Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"C" is for Crate Digging: Sesame Street Records 101

Old School as Ever...  The Original Sesame Street Cast

Related to Elements: DJ, Crate Digging, Sampling,

I like records of any genre almost indiscriminately.  Yet, even as an avid crate digger, I never thought I'd end up carefully hoarding and cherishing my Sesame Street Records collection. 

Cover of Original Cast Sesame Street Book & Record

It all started with this first one, the Original Cast Sesame Street Book & Record from the year 1970.  My wife had a bunch of old records from her childhood that I pillaged.  This beat up copy was at the back of the crate.  As you would expect with most kids records, it was basically destroyed, marked up with crayon, pages were ripped out of it, it was a mess, but for that reason I dropped a needle on it years ago, hoping to find a few scratch samples to play with no guilt of damaging a record.  To my surprise it was really funky.  Way beyond funky in fact.  This original Sesame Street Theme I noticed was even better then the one I can remember as a kid.  So I patiently scanned through the rest of the scratchy record hoping that there was even more funky goodness just itching to be scratched.  Sure enough, it was loaded with all kinds of potential DJ battle sounds and random sample-worthy snippets.  So I put it in my scratch tools crate and really, that should have been the end of the story.

A page from the Original Cast book reveals that their color blind art department was underpaid.  Oscar is orange.

Fast forward about 5 years...  Along comes an unbeatable proposal from my super sister in law.  At the time she was working for Sesame Street Live! and was responsible for helping choose music for the show.  Digging through her company's vaults for song ideas she stumbled upon a large stack of original Sesame Street records her company acquired years ago.  They sat and gathered dust for years since the company didn't even have a working turntable any longer.  While the records had great show material on them she had no way to listen to them.

That's where I came in.  She knew I had turntables and recording software set up and ready to go, and she also knew my weakness for collecting wax.  The deal: I get to keep all the records after I recorded them all and burnt them all to CD for her.  Lucky for me her company had no desire or use for the records themselves, just the music on them.  I gladly came to the rescue and added these records to my personal crates.  Keep in mind, what really is great about this, is that these kids records were never touched by kids!  They are all in excellent condition because they are practically unplayed!

Sesame Street 2 Original Cast.  They are back!  I still miss Mister Hooper!

Sesame Street: Concert On Stage - Live!

What Time Is It On Sesame Street?  Oh look, the clock still has both of it's hands on it!  MONEY!

Gatefold collage artwork inside What Time is It On Sesame Street?     

Sesame Street Sing Along!  The honkers!!! 

Bert & Ernie Sing-Along

The Best of Ernie. This one is great!
Sesame Street Everybody's Record.  Just in case you forgot where your arm is.  Ernie's antics never get old.
Sesame Street Aren't You Glad You're You?  Why, yes I am, thank you!
Sesame Street Monsters!  Don't worry, they are nice monsters, not scary monsters.  Scary dopeness!
Sesame Street: The Count Counts.  One of my favorites, loaded with number scratchables!
Sesame Street Happy Birthday!
Sesame Country.  I thought I would not like this one, but its one of the best!

After I recorded all the music to CD for her, they were mine!  But now I had a new problem on my hands.  I was still missing some classics.  I can't just settle for a partial collection of Sesame Street records, I didn't even have "C" is for Cookie for God's sake!  So naturally, I've been diligently scouring the Internet, and slowly but surely I have been filling in the gaps as I find them.

Here are the latest editions to my collection...

Susan Sings Songs From Sesame Street  Ahh, the lovely Susan and her soulful vocal chords.

Sesame Street Just the Two of Us (Double Album)   
Just the Two of us includes the quintessential Cookie Monster - "C" is for Cookie album and Grover Sings!

Just the Two of Us Gatefold.  While you are listening, help cookie monster find the magic cookie!
The Village Soul Choir Sesame Street Theme  The most soulful Sesame Street version I have ever heard. 

and finally yesterday, this arrived...

Cookie Monster and the Girls - "C" is for Cookie (Ninja Tune Records)
That is my grail!  Not only does it have the legendary Larry Levan's first ever disco mix on it, it also has an unstoppable DJ Food edit of the Pinball Number Song by the Pointer Sisters.  I have been wanting that song on record since I was a kid, and now finally, I got it!  DJ Food edits this down to the meat and potatoes without detracting from the original in any way.  He made it mix friendly, and I am forever thankful.   LISTEN TO A SNIPET of it at Official Periodic Forum. 

Yeah, I know, I'm still missing countless important Sesame Street joints.  On the top of my list is the obscure and elusive Roosevelt Franklin records.

Long story short, this collection serves two valuable purposes.  It not only brings back fond childhood memories, it also has become my yet-to-be-used Hip Hop sample pallet.  There will be a Sesame Street themed album or mix coming out of my studio at some point.  I can't wait to put this innocent throw-back vibe in ya ears.  Stay tuned, I'll drop an update here once it's materialized. 

See also: Sesame Street Discography
 As always, comments, and recommendations are absolutely welcome here, add on!


  1. Can't wait for this mix!

    Here's the great Dj Hudsons mix with the kinda the same theme. It's got the song "little Birdy" by Wyntan Marceles from Peanuts. So so great!

  2. what year did C is for Cookie come out? I'm confused... was it on Ninja Tune? DJ Food is on it??

    Badass Sesame Street collection. Roosevelt Franklin is hard to find fer sher.

  3. Sorry I didn't reply earlier Rafferty Records... "C" is for Cookie came out on LP originally in 1974. See > http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/C_is_for_Cookie_%28LP%29

    Then came out on 12" single with Larry Levans version in 1978. See > http://www.discogs.com/Cookie-Monster-And-Girls-C-Is-For-Cookie/release/1940753

    Finally Ninja Tune Reissued it as a short run pressing in 2003 with originals and an exclusive edit by DJ Food of the Pinball Number Song.
    See >

    ^If you are going to get one, get that latest one.

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