The music of Sesame Street goes beyond "Rubber Ducky" and "The Alphabet Song." Some of the greatest musical artists in modern history—including Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Patti LaBelle, Billy Joel, and Lauryn Hill—have performed on the children's program since it premiered on PBS in 1969. Now, Variety reports, Sesame Workshop is teaming up with Warner Music Group to release musical highlights from the show's nearly 50-year history under the label Sesame Street Records.
Sesame Street first began releasing albums, like The Muppet Alphabet Album and Havin' Fun with Ernie & Bert, in the years following its debut. This new deal marks the first time in over two decades that Sesame Street will release new music to the public on a regular schedule. Starting in 2019, Sesame Street Records will come out with new compilations centered around different educational subjects, among other projects. The albums will be available in CD and vinyl, and will feature previously unreleased music from Sesame Street, celebrity performances, and new cover songs and parodies produced separately from the show.
“Sesame Street and music have had a long-standing harmony that began nearly 50 years ago. I’m thrilled this partnership with Sesame Workshop is our first initiative for Arts Music in the kids’ music space,” Kevin Gore, president of Warner Music’s Arts Music division, said in a statement. “I watched the first episode, owned their first album, shared this music with my kids, and I can’t think of a better brand or mission as our foundation in this space.”
In addition to producing new content, Sesame Street Records has made a vast catalog of existing Sesame Street songs and albums available to stream and download through platforms like iTunes and Spotify. The label has already begun curating some of that music into new compilations, starting with the "Letters" series in September and an "All-Time Favorites” and holiday collection debuting this month.