4/-/1970 – ‘Record 1st Sesame Street cast album.’

Within six months of Sesame Street’s premiere, Jim was in the studio recording the first of what would be dozens of record albums featuring songs from the show. Tip-toeing into the realm of consumer products, the show’s producers decided that books and records seemed like a safe choice and easy to defend as educational tools. Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss had already written an array of memorable songs that everyone was eager to share off screen. Along with the theme song, young listeners could sing along to what would become some of the show’s best known tunes like “Somebody Come and Play,” “I Love Trash,” “Bein’ Green,” and “The People In Your Neighborhood.” Less familiar songs like “Everybody Wash” and “Rub your Tummy” filled out the album, and the final track “Rubber Duckie” was also released as a single, hitting the Billboard charts and getting a Grammy award nomination. Everyone involved in the album received a Gold Record from Recording Industry Association of America to commemorate more than a million dollars in sales. Columbia Records did a second release later that year which included an accompanying book within a fold-out album cover.

Joe Raposo holding his Sesame Street cast album gold record, 1971.

Children enjoy Sesame Street records in this 1974 promotional shot.

By the early 1980s, dozens of Sesame Street albums had been released, as evidenced by these product catalogue pages.

By the early 1980s, dozens of Sesame Street albums had been released, as evidenced by these product catalogue pages.

Read more from Jim Henson’s Red Book in Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal available from Chronicle Books.

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