Damn, That's A Fonky Puppet
:: Roosevelt Franklin Counts ::
:: Days Of The Week ::
:: Mobity Moseley's Months ::
:: Keep On Trying ::
:: The Safety Boy Blues ::
:: Just Because ::
:: The Skin I'm In ::
:: A Bear Eats Bear Food ::
:: Halfies ::
:: Me And You ::
:: Old King Midas ::
:: Roosevelt Franklin's ABC's ::
UPDATE: Entire album is up now, puppet lovers.
When I happened across this record in a box in a parking lot in Austin, Texas, still it in its thick plastic library sleeve (Kalamazoo Public School System proclaims the stamp inside), I thought I'd found something cool. I had no idea how fun and great this album would turn out to be once I actually listened to it. It's funky, it's from the heart, and if I had kids, I'd tear the X-Box controller away from them and force them to listen to this instead. Then, of course, I'd need to explain why I was then playing X-Box while they listened to some dumb old record, but that's another story.
Matt Robinson was a very gifted man. He was the original Gordon Robinson on Sesame Street, as well as Roosevelt Franklin, and is actually responsible for all the male voices on this album. He also penned all the lyrics and co-wrote all the music with Joe Raposo. Outside the cozy of environs of Sesame Street, the Philadelphia native was also a playwright and producer. He wrote for Sanford & Son, and co-produced The Cosby Show. He did it all with soul, bringing his urban flavored wisdom into the homes of mainstream America.
The lessons here are counting, knowing your months, respecting people no matter how different than you they are, looking both ways before crossing a street -- good stuff like that. It's definitely got some black flavor to it, but the message is universal, and it probably prompted a few little white kids to ask their parents what collard greens are. The only kind of messed up thing is that the Hispanic character, A.B. Cito, is a super-stereotype, and the drawing of him is just a sombrero with legs!
Matt Robinson suffered from Parkinson's for over 20 years, and passed away in 2002. He certainly left a legacy, and he gave us Holly Robinson-Peete. I think my favorite line on here is from the song The Skin I'm In: "So if you look at me funny, I'll look at you funny, too." That's pretty sage for a puppet. It was really hard to pick just a few songs, so here's all of side one and some of side 2.