Street Gang

  • by Michael Davis
  • Narrated by Caroll Spinney
  • 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When the first episode aired on Nov. 10, 1969, Sesame Street revolutionized the way education was presented to children on television. It has since become the longest-running children's show in history, and today reaches 8 million pre-schoolers on 350 PBS stations and airs in 120 countries.Street Gang is the compelling and often comical story of the creation and history of this media masterpiece and pop culture landmark, told with the cooperation of one of the show's co-founders, Joan Ganz Cooney. Sesame Street was born as the result of a discussion at a dinner party at Conney's home about poor children's programming and hit the air as a big bang of creative fushion from Jim Henson and company, quickly rocketing to success.This audio is narrated by Caroll Spinney, the voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Spinney is the winner of four Emmy Awards and two Grammys, and has received both a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Library of Congress's Living Legend award for his work on Sesame Street. In 2006, Spinney was honored with the National Academy of Telelvsion Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An important subject, but hardly gripping

Davis writes a good book, and this history of Sesame Street is not poorly written, to be sure. The problem is that the history of the show and its Muppet characters is just not particularly engaging, even for someone like me who grew up watching it and who still loves the Muppets. There's simply almost no drama in the details: a bunch of smart, well-meaning people got together and made a show that changed the history of children's TV. That's about all you need to know. There were no massive hurdles to overcome, no last-minute crisis to be dramatically solved, etc. As a story, it's just not gripping. Perhaps because of this, the author goes off at times on the personal problems of some of the participants, sliding into tabloid journalism at times while he looks for something out of the ordinary. And while it goes without saying that Caroll Spinney is eminently qualified to talk about Sesame Street, as a narrator he's only average. Unfortunately, there are many points where unnatural pauses or intonation soil his narration that should have had a second take recorded, but the production team apparently decided not to bother. The 30-minute interview with Spinney and the author included as a bonus at the end of the book is probably the most interesting part.
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- Scott

Now I love Sesame Street even more

I watched as a kid. I had the toy brownstone and plastic characters. Now I'm a teacher and a mother of a bicultural child, and I have my daughter watch "Sesame Street Old School" videos (episodes from the late 60s and 70s - the ones I grew up on). I've long had a vague awareness that Sesame Street was/is a groundbreaking, well-researched show, but now that I've listened to this audiobook I have a much better understanding of what went into creating it. It's heartwarming to hear about how committed the originators were to achieving their vision. Other reviewers have complained about Caroll Spinney's narration, but for me hearing him tell a story that's so close to his own heart made the experience more meaningful.
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- T. "Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-02-2009
  • Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.