Here's a collection of Sesame Street "30 Dots" shorts, from the show's classic days. They build in an entertaining way, but whatever they're supposed to teach beats the heck out of me.
Harry Warren and Al Dubin wrote it for the smooth harmonies of the Mills Brothers in the 1935 film Broadway Gondolier. Fats Waller popularized it with more spark and swing soon after, and Art Tatum performed a blistering yet tuneful version that same year. Young heartthrob Frank Sinatra crooned it in 1945, and 11 years later Mel Tormé crooned it some more. Thelonious Monk had a humorous take on it in 1964, while 1968 saw two wildly different versions from Oscar Peterson and an actual Lulu. Need more? Here's The Four Freshmen, Leon Redbone, and Ellis and Branford Marsalis. TV loves Lulu too! Sanford and Song on Sanford and Son, and Circe on the Justice League (voiced by Broadway singer Rachel York). But here's what happens when Lulu's back on Sesame Street. (With introduction by Mr. Hooper, Bob, Susan, Matt Robinson's Gordon, and a very orange Oscar.)
The band "OK Go" are using their signature blend of pleasant indie pop and quirky, home-grown videos to teach kids about primary colors in a new short for Sesame Street. - SLYT
Between February 1989 and May 1990, there were three significant deaths in the Sesame Street world. The first was Joe Raposo, a significant musician for Sesame Street and Electric Company. The last was Jim Henson, mourned by Big Bird, remembered by Frank Oz, and celebrated in song by many (from the St. John's Memorial, detailed here). The second person to die in this time period was Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David. Unlike Joe and Jim, there were no television tribute to Northern's life and career on Sesame Street or Broadway. Instead, David, once a young, cool, urban guy, who was studying to be a lawyer while working at Mr. Hooper's storeand the initial romantic interest of Maria, left the show through a letter, read by Gordon. The story behind David is told below the fold. [more inside]
Even if you don't know Joe Raposo's name, you probably have heard his music. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Joe was the main composer of songs and incidental music for the children's television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In this role, he wrote some of today's standards while also imprinting his musical stylings on the consciousness of a generation of children worldwide. In the second half of this post, you will find a curation of youtube-links leading to a good chunk of Joe Raposo's oeuvre -- all gems, mostly under two minutes each. Sing along if you know the words! [more inside]
Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]
Philip Glass on SNL, Mr. Glass composed for Sesame Street: 1, 2, 3, sounds a bit like North Star if you ask me. Bonus: 1+1. For the uninitiated
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash may be the most elaborate parody of the Beatles ever constructed, including satirical tributes to the appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, Yellow Submarine, and the rooftop concert at Apple Records. Check out some other fine parodies who picked up where the Rutles left off: The Mosquitoes on Gilligan's Island, Chris and the Alphabeats on Sesame Street, Letter B and Hey Food by the Beetles, the Be Sharps on the Simpsons, A Hard Day's Night of the Living Dead by the Zombeatles, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore's L.S. Bumble Bee, the Powerpuff Girls Meet the Beat Alls (parts 1 and 2 with commentary by Mojo Jojo), Beatles spoofs in a Polish sitcom and a Bollywood musical, Beatallica sings A Garage Dayz Nite, the Chasers' I Am Thesaurus, and the Beatles go bar mitzvah.
Be my echo. (Be my echo) Sing what I sing. (Sing what I sing) Follow the leader and sing after me. (Sing after me) [YoutubeFilter]
One two three, four five, six seven nine ten, eleven twelve. [6.5mb .wmv]. An excellent remix video of the the Sesame Street 'Pinball Song'. Features the Pointer Sisters on vocals, apparently. The remix was done by Braces Tower, who also have the mp3 up on their site.
Sesame Seventies is an informational website about the three disco-related Muppets/Sesame Street records released in the 1970s. It makes for a good argument in favor of file-sharing, it reveals some of the stranger children's music of the past twenty or so years, and it's cute. (warning, some flash)