×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sesame Street Records to Be Relaunched by Warner Music and Sesame Workshop

When thinking of classic television performances by major recording artists, people usually mention “Saturday Night Live,” “Ed Sullivan,” Super Bowl halftimes, the Doobie Brothers on “What’s Happening” (okay, maybe not that one so much) and late-night shows ranging from Johnny Carson to James Corden.

Rarely does anyone mention “Sesame Street” — which is understandable, because the show’s audience is overwhelmingly children aged 5 and below — and yet it holds one of the greatest and most unique music archives of the past 50 years.

You’ve got Stevie Wonder singing “Superstition” as well as a numbers freestyle on the show’s classic set in 1973. A beaming Lauryn Hill and the Fugees dancing around the streets of New York with Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus to a revised version of “Be Yourself.” Patti Labelle leading a rousing gospel-inspired musical reading of the alphabet. Opera icon Marilyn Horne singing an astonishing, pitch-perfect take on “C Is for Cookie” on an elaborate mock-Egyptian set surrounded by Muppets. There’s also Ray Charles, Bruno Mars, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, Chris Jackson from “Hamilton,” One Direction, ‘Nsync, Johnny Cash, Smokey Robinson, Will.i.am, Janelle Monae, Usher, B.B. King, Erykah Badu, Gloria Estefan, Little Richard, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Joel and many others, often performing hit songs that have been cleverly adapted into themes that suit the show (i.e. R.E.M. doing “Furry Happy Monsters” to the tune of “Shiny Happy People,Feist barely needing to alter the lyrics of “1234”).

This vast catalog — along with the show’s more traditional music — will be explored and repackaged in the coming months by Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division, which has teamed up with Sesame Workshop to re-launch Sesame Street Records in the United States and Canada. As a result of the multi-year deal, a deep catalog of “Sesame Street” recordings is now available across digital streaming and download platforms, with brand-new compilation titles on CD and vinyl formats. (Specific tracklists had not been finalized at press time.)

Arts Music’s plans for the revitalized imprint include: previously unreleased music from current and past seasons of “Sesame Street,” including appearances by pop stars and other notable celebrities; new thematic compilations aligned with educational topics featured in current and upcoming seasons of “Sesame Street”; and new cover songs and parodies that originate outside of the TV show. New titles featuring these songs will debut in early 2019. (The deal covers audio recordings only, but most of the video clips above can easily be found online.)

“’Sesame Street’ and music have had a long-standing harmony that began nearly 50 years ago. I’m thrilled this partnership with Sesame Workshop is our first initiative for Arts Music in the kids’ music space,” said Kevin Gore, President of Arts Music. “I watched the first episode, owned their first album, shared this music with my kids, and I can’t think of a better brand or mission as our foundation in this space.”

“Music has always been a vital way for audiences to connect with ‘Sesame Street’ as we work toward our mission of helping kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder,” said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s President of Media & Education and Chief Operating Officer. “In Arts Music, we’ve found a passionate and forward-thinking partner who understands what our timeless songs mean to generations of families.”

The partnership marks the first time in more than 20 years that new music from “Sesame Street” will be made available to the public under a consistent schedule of releases. The label will curate the extensive catalog into new thematic CD, vinyl, download and streaming series for an entirely new generation of listeners. First will be the “Letters” series that debuted on September 21, followed by the “All-Time Favorites” series and a new holiday compilation in November.

 

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content