|For Children and Adults, Alike: A Tribute to Joe Raposo
In the dawning of the 1970s, while I was toddling about in front of the television, an educationally cutting-edge and sophisticated children's program was just getting its wings, taking kids my age--and even those a little older--soaring to new heights. SESAME STREET, with it's culturally expansive curriculum, social relevance, and alpha-numeric panache would eventually become the companion to another of my soon to be favorite shows, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.
What made these daily doses of com/passionate pedagogy all the more memorable were the 1:00-to -3:00 minute songs incorporated throughout, ranging from punctuated funk to miniature epic scores for live-action or animated sequences.
Joe Raposo (1937-1989), the composer of these soundtracks to our young lives, lived a brief but profound existence, enhancing our day-to-day world with brilliant, musical methods of getting us to retain and sharpen our elementary learning tools.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker like myself, you might be interested to learn that he was also responsible for "Moving Pictures," the :30 second theme for the WABC-TV 4:30 Movie.
It is aural memorabilia at its best, all from the same man who wrote everything from those sweetly emphatic instrumental sountracks for the children-and-nature montage sequences, to the bass-in-your-face-meets-the-kickin'-B3/Rhodes of "The Pinball Song".
That rousing and dynamic score to introduce the original made-for-television movies of the 1970s is of a different world, perhaps a little more grown up, exuding a certain urgency that children might anticipate with a longing sense of adventure and intrigue, what an adult may subconsciously perceive as a cue--a reminder--that life should be no less exciting just because they've been around a bit longer.
I remain excited, in part because Joe Raposo's music--having been an influence on my own compositions-- continues to keep me emotionally anchored in the waters of today's social uncertainty, and that I am honored to have my version of one of his songs, "Everybody Sleeps" included in a tribute album due for a release later this year.
I am pleased to be in the company of the very talented and insightful producer Jonathan Donalson, who passionately spearheaded this project, and to also share billing with fellow contributing artists including A Girl Called Eddy, The BMX Bandits, Orwell, Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), The Green Fields, The Simple Carnival, Scott & Shelby Hunt, The Paula Kelley Orchestra, The Mercy James Gang, Brian Dewan, The Nimbleines, and The Universe Society, Harvey Williams, Jenifer Jackson, Paul Steel, Future Pilot AKA, La Casa Azul, and Silvergirl.
Thanks to Jonathan for keeping Joe's spirit alive, and thanks to Joe for keeping the youthful exuberance in each of us, thriving.