Sesame Street - The Alphabet, Songs, Famous People and Celebrities - YouTube Finds

Diva singing the alphabet opera style. Photo courtesy google images.
Diva singing the alphabet opera style. Photo courtesy google images.

Joshua Radin Sesame Street song Scrubs

Sesame Street's Susan Sings The Alphabet

For decades, famous celebrities have graced Sesame Street and the Sesame Street audiences with guest appearances, bringing with them some wonderful singing, song, dance, comedy, encouragement, and more.

My love of Sesame Street started back in '71. Yes, way back then, almost 40 years ago. It was one of the most educational foundations available to children of every race, creed, and economic level. In fact it was one of the only children's shows period.

As some of you may know, my parents were immigrants from Greece. Language was a bit of a barrier, but they got by. Teaching me, however, was not so easy. They, themselves, were still trying to learn.

It was television that in large part got me there those early childhood years. Sesame Street was, of course a major blessing. It seems I was lucky to be born when I was. It was a new concept in educational television. I am here to say it was a most beneficial concept.

On Sesame Street, children are challenged in many different ways, on many different levels to learn the basics of language, math, geography, social, emotional, and environmental issues. It does so with routine, and with wonderful surprises mixed in.

As I was researching for my latest series, I came across memory after memory of... Sesame Street. One thing many of my favorite famous comediennes had in common, was their appearance on this beloved show. In fact it was on Sesame Street that I first encountered many of the great celebrities I later came to love and admire.

Now if you think the alphabet song is a simple song, that can only be said or sung one way, think again. The great celebrities that took their time out to grace Sesame Street, also graced us wih wonderful renditions of the alphabet. Some sang it. Some recited it. Some had fun with it. Some were very serious about it. Some had trouble with it (not really of course).

At any rate I doubt my memories of Sesame Street will ever leave me. Thought I'd bring back some memories or make some new ones for all of you, in appreciation of these beautiful people and this long loved show. Hope you all enjoy and share.

Celebrities Sing Alphabet Song on Sesame Street

Sesame Street - James Earl Jones recites the alphabet

JAMES EARL JONES

  • Born January 17, 1931
  • Best known for the Voice of Darth Vader (Star Wars series) and Moufasa (The Lion King)
  • Career began on stage in 1950
  • First film roll in Dr. Strangelove (1964) as Lt. Zogg
  • Winner of two Emmy awards in 1991, one Golden Globe award in 1971, Life Achievement award in 2009, and winner of aTony Award in 1969 and 1987 consecutively.
  • Made test films for Sesame Street in 1969 while it was still in testing stages. He was the first celebrity to appear on Sesame Street. Clips from the testing period were used.

Sesame Street - Jackie Robinson recites the Alphabet

JACKIE ROBINSON

  • January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972
  • First African American Major League Baseball player to break the color line in Major League Baseball.
  • Threw and batted right
  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1947-1956
  • This clip was filmed sometime in his last years. No readily available records to indicate exactly when, but when compared to James Earl Jones and others' clips, it seems it may have been taken during the testing stages of Sesame Street.

Classic Sesame Street - Richard Pryor's alphabet

RICHARD PRYOR

A few small facts:

  • December 1, 1940 - December 10, 2005
  • Comedian
  • Winner of five Grammy Awards for best comedy album, Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy 1993, one Emmy for his writing in Lily.
  • Wrote for shows such as Sanford and Son, and The Flip Wilson Show in the 70's.
  • He was a guest host for the first season of Saturday Night Live.
  • Co-wrote Blazing Saddles.
  • Was known for his profanity.
  • Was in 50 films during his career
  • Made own show similar to Sesame Street called Pryors Place, which was short lived.

Sesame Street - Bill Cosby alphabet

BILL COSBY

  • Born July 12, 1937
  • Still married to Camille Hanks since 1964
  • 5 Children (with Camille)
  • Creator and Host of Fat Albert (1970's), The Cosby Show (1980's), Little Bill (1999+)
  • First black star of a dramatic television series, I Spy
  • Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Has written 11 books.


Sesame Street: Alphabet with Lou Rawl

LOU RAWLS

  • December 1, 1933 - January 6, 2006 (died of cancer)
  • American Soul, Jazz, and Blues Singer from 1950's-2006
  • Sang National Anthem at the Earnie Shavers-Muhammad Ali title fight at Madison Square Gardens. He would sing it many more times in the next 28 years.
  • He recited the alphabet in a segmant of Sesame Street during its first season.

Sesame Street - The Pointer Sisters Alphabet Song

THE POINTER SISTERS

  • Anita, Ruth, and Issa Pointer from Oakland, California.
  • Debut album - The Pointer Sisters - debuted in 1973. Their first hit was off this album - Yes We Can Can.
  • There were 5 sisters altogether. They started as a quarted but became a trio in 1977 when two dropped out and one joined.
  • This clip was done after 1977
  • Other popular songs: I'm So Excited (1982), Neutron Dance (1984), Slow Hand (1981), and Fire (1978).


My favorite one of all! - LENA HORNE and Muppets Sing The Alphabet

  • Born June 30, 1917
  • Singer of pop, opera, and Jazz.
  • actress
  • In 1933 Lena joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club, as the start of her career.
  • She later went to Hollywood and had quite a film career.
  • Lena also starred on television and loved her nightclub acts.
  • In the '50's Lena Horne was blacklisted for her political views.
  • In the '70's she played herself on shows such as Sanford and Son, The Muppet Show, and Sesame street.
  • To hear Lena sing Stormy Weather, in the MGM movie of the same name, the movie which began her skyrocket to fame, go to Sunday Afternoon Classics - Lena Horne.


Sesame Street - Billy Joel Sings The Alphabet

BILLY JOEL

  • Born May 9, 1949
  • Singer/musician of pop/ pop rock
  • Had top 10 hits in 70's, 80's and 90's - 33 top 40 hits in US
  • Was married to Model Christie Brinkley (1985-1994) and had one daughter. This was his second of three marriages.
  • The songs "This Night" and "And So It Goes" were written about his relationship with Model/Actress Elle Macpherson.
  • He appeared on Sesame Street in 1988.


Here's Dennis Franz reciting the alphabet on Sesame Street with Telly Monster

DENNIS FRANZ

  • Born October 28, 1944
  • Began careen at the Organic Theater Company in Chicago.
  • Because of his look, he was typecast as a police officer throughout his career.
  • He guest starred in shows like the A-Team and later had a major role in Hill Street Blues.
  • He won four Emmy's for his character Andy on NYPD Blue.


Patti Labelle sings The Alphabet on Sesame Street

PATTI LABELLE

Born May 24th 1944.

Singer-songwriter, actress. (She has been in seven movies, her first with Richard Pryor in 1979 - a documentary. Her scenes were deleted. The last movie she appeared in as of the time of this article was in 2009 entitled Mama, "I Want to Sing!"

Known for her wild hairdos.

For a funny story about Patti Labelle, read this article entitled Horror: Night of the Living LaBelle by Christopher Reilly.

*all videos courtesy YouTube

*all alphabet graphics by Frieda Babbley c 2009

 

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTERS: F, B, AND BY THE NUMBER: 1

Comments 34 comments

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Wonderful muppet memories, hey that could be your next one. Seriously good fun!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Great idea! Can I use that title? Darn Cris A and his nostalgia piece. It's like a faucet opened up over here. I can't write fast enough I tell you. The fun part now is piecing it all together.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Loved sesame street, and so did my son, only time he sat still for any length of time lol Great videos and memories.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Thanks Hawkesdream. I'm getting more proficient at keywords to finding videos. It's tricky sometimes. It took me so long to gather these because I kept getting sidetracked by so many of my favorite bits from dear Sesame Street. What would my life be like if I'd never seen it? I mean it was such a huge part of my life. I even enjoyed it in my teens and 20's and a bit of my 30's. If my kids watched it now, so would I! And I'd sing along!


ralwus 7 years ago

Quite the hub dear. Reminds me of Mozart's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star piece, brilliant. Ever heard that? I was too old when Sesame Street was introduced, but my kids grew up on it, now I have grandkids enjoying it. Keep up the good stuff girl.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

What a great idea for a hub. This uses the attributes of HubPages to great effect -- and it's way cool!


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Frieda, terrific hub...really enjoyed it. Nice job.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Oh, of course I remember it Mr.Walrus. That is a classic! Thanks, glad you enjoyed.

Thank you, Teresa. Way cool is right. I don' t suppose you ever got to watch Sesame Street, did you?

Thanks alekhouse. Memories, huh?


Iphigenia 7 years ago

I LOVED this hub - my daughter grew up atching and learning from Sesame Street - and of course, I had to watch with her. Such fun - my favourite was the ummer "Animal" ........


raiderfan profile image

raiderfan 7 years ago from Arizona

I'm watchin sesame street rite now. Coooooookie!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

I LOVE Sesame Street! Watched it and Kaptain Kangaroo almost faithfully! When I was teaching kindergarten, I used a lot of their videos. I can't get the Scrubs video to play, but I've seen the show. It's worth another watch.

Great one, Frieda!!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Iphi, yes, wonderful, isn't it? I have so many favorites!

Raiderfan, cookie! I couldn't take it when cookie monster was made to eat apples for a while. That just goes against cookie monster philosophy. It just didn't feel right.

Lauphing Mom, do you know I MET Captain Kangaroo? And that I have his autograph? Yes mam! Try the scrubs video again or the link I posted. It works fine for me and I've played it quite a bit. Thanks for watching, glad you enjoyed!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

It does not surprise me in the least that you met him, Frieda. You lead one of the most interesting lives, I swear!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Oh palease! I've only heard a handful of your stories, and believe me, my life does not compare!


Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 years ago

I loved seasame street as a kid but it did not seem as quality when my kids watched it.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Hi there Ashley Joy. You're not alone in your thinking. It's had its ups and downs I'd say. There was a short while I was rather disappointed. I haven't seen it in a long time, but I will say, I feel that often times the simpler the better. Sometimes certain changes are not such a good thing, and neither is keeping up with the Jones'. In this way, it's nice to be able to get hold of old episodes and use those. Towards the end, my kids did prefer those.


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

oh Frieda, you made me cry when I read and watched the videos here. I mean, I can remember watching when I was younger (still do) and I was in another world when was on. Amidst the horrors and abuse of my real life as a child, there would always be Sesame Street. I tried to runaway to Sesame Street twice growing up. For some reason, I knew I would be safer on Sesame Street.

Wow, Frieda. Thanks for sharing.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You are most welcome Aidy! Sesame Street was always a special place. All troubles did seem to melt while watching. I remember for years and years I wanted to grow up to be one of the people on Sesame Street, like Maria or Susan. In fact I was positive my life would lead me there. That somehow or other if I wished and believed enough, I'd find myself there. I think that's really one of the main reasons I've always wanted to live in New York (that's where it is), it started subconciously I think. I wanted to go to Mr. Hoopers store too. I really freaked out when he died. I don't know how they held themselves together enough to film after that, but I suppose that's showbiz. Thanks for sharing those thoughts, Aidy. Much appreciated.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I remember Sesame Street. When I was a child away from home, it was something that I look forward to when I would go home. This took me back to those years when it accompanied me through those lonely times. Thanks! :-)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Thank you for sharing that ripplemaker. Seems Sesame Street meant a lot to so many of us. Special place. I'm glad you shared that. Thanks. =)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Oh yes...and in our preschool now, I sometimes use Big Bird puppet when I do a little show for the kids...like to introduce a letter or a number.  Sesame Street got me huh?  LOL


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

lol. yeah, I'd say sesame street got you. But I can assure you that if I had a puppet of, say, Grover, I'd be doing the same thing!


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Frieda, thanks for the memories. I watched limited television as a child, but Sesame Street was one of the shows I watched as a child. I enjoyed the video clips. Recently I was surprised to learn from the Oprah show about the person behind the Elmo character. He was nothing like I imagined.

Thanks for the great hub. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did my six year old son... Oh the good ole days...


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Hi there, DynamicS. I'm so glad you and your son enjoyed this. What did he think of the older ones? Had he ever seen them before? Yes, the good ole days. I'll have to check out the voice behind Elmo. I bet I can find it on Oprah's site? Well I'll search. Funny what we imagine and what's really there. Thanks for commenting.


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

I really enjoyed this. I am a fan of Sesame Street way back then. My son is now a fan and I guess his future children will also be a fan. Well great hub indeed.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Really? Wonderful. I didn't know they played Sesame Street on telvision in the Philippines. It's great when you can share a show you loved as a child with your kids, isn't it? And yeah you're right, his children will probably watch it as well. That's just a fantastic thought. I'm so glad you enjoyed this JPSO138. Thank you much for stopping in. Any more medical hubs on the way? I've got to back to the cpr ones. Why is it so hard to remember? Actually it's the fear of forgetting when and if the time comes. Good to see you.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

I am a child forever as I delight in the company of your friendly and informative hubs.

IN FACT I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP ....just bask in your glow!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

epigramman, I don't want to grow up either. Thanks and so glad you enjoyed this hub. =)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Frieda, I love them too and funny alphabet songs. Check out this one:

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Crazy-ABCs-and-B...

I have a friend doing residency in St. Louis, it would be nice if you could put some of your favorite things/eats etc. in a hub for her to get some tips from.

All my best. =:)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Oh I love it. Thanks for sharing that link. Where at? Barnes or St. Mary's? Or further west? Let me know where so I can make it more specific to the area. St. Louis has lots of townships and a bunch of stuff to do depending on where you are. So like I could do a w/in 10 miles type of thing. I'll mull it over. Maybe even do a couple. I think I will. Thanks for the idea. I'll work on it this week and next week. When will your friend be coming over? Very exciting.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

I'm embarrassed to say I don't know which. I'll find out but in the meantime, I like the two or more idea and then she'll know all the hot spots. Thanks for doing this, I look forward to it too. =:)


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

There are a couple of Old School Sesame Street compilations available on DVD, but I would love for someone to put a whole season by season collection, or at least a best of each season. For the simple reason that when Sesame Street does go back in time for special episodes, you don't really get a feel for how important "David" and "Mr. Hooper" were to the fabric of the show.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Oh me too tusouldj! Me too! David and Mr. Hooper were, and no, you sure don't understand. References are made now and again, but unless you were an old school viewer, you can't appreciate those reference.

And I'm sorry, but Veggie monster should have been a new monster! Not a revamped Cookie Monster! Seriously Sesame Street, what were you thinking?


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

I LOVE your icon and had to come and see the Sesame Street gang! I must admit I am a bit out of touch with the modern characters,- Veggie Monster?!! I loved Cookie Monster! Ah, well..

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