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What's Your Function?

The 1970s

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The greatest impact made on kids' music in the 1970s was by far the work of television-related songwriters. Although the program debuted in 1969, Sesame Street's deepest impression was made on children of the '70s. One reason was because of the songwriting talents of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, whose lyrics and music are still a part of today's culture. A great example is Moss' "Rubber Duckie," Sesame Street character Ernie's unofficial theme song and a #16 Billboard hit in 1970.

Another highly influential and, to many adults today, deeply sentimental staple of the '70s was Schoolhouse Rock, an animated series of information shorts set to music. The series debuted in 1973 and featured music and lyrics written principally by Bob Dorough and Lynn Abrams.

Like Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood debuted in the late '60s but made its biggest impact during the 1970s. Fred Rogers' program began airing in 1968, and prominently featured songs written by Rogers himself.

Although his influence wasn't felt full force until the 1980's, children's musician Raffi made his kids' recording debut in 1976 with Singable Songs for the Very Young. Probably the first name that comes up when anyone is asked to name a kids' musician, Raffi had humble beginnings in Toronto with this simple but highly influential album, recorded with help from future producer extraordinaire Daniel Lanois.

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