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Original Cast - The Sesame Street Book and Record

Timeless Music from a Classic Kids' Album

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Original Cast - The Sesame Street Book and Record

The Sesame Street Book and Record

Courtesy Columbia Records
You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the United States who wouldn't recognize the theme song to Sesame Street, or even songs like "Bein' Green" and "Rubber Duckie." The Sesame Street Book and Record, originally released in 1970, contains these and a load more musical memory ticklers and lots of amusing and cute dialogue, making the LP one of our favorite classic kids' music albums.

The Sesame Street Songwriters

The Sesame Street Book and Record boasts an incredible number of classic Sesame Street songs, including Kermit the Frog’s “Bein’ Green,” Big Bird’s “Abc-Def-Ghi,” Oscar the Grouch’s “I Love Trash,” Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie,” and cast numbers like “One of These Things,” “People in Your Neighborhood,” the theme song to Sesame Street, and “Somebody Come and Play,” a remake of which became the theme song to the Sesame Street spinoff Play With Me Sesame decades later. Songwriters Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss composed the great bulk of the songs sung and performed on The Sesame Street Book and Record. Before they became songwriters for Sesame Street, Raposo was the musical director and composer for several stage productions, including House of Flowers and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, while Moss wrote The Triangle Show at Princeton and various musical bits for other children's shows.

The Music of 'The Sesame Street Book and Record'

The Sesame Street Book and Record kicks off appropriately with "Sesame Street," one of the most recognizable songs in popular music, sung by the "Entire Cast." Big Bird then shows off his newly acquired reading skills by singing the alphabet as one word in "ABC-DEF-GHI," supposing that it must be the name of some kind of exotic turtle, or such. "I've Got Two" features Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, plus pretty much everybody else, including Mr. Hooper, Bob, Susan, and Gordon. The song begins with some funny dialogue, then breaks into an upbeat song about all the things we have two of. The Anything People sing "Goin' for a Ride," a jaunty tune about taking a trip in various modes of transportation, highlighting the noises each vehicle makes.

"What Are Kids Called" is a pretty song performed by Bob and Susan that lists the names of animal babies, while "Everybody Wash" is a silly song performed by Ernie and Bert that sounds like a cross between "Tequila" and musical comedy. Bob and Susan sing another fan favorite, "One of These Things," in which the listener (or viewer) is challenged to identify the one sound or object that doesn't belong with the others, while "Up and Down" is a jazzy, soulful tune sung by Two Monsters that describes the difference between up and down. Kermit the Frog brings side one to a close with the classic "Green" (also known as "Bein' Green"), an introspective, melancholy tune covered by everybody from Frank Sinatra to Diana Ross, from Ray Charles to Van Morrison.

More Music from 'The Sesame Street Book and Record'

"Somebody Come and Play" opens the second side of The Sesame Street Book and Record, sung by several of the child actors on the show, and later revived as the theme song for Play With Me Sesame. Oscar the Grouch lets everyone know that "I Love Trash" via a swaying, jazzy tune, while Bob McGrath sings a quiet, cheerful song about all the things "A Face" can do. "J-Jump" is an absolutely delightful song sung by the kids of Sesame Street celebrating the joys of J words, and the classic "People in Your Neighborhood" is comically performed by Bob McGrath and The Anything People. Gordon sings the activity song "Rub Your Tummy," while the Sesame Street Kids pay tribute to the "Number 5" with a funky, jazzy tune. This segues nicely into the Tin Pan Alley-like "Five People In My Family" sung by the Anything People, followed by Susan's "Nearly Missed," sounding a little like a lazy, loping Stevie Wonder tune about a child's wandering attention. The album ends with Ernie singing his classic theme song "Rubber Duckie," a very popular tune that even reached Number 16 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart in 1970.

The Verdict

What else can you say about an album like this than...classic. Of course, selected songs from the original LP can be easily found on various compilations: the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1 CD collection contains the entire album plus two other early Sesame Street releases, and each side of this original album have been released separately as mp3 collections as Sesame Street 1: Original Cast Record, Vol. 1 and Sesame Street 1: Original Cast Record, Vol.2. But there's just something about flipping through the booklet insert while you listen to the slightly scratched vinyl spinning on your record player. The Sesame Street Book and Record is a definite must-have for all families.

Released 1970; Columbia Records

Track Listing

Side One

  1. "Sesame Street" - The Entire Cast
  2. "ABC-DEF-GHI" - Big Bird
  3. "I've Got Two" - Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Cast
  4. "Goin' for a Ride" - Anything People
  5. "What Are Kids Called" - Bob and Susan
  6. "Everybody Wash" - Ernie and Bert
  7. "One of These Things" - Bob and Susan
  8. "Up and Down" - Two Monsters
  9. "Green" - Kermit the Frog

Side Two

  1. "Somebody Come and Play" - The Kids
  2. "I Love Trash" - Oscar the Grouch
  3. "A Face" - Bob
  4. "J-Jump" - The Kids
  5. "People in Your Neighborhood" - Bob and The Anything People
  6. "Rub Your Tummy" - Gordon
  7. "Number 5" - The Kids
  8. "Five People In My Family" - Anything People
  9. "Nearly Missed" - Susan
  10. "Rubber Duckie" - Ernie
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