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Mister Rogers - Let's Be Together Today

Classic LP Perfectly Exemplifies the Spirit of Mister Rogers

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Mister Rogers - Let's Be Together Today
Courtesy Small World Records
Sure, you can find most of the songs from Let's Be Together Today on current CD compilations, but there's something charming about the album cover, the inevitable pops and hisses of the revolving vinyl, and Rogers' empathetic, tender, and respectful delivery flowing from track to track that make this LP a children's music classic.

The Artist

Fred Rogers is such a well-known figure, he doesn't need an introduction. But it's a lesser-known fact that Rogers wrote over 200 songs for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and recorded over half a dozen albums of music for children during his career. Pianist John Costa was the musical director on Neighborhood, and he reprises that role on Let's Be Together Today.

The Music

With a mix of one-on-one dialogue and vocals, and gentle, jazzy music, Rogers sings about how children (and adults) sometimes deal with insecurity through silly behavior on "The Clown in Me," and assures kids to "Please Don't Think It's Funny" when they want their night light on or need that extra hug.

He discusses the natural progression of getting bigger with the cumulative "Everything Grows Together", and deals with handling anger effectively on "What Do You Do" (better known as "What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel"), a tune that Rogers performed many, many times on his show.

Rogers helps kids understand that mom and dad know what it was like to be in their shoes with "Parents Were Little Once Too" and "I'm Taking Care of You," and helps parents understand that children want to know what to expect in unfamiliar situations with "I Like to Be Told."

Rogers puts his unique spin on the ABCs and the 123s with a jaunty, jazzy version of the "Alphabet Song," and the brief "One and One Are Two," in which the wiley Mr. R. checks to see if his young listeners are paying attention on the last stanza: "One and one are two, two and two are four, four and four are eight, and eight and two are ten."

Then he says that "I Hope It Will Rain" so he can show that he can say the phrase in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Taiwanese. And Rogers throws in a plain ol' fun tune with "I'm a Man Who Manufactures." The day-ending "Peace and Quiet" concludes the album with the simple lyric 'Peace and quiet, peace, peace, peace, we all want peace,' followed by a reprise of the title track.

The Verdict

There's nothing earth-shattering about Let's Be Together Today, but Fred Rogers' rapport with kids was a rare thing, both on his show and on albums. His gift was talking and singing with children, not at them or about them, and Let's Be Together Today is a great example of that gift.

Released 1968; Small World Records

Track Listing

  1. "Let's Be Together"
  2. "The Clown in Me"
  3. "Everything Grows Together"
  4. "Parents Were Little Once Too"
  5. "Alphabet Song"
  6. "One and One Are Two"
  7. "What Do You Do"
  8. "Please Don't Think It's Funny"
  9. "I Hope It Will Rain"
  10. "I'm Taking Care of You"
  11. "I'm a Man Who Manufactures"
  12. "I Like to Be Told"
  13. "Peace and Quiet"
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