Happy Holidays, one and all!
Oh, and you too, Mom.
I wish I could be equally as cheery about the “Death Report” this month, but….
It’s so hard to be cheery about the “Death Report”.
I’m heartbroken to announce that we lost another “Sesame Street” alumnus. Remember in one of our articles I mentioned that Emilio Delgado (Maria’s husband “Luis”) died in March? Well, now we’ve lost Bob!
Yes, Bob! Bob McGrath, who played the music teacher on “Sesame Street”.
He was 90 and apparently it was complications from a stroke.
I had no idea Bob was the music teacher! And I’m only just now finding out he could sing—I mean, really well!
The weird thing was I had just watched “Elmo Saves Christmas” a day or two ago…
I hadn’t seen it in years! Remember “Did Bob send Shana a Penny?” You wrote that in my Baby Book.
Anyway, I guess he had a good life but it’s still a sad way to go. He was beloved by many generations of children! I’ll also never get over the fact that the reason he was dropped from the show was most likely because of age-ism.
Weren’t all the original cast members fired at the same time? Bob, Luis, Gordon, Maria…?
Maria retired! She got to go on her own terms.
I think we wrote about it in this quiz:
In July 2016, Sesame Workshop announced he would not return for the next season because they were “retooling” the show.
Yes, that’s exactly when we wrote about it!
The same thing happened to Emilio Delgado (Luis) and Roscoe Orman (Gordon). One cast member that wasn’t let go was said to be at least 20 years younger.
Also, something people may not have known about Bob. Before “Sesame Street”, Bob McGrath was apparently a well-known recording artist in Japan!
Yes, Mom! He sang on Japanese TV five nights a week! In fact, here’s something I’ll bet no one has ever seen before! It’s Bob as a contestant on “To Tell The Truth”, a popular game show from the ’60’s. The panel is introduced to Bob and 2 imposters who all claim to be Bob McGrath. The panel has to guess which one is telling the truth! In the end, the real Bob sings “Danny Boy” in Japanese, it’s really something to see!
It’s just weird to think about the things people did before they became famous.
Anyway, if you were to ask what Bob is best remembered for on Sesame Street? It’s probably the song, “People In Your Neighborhood,” and I wanted to show that, but the Death Report is long again, and given that I’ve already opted to show the “Danny Boy” spot, I should probably go out with, “Keep Christmas With You” because hello, it’s the Holidays!
It’s good to see that you’re always thinking, Shana.
Rest in peace, Bob, you brought joy to millions of children around the world—especially me!
Now, this is quite sad. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fleetwood Mac.
Of course! I’m not an idiot!
Well, we lost one of their most beloved vocalists,
Christine McVie at 79. She was the keyboard player. And her voice can be heard on many songs, including:
You Make Loving Fun
Say You Love Me
Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
In fact, let’s play “The Chain” right now. Of the 3 vocalists in the video, Christine is the one on the left, Stevie Nicks is in the center and Lindsey Buckingham is on the right. What an amazing band, they put the rest to shame:
Did you know she had a solo album called “Christine Perfect” before joining the band?
I did not know that. RIP, Christine, we will miss you, thank you for so many Perfect songs!
Finally, the Founder of Stax Records, Jim Stewart, passed away at 92.
Wow, the founder of Stax Records died? OMG! What an unlikely duo to have founded “Soulsville USA”!
Jim bought an abandoned movie theater and turned it into a recording studio. For roughly 15 years, the greatest soul songs in America came out of either Stax or its sister label, Volt. Perhaps the most recognizable tune on Stax is “Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s:
And you can’t forget “Soul Man” by Sam and Dave, written by Isaac Hayes:
Jim founded the label with his sister Estelle (pictured above). If you’ve ever wondered where the name “Stax” came from it was a conflation of their last names: Stewart and Axton.
I did not know that.
Estelle literally had to mortgage her house twice to create the record label (originally called Satellite Records but they had to change the name after discovering there already was a Satellite Records).
At first they simply needed better recording equipment, but the second time Estelle mortgaged her house, it was to buy the old Capitol theater, which became the iconic Stax studios (also referred to as “Soulsville USA”).
Take a peek inside Stax, 1967, vintage footage which we’re lucky to have. Here you’ll see Brook Benton recording a side which unfortunately did not become a hit but you get to hear his beautiful voice anyway; you’ll see Booker T and the MG’s rehearsing “Time Is Tight”, you’ll see the Memphis Horns, including Isaac Hayes, rehearsing the horn part to The Emotions “So I Can Love You”, and a few random other things:
Today, Stax is a museum, much like Motown in Detroit. Mild-mannered Jim Stewart from Memphis, Tennessee, who worked in a bank during the day, borrowed money from his sister—twice—and created a multi-million dollar music extravaganza with over 250 chart-topping hits that are all fondly remembered!
Can we possibly start the Quiz now?
Who’s in it this time?
I’m afraid I am.
Why? What happened to you?
Remember my pain in the neck? (Don’t worry, your case is in “Tidbits”.)
You know, the tick bite!
But first me! It was a dark and lonely afternoon….
It was sunny and gay!
Not to me it wasn’t! Have you ever had a pain in the neck?
I don’t think so.
Well, believe me, everything turns dark! I think they call it a “crick” in the neck? But anyway, there was nothing I could do about it! It hurt to turn my head a certain way, and that way kept changing all the time! I couldn’t rest, I couldn’t lie comfortably. It was the left side of my neck, if that matters. I kept thinking if I could just put a pillow or something supportive under my neck so I could stretch my head all the way back, or if I could just get a really deep massage…but what’s the likelihood of that happening?! So, eventually I realized my only hope was to take a remedy! So, I went in the bedroom and got ________1M and guess what?
In half an hour the pain was gone!!!!
And it never came back! OK, everybody, if you know what the remedy was, write to me at [email protected]. The answer will be in the January ezine. [Ed. note: the answer is right here, click below:]
And going out….remember the video above, a peek inside Stax? The song the horn section was rehearsing was for “So I Can Love You” by The Emotions. Let’s listen to the finished product now. See if you can hear where the horns came in; great arrangement, Isaac Hayes!
Bye, see you again next year!
Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom
Elaine takes online cases. Write to her at [email protected]
Visit her website: https://ElaineLewis.hpathy.com