Born To Add

Louise Gold starred as A Chicken, CTW Sesame Street Song album, released by Golden Records in 1993, and, Sony Wonder, in 1995

Catalogue number: (Golden Records Cassette) 5215-1, (Sony Wonder CD) LK67670, (Sony Wonder Cassette) LT67670

 

Cast

 Starring

Ivy Austin (as The Cereal Girl)

Christopher Cerf (as: Chrissy, Bruce Stringbean, and, Mick Swagger)

Kevin Clash (as An Octopus)

Louise Gold (as A Chicken)

Thad Mumford (as Dr Thad)

Jerry Nelson (as: The Count, and, Little Jerry)

Frank Oz (as Bert and Cookie Monster)

Featuring

Pam Arciero, Camille Bonora, Fran Brill, Richard Hunt, Jim Kroupa, Peter Linz, Richard Lyon, Noel MacNeal, Alison Mark, Jim Martin, Joey Mazzarino, Jeff Moss, Carman Osbahr, Marty Robinson, and, Tish Summers (as: The Alphabets, The Barnyard Animals, Crumbs Unlimited, Ftateeta and The Bats, The Medications, The Monotones, The Sesame Street Cobble Stones, and, The S Street Band)

With

Tawatha Agee, Ada Dyer, Yvonne Lewis, Maeretha Stewart, Brenda White-King, and, Dianne Wilson

 

Production Team

 Conceived and Produced by - Christopher Cerf

Co-Producer and Chief Recording Engineer - Doug Epstein

Re-Mixing - Jim Czak at Nola Studios, New York

Musical Director for Sesame Street - Robby Merkin

Arranged by - Dave Conner, Cheryl Hardwick, Paul Jacobs, and, Sam Pottle

Music Supervisor - Danny Epstein

Special Thanks to - Vic Ancesini, Joe Diaz, Ann Marie Kearns, Gina Legnani, Ruth Luwisch, Chuck Nankivell, John Phillips, Dan Sovak, Norman Stiles, Chris Theis, Jim Timmens, Linda White, and, Alan Winnikoff

Music by - Christopher Cerf, Cheryl Hardwick, Jeff Moss, Sam Pottle

Lyrics by - David Axlerod, Christopher Cerf, Tony Geiss, Sharon Lerner, Jeff Moss, Thad Mumford, Emily Perl Kingsley, Cathi Rosenburg, Norman Stiles

 

Track Listing

1. Born To Add (Music and Lyrics by Christopher Cerf, 1979) - Bruce Stringbean And The S Street Band (Christopher Cerf and the chorus)

2. Cereal Girl (Music by Cheryl Hardwick, Lyrics by Cathi Rosenberg, 1989) - The Cereal Girl (Ivy Austin)

3. Count Up To Nine (Music by Sam Pottle, Lyrics by David Axlerod, 1977) - The Count with Ftatateeta and The Bats (Jerry Nelson, with the Chorus)

4. The Opposite Song (Music and Lyrics by Christopher Cerf, 1977) - Chrissy and The Alphabets (Christopher Cerf and the Chorus)

5. The Ten Commandments Of Health (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Thad Mumford, 1978) - Dr Thad and The Medications (Thad Mumford and the Chorus)

6. Honk Around The Clock (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Tony Geiss, 1982) - The Honkers (Chorus)

7. Me Going To Munch You, Munch You, Munch You (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Christopher Cerf and Thad Mumford, 1982) - Cookie Monster with Crumbs Unlimited and The Crumbs Unlimited Orchestra (Frank Oz with the Chorus)

8. (I Canít Get No) Co-Operation (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Christopher Cerf and Sharon Lerner, 1981) - Mick Swagger and The Sesame Street Cobble Stones (Christopher Cerf and the Chorus)

9. I Am Chicken (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles, 1991) - A Chicken with chorus (Louise Gold, with the Chorus)

10. With Every Beat Of My Heart (Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1978) - Little Jerry and The Monotones (Jerry Nelson and the Chorus)

11. I Wish I Had A Friend To Play With Me (Music and Lyrics by Christopher Cerf, 1982) - Bert (Frank Oz)

12. Count It Higher (Music and Lyrics by Christopher Cerf, 1973) - Crissy and The Alphabets (Christopher Cerf and the Chorus)

13. Octopus Blues (Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1985) - An Octopus (Kevin Clash)

14. Barn In The U.S.A. (Music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Christopher Cerf and Emily Pearl Kingsley, 1992) - Bruce Stringbean and The S Street Band with The Barnyard Animals (Christopher Cerf with the Chorus)

 

The Cassettes Golden Records 5215-1 and Sony Wonder LT67670 follows the same listing as the Sony Wonder CD LK67670, with tracks 1 to 7 on Side A, and tracks 8 to 14 on Side B. 

It should perhaps be pointed out that not all of the featured puppeteers in the chorus (or indeed those of the starring puppeteers who also sang in the ensemble pieces) sing on all the tracks, it depends (for a start) on whether this or that puppeteer was actually working on Sesame Street at the time.

A slightly different version of the Born To Add album was released earlier Sesame Streetís history, by CTW, as an LP in 1983. At that time the four songs that have become tracks 2 (Cereal Girl), 9 (I Am Chicken), 13 (Octopus Blues) and 14 (Barn In The U.S.A.) were not included (because they had not yet been written let alone recorded). In place of what is now tracks 2, 13 and 14(Track 9 being slotted in between two existing numbers) were three tracks not included on subsequent releases (of this album), namely: Letter B, I Want A Monster To Be My Friend, and, Hey Food. Chorus members Pam Arciero, Camille Bonora, Fran Brill, Jim Kroupa, Peter Linz, Richard Lyon, Noel MacNeal, Alison Mark, Jim Martin, Joey Mazzarino, Carman Osbahr, and, Marty Robinson were not credited as appearing on the earlier album (although that is not to say that some of them might well have been there uncredited). The earlier version also credits Jonathan Cerf and Jonathan Frith as being in the chorus on the earlier album, they are not credited in the later album (though it is possible they may be there but uncredited). In 1993 Golden Records rehashed the album and released it in its current form as a cassette, this appears to have been subsequently released on CD and cassette by Sony Wonder two years later. This page deals with the 1993 /95 version of the album.

 

All the cast involved with this album had of course worked on Sesame Street.

Frank Oz, and, Louise Gold puppeteered on The Dark Crystal, for which Jerry Nelson did some voice-work.

Kevin Clash and Frank Oz puppeteered on Labyrinth

Louise Gold and Marty Robinson puppeteered on Spitting Image

Fran Brill, Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson and Frank Oz puppeteered on The Muppet Show

Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson and Frank Oz were among the eight main puppeteers on The Muppet Show (for which Sam Pottle wrote the theme tune), the film The Great Muppet Caper, and the TV special The Muppets Go To The Movies; they can be heard on: The Muppet Show Music Hall, The Muppet Show 2, For What Itís Worth, The Muppet Show Music Album, The Great Muppet Caper (Soundtrack album), John Denver And The Muppets A Christmas Together, John Denver & The Muppets Merry Christmas 45RPM, Jim Henson Presents Silly Songs (for which Doug Epstein was also the recording engineer), Favourite Songs From Jim Hensonís Muppets, Put Some Zing In Your Spring, Muppet Hits 1, Muppet Hits 2, Christmas For Kids, John Denver Christmas, and, Music Mayhem And More (although Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold seem to be uncredited). They were also among the six Muppet puppeteers on The Royal Variety Performance (1977); and the eight puppeteers featured in the documentary Of Muppets And Men.

Jerry Nelson and Frank Oz, along with Louise Gold puppeteered on The Muppet Christmas Carol, and can be heard on The Muppet Christmas Carol (Soundtrack album)

Christopher Cerf, Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Pam Arciero, Fran Brill, Jim Martin, Joey Mazzarino, Marty Robinson and Richard Hunt all feature on Elmoís Lowdown Hoedown , which also has music by: Christopher Cerf, Jeff Moss, and, Sam Pottle, and lyrics by: Christopher Cerf, Tony Geiss, Jeff Moss, and, Norman Stiles, with arrangements and conducting by Dave Conner and Paul Jacobs, and for which Roddy Merkin was also a musical director and Danny Epstein the musical supervisor, while: Jim Czak, Joe Diaz, Ann Marie Kearns, Chuck Nankivell, John Phillips, Dan Sovak, Chris Theis, Linda White, and Alan Winnikoff were also involved.

Jerry Nelson, Fran Brill, Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, and, Richard Hunt are also credited as featuring on The Countís Countdown as indeed Pam Arciero, Camille Bonora, Jim Kroupa, Peter Linz, Richard Lyon, Noel MacNeal, Alison Mark, Jim Martin, Joey Mazzarino, Jeff Moss, Carman Osbahr, Marty Robinson, and, Tish Summers may. That album was also produced by Christopher Cerf, with musical direction by Robby Merkin, musical supervision by Danny Epstein, lyric coordination by Dan Sovak, and arrangements by Dave Conner and Sam Pottle It also had music by: Christopher Cerf, Tony Geiss, Jeff Moss, Sam Pottle, and, Joe Raposo, and lyrics by: David Axlerod, Tony Geiss, Emily Kingsley, Jeff Moss, Joe Raposo, and, Norman Stiles. In addition Joe Diaz, Ann Marie Kearns, Chuck Nankiwell, John Phillips, Linda White and Alan Winnikoff were also involved, and the song Count Up To Nine also features on it. However there has been some debate as to whether or not Louise Gold sang on that album.

Stalwart Muppet singing talents: Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and, Louise Gold appeared in The All Time Get Around Sometimes Play Together Every Other Friday Night Vaudeville Show.

Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Kevin Clash and, Louise Gold can also be heard on Muppet Music Mix, and, Muppet Music Sampler.

Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold also puppeteered on The Secret Life Of Toys, they can also be heard on Jerome Kern The First 100 Years, and are credited as backing vocalists on A Green And Red Christmas.

Camille Bonora, Kevin Clash, Richard Hunt, and Marty Robinson had previously puppeteered on Tale Of The Bunny Picnic.

Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Jerry Nelson, and, Frank Oz puppeteered on Muppet Treasure Island. They also appeared in the documentary I Love The Muppets.

Frank Oz went on to make a guest puppeteering appearance on The Animal Show.

Jerry Nelson did voice-work on the UK Co-Production of Fraggle Rock (as well as puppeteering on the main show).

Pam Arciero, Camille Bonora, Fran Brill, Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, and, Marty Robinson had all performed at Jim Hensonís Memorial Service.

Louise Gold, and, Richard Hunt had puppeteered on The Ghost Of Faffner Hall.

 

Review

by Emma Shane

Usually when I hear the Sesame Street albums I find that although they are very well performed they tend to be a little lacking in the multilayed humour that makes the show itself such fan. The albums have a tendency to be very directly aimed at Sesame Streets pre-school target group. As an adult who enjoys Sesame Streetís multi-layerd approach, I find Born To Add one of the better Sesame Street CDís. The album includes two or three of those pastiches that the Sesame Street Muppets are so outstandingly good at, namely: Cereal Girl, Honk Around The Clock, and, Barn In The U.S.A. Perhaps its not so surprising, after all there is something about a little bit of rock music.

Cereal Girl stands out as one of those moments when it is possible that the Muppets affectionate pastiche, sung here by that stalwart Sesame Street voice-artiste Ivy Austin, can at least rival the original. Honk Around The Clock is the most instantly recognisable as a pastiche, and one which works jolly well. Itís good fun.

This album also includes a lot of original, very Sesame Street, songs, mostly be Christopher Cerf.It is my considered opinion that the most outstanding of these, and indeed the best song on the entire album is I Am Chicken. Firstly the song has some very clever, well thought out lyrics by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles. But then (to adapt an apt phrase of Irving Berlinís - originally about Ethel Merman) if you write lyrics for Louise Gold, theyíd better be good, because if theyíre not everyoneís going to hear them anyway. In other words she is loud, very much like Merman, although her voice can also be very tender. Among these lyrics there is a rather nice reference to chicken soup especially when people are ill (which is originally a Jewish tradition). The tune is a pleasing one, for a rock and roll tune, as well. But of course what really truly makes this number is its performance by such an exceptionally delicious mistress of song and accent as Louise Gold; using, it has to be said an incredible (Country and Western) accent which seems to suit the song rather well. Not only that, but the song itself seems to fit Louise surprisingly well, so well in fact it could have been written for her. She is an exceptional performer, as a muppeteer she can cackle with the best and if some of her exploits (especially as a puppeteer) are anything to go by will tackle any test. While on stage the song-n-dance actress she appears chic, cocksure, plucky, and unflappable, and people say sheís got great legs. Finally, when Louise undertakes to sing a song, she is such an extraordinary performer that you really canít count on what she will do with the song until she does it, in other words till it hatches. Yes this is a song that suits her well, and her performance of it is grade A.

If (as a grown-up) you buy only a few Sesame Street albums, then I would including this one. It includes some good well performed pastiches, but is really worth having for Louise Goldís performance of I Am Chicken alone, it is tasteful to the end.

 

Critics Comments

  "You really shouldn't live your whole life without ever hearing Louise Gold's 'I Am Chicken'. It's a Muppet classic." Danny Horn, MUPPETZINE, issue 6, Autumn 1993

 

Links about Born To Add

 Muppet Wikiís page for this album: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Born_To_Add_%28album%29

 

Return To Site Guide | Return To Recordings |