These are just a few of the many Sesame Street records that were produced in the 70's and 80's.
When Sesame Street began in November 1969 nobody knew for certain just how successful the show would become. Of course Sesame Street was a huge hit on television, so much so that the program and it's Muppet characters spawned a merchandizing bonanza of toys, housewares, books and clothing which continues to this day, almost 50 years later. Although toys and other Sesame merchandise were very popular, during the 1970's the most critical aspect to the shows marketing was a very extensive offering of Sesame Street record albums. There was major demand for Sesame records and they took the children's music industry by storm, becoming a juggernaut for sales. As such, many record manufacturing companies wanted in on the action including Columbia, RCA, Disney, K-TEL, CBC, CBS, and Warner.
So how many records were there? Let me put it to you this way: I've been collecting these Sesame records since my childhood and have yet to find them all!
Below is a list of 99 Sesame Street records, of which I have 42 so almost half of the collection. Titles that are highlighted in the list are the images shown from my collection. Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version. Titles that are not highlighted are the records that I'm missing. If you know of any other Sesame records that are not on this list (the text list, not the photos!), please leave a comment or e-mail me so that I can add it here. I've organized this list by date, with the CTW 's (Children's Television Workshop's) own series of records noted first for each year followed by any additional records released by other companies.
Lastly, I have not included the smaller 45 RPM records as they will require their own blog page, which is a project for another day!
CR 21530 Sesame Street: Original Cast Record
Front Cover showing the infamous orange version of Oscar the Grouch used in the pilot episode. This album was released in two versions, this one which has a standard cover, and the one shown below which has a fold open cover and book pages attached inside. Some of the photos on this cover were included on pages of the book. The songs on both records are the same.
One of the things that I find interesting about these two records is that it's clear CTW wasn't quite sure how to market the program, and didn't yet realize the power of the Muppet characters. The focus is on the people with the puppets as the additional content on the side, in the background or used as decoration. Compare these covers with the following year's record, the 1971 Muppet Alphabet Album (shown a little further below), and you can see the huge difference it made to put the colourful Muppets front and centre!
Also to be noted is the early version of the Sesame street sign logo, which doesn't have "CTW" on it yet.
CS 1069 The Sesame Street Book and Record: Original Cast
Inside of the folding cover with book pages and an illustration of the orange Oscar. The Beautiful Day Monster was also featured as one of the main characters. In my experience when these albums turn up the book pages are usually torn out and missing, so it can be tricky to find these book albums undamaged with all their pages.
1334 Rubber Duckie and other Songs from Sesame Street
It's interesting that none of the Muppet characters are shown on the album cover.
The back cover is below.
The Year of Roosevelt Franklin
(I don't have this record so I can't check which company released it. As such I've listed the company as unknown. It may have been produced by Columbia records as it was listed as such on the back of one of my Sesame records, but I'm not certain if the original 1971 record was by the same company. The record was later reissued in 1974 as part of the CTW Sesame record series under the title "My Name is Roosevelt Franklin", shown further below.)
CC 25503 The Muppet Alphabet Album starring Jim Henson's Muppets from Sesame Street
Unfortunately I'm missing the actual record and just have the cover! The back cover has a letter written by Jim Henson about the creation of the record. It's also interesting to note that the Sesame street sign logo is nowhere to be seen, which suggests that this record was a project of the Henson company rather than CTW. Jim Henson shrewdly retained ownership of the Muppet characters, so this record is likely one of the earliest results of that business move.
The front cover for this record shows a nice illustration of the main cast of Sesame Muppets at this point. Oscar is now green, however Herry Monster's nose is still blue instead of purple. Ernie now has his blue and red striped shirt rather than the orange, red, yellow and purple stripes seen above. Prairie Dawn makes a rare appearance on the cover of a record as the only female character shown.
Inside folding cover. The album original came with chalk and 26 die-cut letters, as well as a "make a letter bender" which looks like it was a craft store pipe cleaner.
Warner Bros. Records
BS 2569 The Official Sesame Street 2 Book and Record Album
Front Cover with an early version of the street sign logo. the "CTW" is depicted at the top centre of the sign likely for the first time on a record cover! Matt Robinson is still Gordon. Guy Smiley makes a rare appearance on the cover of a Sesame record (possibly his only appearance!). This is also likely the only time both Prairie Dawn and Betty Lou are seen together on the cover of a Sesame record.
1343 Songs From Sesame Street 2
This was the follow up to the 1970 Disneyland Sesame Street record.
Unknown date, early 1970's
Susan sings songs from Sesame Street
RCA / Camden
CAS-1127 Sesame Street, Rubber Duckie and other Songs from Sesame Street: The Richard Wolf Children's Chorus
This record looks like a bootleg album as there is no copyright information for the producers of Sesame Street or the composers of the original songs. It simply states "Public performance clearance - ASCAP" which seems rather sketchy. Me thinks somebody owes somebody some royalties!
1974, Assortment 1
This was a big year for the Sesame Street record series. Following up on the success of the original cast album, the CTW company released over 25 Sesame records which were all extremely popular. At some point during this time Hal Miller takes over as Gordon and is featured on the album covers in place of Matt Robinson, yet we still have Matt doing the voice of Roosevelt Franklin on the records! The purple Muppet boy, with all his cool and confidence, was still a main character and had been heavily marketed as part of Sesame toy lines and books.
Sesame Records (These have standard album covers)
CTW 22051 Bert's Block Busters
CTW 22052 The Electric Company
CTW 22053 Bob and Susan Sing Songs from Sesame Street
CTW 22054 Tu Me Gustas (I Like You)
CTW 22055 Letters and Numbers
CTW 22056 Ernie's Hits
CTW 22057 Sing the Hit Songs from Sesame Street
CTW 22058 "C" is for Cookie
CTW 22059 Big Bird Sings!
CTW 22060 Somebody Come and Play
CTW 22061 Let a Frown Be Your Umbrella
CTW 22062 Pete Seeger and Brother Kirk Visit Sesame Street
CTW 22063 Sesame Street Story Time
CTW 22064 Sesame Street 1 - Original Cast
CTW 22065 Sesame Street Zoo
CTW 22066 Grover Sings the Blues
CTW 22067 My Name is Roosevelt Franklin (This is a reissue of the 1971 record)
LP Packages (These have fold open album covers. I do not know what a "Carry About" record is.)
CS 1069 Sesame Street 1 - Original Cast (CBS) [released in 1970, shown above]
BS 2569 Sesame Street 2 - Original Cast (WB) [released in 1971, shown above]
BS 2636 The Electric Company - Original Cast (WB)
KS 32343 Sesame Street Live! (CBS)
C 30387 The Year of Roosevelt Franklin (CRA) [released in 1971]
CC 25503 The Muppet Alphabet Album (CRA) [released in 1971, shown above]
CC 25504 The Muppet Alphabet Album Carry About (CRA)
CC 25505 Havin' Fun with Ernie & Bert Carry About (CRA)
CC 25506 Havin' Fun with Ernie & Bert (CRA)
CC 25509 Sesame Street Carry About (CRA)
CTW25507 Sesame Mucho! (English-Spanish) (CRA)
The Electric Company was a separate children's TV series produced by CTW, the same company that made Sesame Street. So naturally they included a record in their Sesame Street series to promote their other TV show. That's Morgan Freeman in the top row as Easy Reader!
This record has a folding cover with what looks to be a game board inside. The cover opens into three sections. The label on the record itself has a small illustration of Ernie on side 1 and Bert on side 2. Below is the back cover to show the illustrations.
1974, Assortment 2
CTW 22068 Bert & Ernie Sing Along
CTW 22069 The Count Counts
CTW 22071 The Sesame Street Monsters!
CTW 25516 Merry Christmas from Sesame Street (CRA)
Introduced in late 1972, the Count was so popular that a little over a year later he had his own record!
I especially like this album because Frazzle is on the cover! Frazzle is awesome!
This record has a folding cover. The inside is shown below. Gordon is now being played by a bearded Roscoe Orman as depicted below, top left side.
Betty Lou turns up again on a Sesame record.
KF 142 Sesame Street: 25 Greatest Hits
You can't get more Canadian in the 70's than K-Tel records! K-Tel records were usually advertised on TV to be mail ordered or ordered over the phone but sometimes a popular K-Tel record would later be sold in stores. This one says "As advertised on television" which suggests that it was being sold in stores. Below is the back cover.
CTW22072 The Frog Prince (CRA)
CTW22073 The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (CRA)
These records are based on two Muppet specials that Jim Henson recorded in the early 1970's in Toronto, Canada. As such they have nothing to do with Sesame Street other than Kermit! None the less, these records were released by CTW as part of the Sesame record series and are listed on the back of Sesame record covers from 1977 and onward.
1977, Assortment 1
CTW 22074 Sesame Street 2 - Original Cast
CTW 22075 Concert On Stage - Live!
CTW 22076 Let Your Feelings Show!
CTW 22077 Signs!
CTW 22550 Sesame Mucho! (Originally released as LP Package CTW25507)
CTW 79001 Gold!: The Best of Sesame Street Limited Edition two record set (There is also a listing for "CTW 89006 Sesame Street Gold" which may be the same record.)
This record has a fold open cover, the inside is shown below. The large gold record on the cover along with the "Gold!" title and the trim around the Sesame street sign logo were made with a shiny, reflective gold surface. Betty Lou finally gets some attention with the main cast! You go girl! :)
1977, Assortment 2
CTW 22078 Happy Birthday from Sesame Street
CTW 22079 Numbers!
CTW 22080 Big Bird Leads the Band
CTW 22081 The Sesame Street Fairy Tale Album
CTW 22082 Sleepytime Bird
CTW 22083 Aren't You Glad You're You?
CTW 22084 Bob Sings!
Unfortunately I'm missing the actual record for this one! Little Jerry and the Monotones along with Biff the construction worker make their debut on the cover of a Sesame record! Biff is later featured on a record again in 1979 (shown further below) called "The Stars Come Out on Sesame Street".
The conductor in this photo is none other than Carroll Spinney himself, puppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. (Unfortunately some blue paint got spilled on this one near the top.)
CTW 79005 Sesame Street Fever
SFT 79005 Special Disco Remix of the Original Sesame Street Fever
This Sesame Street record was a huge success and it's popularity lasted several years from the late 70's through to the early 1980's. The cool thing about this record is that it is actually from the disco era of music, so it is a genuine disco album for children! The cover is a parody mimicking the cover for the 1977 soundtrack of the film "Saturday Night Fever" which starred John Travolta. The soundtrack included the Bee Gee's hit song "Stayin' Alive" which was a huge hit that year and was still extremely popular the following year in 1978 when this Sesame record was released. The cover folds open to show Grover, as Travolta, doing some additional disco dance moves, seen below.
The back cover says "Robin Gibb appears courtesy of RSO Records" but it doesn't say specifically what role Mr. Gibb had on this record. Robin Gibb was one of the Bee Gees who created the album that this one is a parody of.
This record is an oddball as it's not listed on the back of any of the Sesame records, so I had no idea that it even existed until I found it at a second hand record store. It also has a weird number, SFT 79005, which doesn't fit with the CTW numbers but reuses the one for the original Sesame Street Fever album. However the weirdest thing of all is that the Sesame Muppets aren't shown on the front or back covers. The back cover is below. The same six songs as the Sesame Street Fever record are included. I have yet to listen to the record but I assume the tracks are mixed differently. Tress bizarre!
CTW 79006 Anne Murray Sings (This one may not have been released until 1982. I don't have the record so I can't check the date.)
CTW 79007 The Stars Come Out on Sesame Street
CTW 79008 Sesame Disco!
This is an impressive record with stars such as Ray Charles and Johnny Cash!
The cover folds open, shown below.
Riding the wave of success from the Sesame Street Fever album comes this third disco themed record, appropriately titled Sesame Disco! One of my favourite Sesame songs is on this album... Disco Frog! The four Sesame Muppets who were featured on the cover of Sesame Street Fever are wearing the same disco outfits and the record album design is done in a similar style as the "Fever" album. Once again, the cover folds open, as shown below.
CTW 89001 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
CTW 89002 The Anniversary Album
(I don't know what year these first two albums were released so I'm listing them here to keep them in numbered order)
CTW 89003 Sesame Country
This cover folds open, shown below. It's quite remarkable how boring the inside of this album is considering the amount of work that went into some of the previous Sesame records. I would have thought that by the early 1980's there would be an archive of western themed Sesame photos that they could have reused just for the sake of decorating this record. The other odd thing about this record album design is that it doesn't promote at all that there are actual Country singers on the record. In fact Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker each have a song on the record.
Kids Records / CBC
KRL 1001 Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch: Camping in Canada
This record was a co-production between CTW and the Canada's national broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). A message on the back of the record states that in November 1970, one year after the debut of Sesame Street, the CBC's English language station was "the first network beyond the United States to broadcast Sesame Street". The back cover also shows some post cards written by Big Bird.
Several of these records were likely released before 1982 however as I don't have all of them to see what the date is on the record, the earliest listing I can find regarding these records on the back of a Sesame album cover from 1982.
Sesame Street Records
CTW 22086 Sesame Street Story Time
CTW 22087 On the Street Where We Live
CTW 22088 Fair is Fair
CTW 22089 At Home With Ernie and Bert
CTW 22090 Every Body's Record
CTW 22091 Welcome!
CTW 22092 The People in Your Neighborhood
CTW 22093 Big Bird's Birdtime Stories
CTW 22094 The Things I Love (Also listed as "Love")
CTW 22095 Big Bird Discovers the Orchestra
CTW 22096 Grin & Giggle with Big Bird
CTW 22097 For the First Time
CTW 22098 Sesame Street Sing-Along
CTW 25517 What Time is it on Sesame Street
CTW 25518 David - Daydreamin' on a Rainy Day
CTW 25520 Sing, Sang Song Singalong
CTW 79009 Dinah! I've Got a Song
CTW 79014 Getting Ready For School (This record has a standard cover that does not open)
CTW 89004 Bert and Ernie Side by Side
CTW 89005 The Count Presents Numbers
CTW 89007 Just the Two of Us
CTW 89008 Just Friends
The Honkers make their debut on the cover of a record.
CTW 22101 Surprise!
CTW 22102 The Gangs All Here!
CTW 22103 My Record
CTW 22104 Born to Add
CTW 22105 The Best of Cookie Monster
CTW 22106 The Best of Ernie
CTW 22107 The Best of Bert
CTW 22108 The Best of Big Bird
CTW 22109 The Best of Grover
CTW 22110 The Best of The Count
CTW 22111 The Best of Oscar the Grouch
CTW 79015 Hans Christian Andersen
CTW 79016 Exercise!
Unfortunately I'm missing the actual record for this one.
KRL 1014 If You're Happy and You Know It, Sing Along with Bob McGrath, Vol 2
This is not an actual Sesame Street record, it is a solo effort by Bob McGrath who performed Bob on Sesame Street. The record was produced and made in Toronto, Canada. Kids Records is the same company that produced the Camping in Canada record in 1981 (shown above). At least two of the same musicians from the Camping in Canada record played on this one.
CBLI-5475 Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird (RCA)
This is the soundtrack for the first Sesame Street movie that played in cinemas. It was an excellent film and the soundtrack is just as much fun. I used to play this record a lot. In addition to the Sesame Muppets it has songs by Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Milsap and Alabama. The plot of the film makes use of all the Sesame characters who drive actual cars, which I though was a really cool idea. I especially like the Count's Countmobile! The cars were also featured on several episodes of the TV series throughout the 80's. This movie was shot in Toronto, Canada and is one of my favourite Muppet films.
Also noteworthy, Telly Monster makes a rare appearance on the cover of a Sesame record, seen in the car with Oscar. To my knowledge this is also the first appearance of Super Grover on a Sesame record cover.
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Text copyright Mikey Artelle, 2017