Happy birthday, Joe Raposo

You may not know the name, but you know his music. The original Sesame Street theme song? That's his. Three's Company? Yup. Kermit's lament about Bein' Green? Oh yeah.

Joe Raposo would have turned 76 today if Non-Hodgkins lymphoma hadn't ended his life at the age of 51. That's him in the photo, standing on the far left. In his short time on Earth he lent his abundant talents to Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and countless other projects. While primarily a composer and arranger, he also showed up on screen in both Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In fact, he was the first person to perform Cookie Monster on camera!

In 2009 I had the good fortune to be cast as a version of Mr. Raposo (renamed Joe Sobrinho) in a project that was intended to be a very unofficial reboot of Sesame Street DVD. In the process I got to learn all about the man and developed enormous respect for him. I even had the privilege of working very briefly with Bob Cranshaw, the bassist Joe Raposo used for years on Sesame Street. He sat in on a recording session and coached us all. As he was leaving he pulled me in for a hug and said (I'll never forget this): "You are the spirit of Joey". Amazing.

Sadly the DVD never materialized, despite the great writing. That still bums me out, but that's show biz, innit?

Happy birthday, Joe. You were one of a kind.