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by Barry Walters

May 5, 2014

The Music of Vintage Sesame Street

by Barry Walters  |  May 5, 2014

Launched in the final weeks of the '60s, Sesame Street aims to educate young children through the addictive language of TV, commercials and pop songs. Unlike much of the television programming targeted at kids, it was designed to be both educational and urbane, and that has been particularly true of its music, a hip amalgamation of Motown, Broadway and The Beatles. In its earliest days, some of its songs even conquered AM radio: Ernie himself scored with "Rubber Duckie" in 1970, while the Carpenters' cover of "Sing" struck gold in '73.

As you'll hear here, core Street composers like Joe Raposo, Christopher Cerf and Jeff Moss mimicked and spoofed myriad musical styles. Most of their greatest songs come from the late '60s, '70s and '80s, when Jim Henson voiced Ernie, Kermit and other Muppets, while his cohort Frank Oz manned Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover and many more. This playlist also includes cameos by all sorts of stars, from Johnny Cash to R.E.M.. Oscar the Grouch may make a few appearances, but kids of all ages may find that this set makes it impossible to maintain a bad mood.

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