Easy Reader, that’s my name, uh, uh, uh…

February 7, 2008 at 6:08 am | Posted in kids music, Musings, Reviews | 2 Comments
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For some reason the other day, I thought of Easy Reader…come on now, you remember him that super cool, funky, far-out guy on “The Electric Company.” I just had to pay Youtube a visit and take a walk, or should I say a ‘trip,’ down memory lane. Just to get you in the groove, here’s a little Easy Reader to help you remember…

Yes, my friends, that is Morgan Freeman, otherwise known in Hollywood these days as ‘God’ (“Bruce Almighty,” “Evan Almighty” and of course the ominous voice from above in “March of the Penguins…”). So before he was God, he was Easy Reader…”Top to bottom left to right reading stuff is out of sight…”

Like my parents and millions of other parents did in the ’70’s I’m going to ignore the obvious and somewhat problematic fact that Morgan Freeman, as much as portraying a reader in these skits, was portraying a reading junkie – he needs his reading ‘fix’ – then his man (or etch-a-sketch) on the street, Stanley, always cuts him off, ‘just as he’s getting into the groove.’ Then he starts looking around desparately for his reading fix – a match-book, a dollar bill, you name it. I’ll ignore all that, and focus instead on the message…See, I agree with Easy’s message, ‘reading IS out of sight…’ OH, and then there’s the music…

In addition to Easy Reader, I got a few other Electric Company Skits for the kids, and, like everything else in the show, the music is a constant of stream of either funkadelic 70’s or “Free To Be You and Me.” One particularly psychedelic musical moment prompted Isabel to ask, “Why is the music so weird…?” You would have thought we were listening to Pink Floyd – “The Wall.” Here’s one example…

How about that soundtrack? 

Then there’s the opening credits…”Moving out in a new way, moving out in a new way…we’re gonna turn it on, we’re gonna give you the power…” You get the idea.

OK, so I have to say, in spite of the fact that the Electric Company overdid it on the psychedelia at times, I love this stuff. It has it all, great music, and unbelievable cast (Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, Mr. Freeman, etc.) and it’s hilarious. I’m pretty certain Saturday Night Live owes a lot to The Electric Company…at the very least Lorne Michaels and the early SNL cast were big fans, I just know it…so, I’ll leave you with the lyrics to the first “Sign Song” from the Electric Company…out of sight!

I like fish food. You do, too.
Don’t look now; your hair is blue.
Walk right in and see the zoo.
Up is down, and I love you.Stop and go and dance a dance,
All the way from here to France.
Day and night, all bright and new.
Left is right, and I love you.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Fantastic writing:) Hope to come back soon…

  2. OMG!!! Thank you soooo much! It’s been 30+ years since I heard that song, but parts of it will occasionally play in my head (on a never-ending loop!). Thank you (??!) for filling in the missing verses in my head!


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