Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
is TV Guide writer Michael Davis's book that chronicles the complete history of the show that pioneered educational television. I grew up on the program (who in the US didn't!?) and I'm now watching the new episodes with my own son, and the old ones thanks to the DVD reissue
. But I realize that I know next to nothing about how the Street got paved. From CNN:
"The idea they came up with was kind of radical: If you can sell kids sugared cereal and toys using Madison Avenue techniques, why couldn't you use the same techniques for teaching counting, the alphabet and basic social skills? And it works," (says Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson.)
Buy "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" (Amazon.com)
Indeed, as Davis notes in "Street Gang" (Viking), the genesis of "Sesame Street" was when the 3-year-old daughter of a Carnegie foundation executive was fascinated by television, waking up to watch the broadcast day begin and memorizing commercial jingles. He talked about his daughter with a friend, producer Joan Ganz Cooney. In the liberal ferment of the mid-'60s, both wondered whether educational TV could go beyond the staid classroom shows of the era.
Cooney became the driving force of "Sesame Street." She put together the plan, helped recruit talent, located financing and oversaw production...
Cooney didn't hold much back in telling her story to Davis, and neither did others. From its debut on November 10, 1969, the show was a hit -- within a year, it was on the cover of Time magazine -- but it was not without its personality clashes.
The original Gordon, Matt Robinson, was a producer uncomfortable in the spotlight. Northern Calloway, who played David, struggled with mental illness. The show's primary songwriters, Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, were constantly in competition; Raposo "fairly seethed with envy" when Moss' "Rubber Duckie" hit the Top 20, Davis writes. The book provides balanced biographies of a number of principals, including producer Jon Stone, whom Davis calls "the heart of the book."
, "How Do You Get To Sesame Street?
" (CNN.com), Street Gang web site (streetgangbook.com)
We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War is a new book by veteran Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, about soldiers’ musical memories and the impact of James Brown, Eric Burdon, Country Joe McDonald, and other popular artists on the Vietnam […]
Pop Chart Lab was founded in 2010 by a book editor and a designer, with the modest goal of rendering all of human experience in chart form. Since then they’ve charted a wide array of cultural touchstones. A Visual Guide to Drink is Pop Chart Lab’s comprehensive volume of its most important topics in graphical […]
Hilarious and silly, A Book of Surrealist Games is a fantastic introduction to the surrealist mind-set. In addition to just being fun to peruse, this collection of written, visual and verbal games is great for exercising your mind, and staying creative. In addition to the games, this oddly organized book is packed with poems, illustrations […]
Celebrate Cyber Monday with some brain food. Save on any eLearning deal in the Boing Boing Store today using coupon code: CYBERMONDAY25. Below are a couple of our favorite eLearning offers: eduCBA Tech Training Bundle: Lifetime Subscription:Welcome to your personal online classroom, where you can finally study at your own pace, on your own time (and […]
This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]
The Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of about 10 minutes and an ultra-smooth ride, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to […]