What Sesame Street song, not sung by a character from the TV show, hit the Billboard Top 40 in 1973?
This is a tough one. As I mentioned last year, the first Sesame Street song to hit the charts was “Rubber Duckie” in 1970. That single peaked at #16. I also thought “Bein’ Green” had made it to the Top 40 as well but I can find no evidence of that. (By the way, both of those tunes were sung by Muppet characters voiced by Jim Henson, so they wouldn’t be the answer to the question today.) That brings us to the song from Sesame Street that peaked at #3 in 1973 but was NOT sung by a character (real or Muppet) from Sesame Street. It was performed by a major recording act of the day and I would almost guarantee you know the song or have at least heard it.
What’s the title? “Sing.” And the Carpenters took that song to #3 in 1973.
Personally, I had always thought that Sesame Street had taken the Carpenters hit and co-opted it for their show but that was simply me giving no credit to the wonderful songwriters who brought such fantastic original music to the kids program. “Sing” was written by the late, great Joe Raposo, the man who wrote the “Sesame Street Theme” and gave us memorable ditties like “C Is For Cookie” and the aforementioned “Bein’ Green.” It was sung on the show by human characters and Muppets alike and performed in English, Spanish and Sign Language.
Barbra Streisand had an Easy Listening hit with the song before the Carpenters but the duo recorded the song after hearing it as guests on a TV special. “Sing” became the Carpenters seventh gold single.