Millions know and love Hayley Smith, the animated teenage character in the sitcom and primetime hit – American Dad! but, do they know the person who voices her? Hayley will be introduced as a vocalist in the (American Dad!) series’ eighth season premiere, scheduled to air on September 30th at 9:30 PM ET/PT. Rachael MacFarlane, the voice behind Hayley is also an accomplished voice-over actress in Hollywood. Rachael provided the voice for other animated characters including Mindy and Eris from Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Dexter’s Lab, The Power Puff Girls and What’s New Scooby Doo?
“Hayley Sings,” is the debut album of Rachael MacFarlane on the Concord Jazz Label. Although it’s the sound track for the TV show (American Dad!), it gives the public a chance to know the real voice behind the Hayley Smith character.
MacFarlane explains, “Hayley becomes a singer in Roger’s bar, and the producers came up with the idea that she’s a lover of standards, which I am as well.” To round out the 15-track playlist, she and manager Allen Sviridoff “Thought about what kind of music Hayley would listen to. She’s a hippie, a child of the ’60s and ’70s. When I was growing up, my dad introduced me to groups like Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles and Crosby, Stills and Nash. So we decided to run with the idea of re-imagining music from my childhood, which would be appropriate for Hayley to sing.”
Most of the songs are drawn from the 60s and 70s including Paul Simon’s “ Feelin’ Groovy.” The fifteen-track album carries the big band jazz feel, it’s engaging and jazz fans will appreciate the creative, smooth arrangements and concepts of other known standards.
Two of the album’s fifteen songs will be included on that season-opening episode of American Dad! (9/30/2012 on Fox TV). First is “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which introduces Hayley’s vocal skills. “It’s a song I’ve been singing since high school,” says MacFarlane, “We wanted to strip it down and create a quiet, introspective version with the small group.” Second is “Makin’ Whoopee,” the album opener. ”Out of This World,” is also on the album. The classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that Hayley is becoming romantically involved with an alien, and would be a great addition to a future episode’s soundtrack.
A few additional standards found their way onto the album. “I’m Glad There Is You,” is, says MacFarlane, “my father’s favorite. It is really stripped down—just me with George Doering on guitar—and it’s a love letter to all the musicians, and everyone else, who made [the album] possible.”
Rachael Macfarlane grew up in a music filled household with parents who appreciated everything from Sinatra to Steely Dan. She was involved in community theatre and in the high school band she played the French horn and took part in the choir, both in school and in church. She then attended the Boston Conservatory and studied voice, acting and dance.
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