April 12, 2011

Brought To You By The Letters O And G: Roosevelt Franklin

year_of_roosevelt_franklin.jpg

Funky Frolic's excellent Sesame Beat playlist contains some groovy classics from the 'Street itself, with a few covers and remixes thrown in for flava.

And once again, it's probably only news to me, but hey-ho, Roosevelt Franklin had an album?? The Year of Roosevelt Franklin was released in 1971, and re-released in 1974 as My Name Is Roosevelt Franklin.

Franklin was the Muppet ego of Matt Robinson, the original Gordon, and one of the driving forces behind the original incarnation of Sesame Street as an educational TV program designed to teach basic preschool facts to ghetto kids. Robinson designed the African American Muppets with Jim Henson, and voiced the character until 1975, several years after leaving his on-camera role.

Franklin turned out to be too rowdy and black for the show, which apparently pissed Robinson off, but then, he went on to write and produce The Cosby Show, so it's complicated. As for Franklin, I assume he went to Howard and Penn and is now a lawyer in Philadelphia.

Though he may be thinking of getting the band back together. My Name Is Roosevelt Franklin was reissued in October 2010 as part of the Sesame Street Old School 2 3-CD Set.

FF008 Sesame Beat - Various Artists [funkyfrolic via dt reader rolf]
Matt Robinson [wikipedia]

1 Comment

I had to drop by and find out what was happening when I noticed traffic from your site to Funky Frolic. I'm glad you liked my mix! Just to let you know, some of the other tracks I used came from "Sesame Street Fever", "Sesame Disco" and "Soul Sesame Street".

There is an excellent blog called Franklin's Mint which has a whole heap of SS related music along with lots of other cool stuff. You might want to check it out.

All the best, Craig.

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