Grover Sings the Blues
Children's Television Workshop, 1974
La, la la la la la la… oh, hello there! This is your old pal Grover! Yeah! I am so glad you are here.
Picked this up when I was buying two other records by less “Grovery” artists Co La and Deerhunter. Saw this in the shop and couldn’t say no. Not every record greets you like this one does.
Opening track hits me right where it counts. I like being alone, I can do a lot of things, but, as the song concludes, I really like being with other people. This is a very sentimental tune, and the only one on the album I remember from my own childhood.
Unfortunately, the next track “Name the Animal” stretches your belief in exactly how dumb Grover is. With an entire roomful of his friends pretending to be pigs, he is unable to identify what animal they are pretending to be. There’s not really a charitable interpretation. And unbelievably, tracks 4 and 11 also features Grover failing multiple easy animal identifications.
The bluesiest song is, unsurprisingly, “I Am Blue”. It’s short but positively loungey. The majority of the songs aren’t blues, though. There are five “letter” songs (F, G, I, Q, and Y). I can assume “Over, Under, Around, and Through” was written specifically for this record as the prop Grover uses to illustrate “around” is the record itself. Maybe more of these were, actually, I have no idea.
But, anyway, running through the album, as with all Sesame Street of this era, is (at least some of) that wonderful schticky silliness inherited from the Muppets. For instance, on two occasions Grover brings out prop cows, the “Y” song features a who’s-on-first misunderstanding routine, and Oscar contributes his sardonic wit at one point. I don’t know if I’ll have kids at some point, but this is the kind of thing I want them listening to, if only to pick up on that.