Sunday, May 04, 2008

YouTubed Nostalgia Trip: James Taylor on Sesame Street

A few days ago on Twitter, longtime SLH bud Kent Beeson linked to a video of James Taylor performing on Sesame Street. He said he didn't remember it, but I sure did. It was actually one of my favorite episodes when I was little, not least because I was already familiar with Taylor because my mom listened to him. Now with the magic of YouTube I was able to see parts of the episode for the first time in a quarter of a century. Here's JT and friends performing "Jelly Man Kelly."

Two things stick out. First off, the tuba is a nice touch- gives it a whimsical and benign feel that a more conventional bassline might not have, and makes the music much more listenable whenever the kids are singing. But secondly, and more importantly, Taylor has a darn good rapport with the kids. He actually interacts with them, directing them to sing when the song reaches its refrain, then gently shushing them when it's time for the verses. It's easy to imagine the career he might have had as a children's entertainer had the recording-artist thing not worked out, and you definitely can't say that of all the guest stars on Sesame Street.


Kza said...

I'm happy that it provided such a flashback for you! The funny thing is, I only twittered it because I found it amusing that he looks kinda like Joaquin Phoenix in that clip :-)

Which isn't to say it isn't good -- I enjoyed the heck out of it the first time I saw it, which I can't say for a lot of these Sesame Street segments I've been watching lately. But I've discovered that whether or not I like it is moot -- we watch these dvds over and over and over, and before long, even the ones I used to skip, I now have memorized and internalized.

cjKennedy said...

Oh man. That was awesome. I miss being Sesame Street age sometimes.

Steve said...

Hey dude. Check the new Criterion newsletter. You're getting yer Ophuls!