained isolated and free to develop on its own. It is one of the most well-preserved African American cultures, even with its own language, a mixture of English and West African dialects – much like Creole is to French. Just as the TV show was based upon a model of "call-and-response" taken from Gullah culture,
- "Polliwog Helps Bring Gullah Culture To Life". Sun Sentinel. Features. July 7, 1996. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Gullah, Gullah Island (1994–1998) Awards". IMDB. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
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- "NAACP Awards & Winners". NAACP IMAGE AWARDS. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- http://awardsandwinners.com/category/daytime-emmy-award/1997/#sthash.7zWUpWv5.dpuf. Retrieved 8 June 2014. Missing or empty
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