Picks and Pans Review: Sesame Country
Children's Television Workshop
When they let their fur down, all those Sesame Street folks are just a bunch of good ol' Muppets. In fact, they almost seem cut from the same cloth as Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker, who all guest on this happily whimsical LP that camouflages some nice lessons for kids with entertainment for everyone. The music, most of it by Dennis Scott and Paul Parnes, is enjoyable and sprightly, if sanitized, Country & Western. Instead of cheating lovers, the subject is taking turns; instead of a hard drinker, there's a pastryholic, in The Last Cookie Roundup ("Get along little cookies/Me eat you today," arfs Cookie Monster). The band includes Nashville standbys Charlie McCoy on harmonica, Buddy Spicher on fiddle and Russ Hicks on pedal steel guitar. The guest stars seem to have fun, too. Campbell sends up his usual sunny image, singing Keep on Smilin' while Oscar the Grouch insists the lyric should be "keep on frownin'." Lynn finds the perfect duet partner for Count on Me—Count Von Count. (Loretta sings, "We'll count the stars that come out at night," and the Count adds, "and every wolf call till the morning's light.") Big Bird even joins Tucker on You'll Never Take the Texas out of Me. Resourceful Jim Henson and his friends Carroll Spinney, Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson had something to do with this most amiable project, too.
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