Our Story...  
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It has been an incredible musical and awakening journey and we are still going strong! 

Learn about our story -  the history of our music, experiences and how our musical paths that intersected and brought us together in 1987.

 
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Lori Moitié

Lori is the owner of  ‘Cotton Candy Express Music’ entertaining children and families for 30 years. She was the #1 Bay Area Cartoon Host over a span of 15 years on KTVU Fox Kids and WB20 Kids. Her musical teaching experience has giving her the opportunity to be a music director for several plays and Glee Clubs.  Her original plays are being performed throughout the bay area.  Lori was born in Brooklyn, New York.  Went to Los Angeles for third through sixth grade, and back to Brooklyn for half of junior high, then back to Los Angeles to finish up junior high in The Valley, and back again to Brooklyn for most of High School at Madison High. It was Culture Shock going from Brooklyn to Palo Alto High in 1970.  

She was involved with early TheatreWorks then called the Palo Alto Community Theater working with very talented actors and singers.  Palo Alto and the  70’s bay area music scene became a place for her to showcase her talent, go to college, earn degrees in Broadcast Communication Arts and Music from Foothill College and San Francisco State University. She has studied with Roland Wyatt, Vocal Coach to the Manhattan Transfer, favorite vocal band.

It was at Foothill College where Lori joined the established well-known Vocal Jazz program with the Foothill College Fanfairs, under the direction of internationally recognized Roger Letson.  She sang with the Fanfairs, the Madrigal’s, the Choir and was heavily involved in the Theatre Arts as well.  Those were amazing times!

 Growing up in Brooklyn, Lori’s family dinners always revolved around music where that was the norm and focus.  Her great-great grandfather was a concert violinist; her great-grandmother was a concert pianist; her grandfather played the violin and her father is an artisan who also play violin, mandolin and guitar.  Lori’s dad showed her how to play guitar when she was 4 years old. Her folk music and Broadway musical roots took a turn when she first heard Lambert, Hendricks & Ross sing Count Bassie.  She flipped for vocal jazz.  Playing folk guitar was her love then and now.  But rock’n’roll was also part of her fabric and found it easier to be in a rock band. 

Lori has worked in bay area radio, television, newspaper and magazines since 1978.  As the Creative Director at KGSC-TV “The Perfect 36” in San Jose Lori was able to do all the jobs in a television station.  She was called the “:30 second queen” writing some of the bay area’s iconic commercials.  Think editorial for Carol Doda and many more.  Lori also worked in promotions at KITS Radio before it was LIVE105, KTSF Channel 26 and Runner’s World Magazine and Fit Magazine.

Lori is an award-winning professional singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist and character actor.  She writes music, stories and plays for kids and has developed CD’s, DVD’s and other musical products with an occupational therapist.  Her passion and enthusiasm for her gifts of connecting and performing for kids and families is obvious when you see her beaming on stage and touching everyone with her talents.

 

  • Bachelor of Art Degree – Broadcast Communication Arts – San Francisco State University, Magna Cum Laude

  • Foothill  College, Associate of Arts Degree – Music and Drama

  • Certified Aerobic Instructor

  • Created Yoga Fitness Fusion For Kids

  • Certified Aroma Therapist

  • CPR Certified

  • World Dance Fusion Teacher

  • NIA Enthusiast

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RJ Johnson

RJ’s real name is Renard.  He grew up with very musical brothers. His youngest brother Gerard, a gifted musician, is still playing drums and guitar in bands in Shreveport, Louisiana. His oldest brother Percy turned RJ on to the bass when he was at the very young age of five years old. He fell in love with the instrument as his main axe.  A native of the City of Shreveport, RJ attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he studied jazz under the direction of the world class jazz clarinetist Mr. Alvin Batiste. He also was fortunate enough to have in his class the amazing bass player and producer Randy Jackson of American Idol fame.

During his college days RJ met with a group of musicians and formed the band called MELLAA.  After their studies these college men toured the United States and Japan in the late 70’s.

A musically rich background encompassing proficient soulful vocals and songwriting abilities has taken RJ to performing internationally in R & B funk bands. The band was called Mellaa and originated in jazz class at Southern University. He toured the United States, Canada and then landed in Los Angeles where they performed in all of the popular night spots before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area.  RJ also plays harmonica, percussion instruments, dances, writes and arranges music and has always stepped up to be a visionary force within the band.

 

Combined with his vast knowledge of computers and technology, he coordinates the musical production side of Cotton Candy Express Music. He helped to build the act into one of the most requested duos in the Bay Area. Lori convinced him that children’s music was the wave of the future back in the late 1980’s. He’s never regretted one moment of his journey performing in the wild world of kids and family music shows.

The Beginning

In 1987, Lori met RJ at an audition for RJ’s R&B band called Mellaa: one of the hottest R&B bands in the Bay Area’s late 70’s-80’s music scene.  At the time the band decided to expand and add a Motown Revue with female vocalists.

Lori was chosen as one of the singers. At the time, Lori was a popular vocalist in bands around the bay.  Rock’n’Roll was a big part of her life as well as Folk and Jazz Vocals.  Lampert, Hendricks and Ross were a turning point at a very young age.  So was Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro.

The band was called Rainbow 65. For a few years the band flourished doing elaborate corporate parties.Then, for what ever reason, things went in a different direction and the next thing you know they started another band called “Peabody, Kidder & Boogie”where they exclusively played upscale corporate parties back in the day where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent with no thought, just fun!  We played those gigs.

The big band disbanded and Lori, RJ and the guitar player, Jerry Garcia (not from Grateful Dead) formed a trio called “The Sunrise Trio” performing at many of the bay area hotels with great success.

Then one day, a friend was leaving on a business trip and tapped into Lori & RJ’s creativity for writing. He wanted a story for his young daughter that said her name so when she went to sleep she would listen to the story and think of her daddy. Lori and RJ took it step further and not only wrote a story, they also composed their first children’s song to go along with the story.  They spliced-in manually, on quarter inch tape, the child’s name!  They mixed it down to cassette and called it “A Lori Story Just for You.”

Of course after that customized story and song the child wanted Lori & RJ for her birthday party.  They agreed to play the party even though they never performed for a children’s party before.  This was virgin territory.  Of course they did their homework by learning every Public Domain kid’s song but added a twist of Rock’n’Roll and R&B to it and they called it Kid’s Music With A Groove.   The party was a great success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.  The kids and parents loved it!  We’re still not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or Lori and RJ. Cotton Candy Express Music was born and continued their musical adventures by researching, writing and performing for children.  Schools, libraries, birthday parties, corporate picnics, all welcomed Lori & RJ with open arms as their was nothing like them at the time…and still isn’t.

In the late 1980’s it started out as a Christmas promotion using Lori and RJ.  It ended up becoming a staple for the Stonestown Galleria is San Francisco.  The idea was simple.  Choose a suitable time in the mall when the center court area had the least amount of traffic, and create a club.  Hence, the first kid’s club created in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Cotton Candy Express Music created a very hip atmosphere where cool Elves (and we are talking sequins, go-go boots and boa feather ears) did magic tricks for the kids, Santa danced in a gold lamé jumpsuit while rocking out to Lori and RJ’s electric version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Santa’s of all ethnic origins were invited to share their way of celebrating the holiday tradition. The Santa Club Pledge was heartily endorsed by kids and very well received by parents: “As a member of the Club Santa, I promise to be good, to obey my parents, to be helpful and to share my smile with others at all times!”

This ethnic “Barbie and Ken” musical duo crosses all cultural lines as it brings joy to people from all backgrounds.  Their shows at Stoneridge Mall included three deaf interpreters, bringing the joy of their musical entertainment to many who are often overlooked.

It was Lori & RJ that took these generic Kid’s Club ideas and transformed them into highly entertaining and profitable events for the malls who participated. They not only drew unbelievable crowds, but enriched the people who participated in the entertainment.  And, participation was really a key word when it came to this group’s effect on people of all ages.

The club concept has carried over to every other holiday season.  Easter, Halloween, Back to School Days, you name it.  Many of the Bay Area Malls duplicated the concept with Lori & RJ.  Some of the venues:  Stonestown Galleria, Blackhawk, Tanforan, Serramonte, Eastridge, The Great Mall, Newpark Mall, Bayfair, Southland, Westfield Malls, Oakridge, Santana Row, Broadway Plaza, Sun Valley, Sherwood, Vallco, Corte Madera, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Alameda South Shore, Fremont Hub, Town & Country Palo Alto, Hillsdale, and more.

First Bay Area Mall Kid’s Club

In the late 1980’s it started out as a Christmas promotion using Lori and RJ.  It ended up becoming a staple for the Stonestown Galleria is San Francisco.  The idea was simple.  Choose a suitable time in the mall when the center court area had the least amount of traffic, and create a club.  Hence, the first kid’s club created in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Cotton Candy Express Music created a very hip atmosphere where cool Elves (and we are talking sequins, go-go boots and boa feather ears) did magic tricks for the kids, Santa danced in a gold lamé jumpsuit while rocking out to Lori and RJ’s electric version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Santa’s of all ethnic origins were invited to share their way of celebrating the holiday tradition. The Santa Club Pledge was heartily endorsed by kids and very well received by parents: “As a member of the Club Santa, I promise to be good, to obey my parents, to be helpful and to share my smile with others at all times!”

This ethnic “Barbie and Ken” musical duo crosses all cultural lines as it brings joy to people from all backgrounds.  Their shows at Stoneridge Mall included three deaf interpreters, bringing the joy of their musical entertainment to many who are often overlooked.

It was Lori & RJ that took these generic Kid’s Club ideas and transformed them into highly entertaining and profitable events for the malls who participated. They not only drew unbelievable crowds, but enriched the people who participated in the entertainment.  And, participation was really a key word when it came to this group’s effect on people of all ages.

The club concept has carried over to every other holiday season.  Easter, Halloween, Back to School Days, you name it.  Many of the Bay Area Malls duplicated the concept with Lori & RJ.  Some of the venues:  Stonestown Galleria, Blackhawk, Tanforan, Serramonte, Eastridge, The Great Mall, Newpark Mall, Bayfair, Southland, Westfield Malls, Oakridge, Santana Row, Broadway Plaza, Sun Valley, Sherwood, Vallco, Corte Madera, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Alameda South Shore, Fremont Hub, Town & Country Palo Alto, Hillsdale, and more.

 

Intro to TV

Lori & RJ’s  journey into TV Land started in 1993 with their own television show called “The Cotton Candy Express Show” at TCI Cablevision in Hayward, California.  Shooting once a month and sometimes two times a month for two years, they wrote the half hour shows, produced it, directed it, wrote the music, choreographed it, designed the sets, coordinated crew members, shot on location, got all kinds of kids and their parents to be a part of the show and audience – they put up the sets, they tore down the sets, all within a strict two hour time frame, or else! AND THEN – starred in it, and performed an all original musical variety show which aired every Tuesday evening.

Simultaneously while preparing for another Holiday Kid’s Club at Stonestown Galleria, the marketing director knew of Lori’s extensive work in writing and producing television commercials and asked her to write and produce a spot for the mall at KTVU Channel 2.   As a result of making a festive holiday commercial and connecting with the original Kidstown producer, who just adored Lori & RJ’s enthusiasm and talent, they were invited to be the new addition to the Kidstown Crew.

 

And now more of the story…

TV Stuff: From 1994-1998 Lori & RJ replaced the Kidstown hosts and began the new KTVU FOX2 Kid’s Club in Oakland, California. Their quirky on-air presence was seen daily, as well as the all-important Saturday Morning Cartoon slot. Before officially being the hosts’ of the Kids Club, they were contracted by KTVU FOX2 to write theme music for the children’s TV special titled: “Animal Crackers” where they shared and delighted in the celebration of an Emmy Award for the show. They later scored the music for the Emmy nominated Children’s After School TV Special special titled: “Kidpower.” A great relationship began and they continued to do excellent work where they were honored to receive several prestigious National and International Awards. In 1997 Lori & RJ won the “Fox Kids Monument Award” as Most Outstanding Kids Club Hosts of the 172 station network.  They also won the 1996 “Fox Kids Monument Award” for Excellence in Children’s Programming; and their Kids Club also won a 1995 “NAB Award for Service to Children’s Television.”

Bay Area Kid’s Club Hosts...

Into the new millennium brought Lori & RJ to the Kids’ WB20 Club on KBWB Channel 20 in San Francisco, California. They were the On-Air Personalities and Community Outreach Representatives for the station. Having acquired hundreds of wigs, costumes, and props over the years…it’s easy to see how they developed lots of funny, wacky characters using thier acting and performing abilities.  They called it a “Creationship” with the nicest people at the Kids’ WB20 Club back in the day.

Wrapping up

Lori & RJ say, “Oh sure, being award winning TV Cartoon Hosts (early 90’s on local cable and evolving into two major Bay Area TV Networks) for over a decade was a lot fun and creative, BUT, it also took a lot of intense hard work and preparation.  Because we have a passion for  what we do and truly enjoy it, we’re still doing live performances and many other creative endeavors in 2013.  We have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ that we share with our audiences everywhere.”