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Friday, January 23, 2004

We'll miss them both

One of my earliest memories is of a little red and green wood and metal folding table with bench seats. My parents bought it for my brother and me to share, and share it we did many a day.

In the morning, we would sit on the same side of the table, eating cereal or scrambled eggs with ketchup, in front of our family television set. This was a large wooden contraption with a tiny black and white screen near the top of the front, a bunch of round knobs immediately below the screen, and a large cloth screen covering a speaker below.

The TV fare in those late '50s years included none other than Captain Kangaroo, a.k.a. Bob Keeshan, who died today. It was a wonderful, gentle show for kids, with puppet characters like Bunny Rabbit and the lovable human sidekick Mr. Green Jeans. Parents could leave their kids with the captain for a while and be confident that nothing bad would happen -- in fact, there might be some benefit.

When Fred Rogers recently passed away, he was hailed as a pioneer in children's television. Indeed he was, but for my generation, Captain Kangaroo was the guy. We'll miss them both.

Now, readers, can you help me with a question? The Captain Kangaroo Show would open with a close-up shot of the captain's hand, jingling keys on his enormous keyring. And his theme song was a pretty classical piece (or at least a piece written in the classical style), with the strings singing out a happy tune to go with the image of the jingling keys.

And the name of that tune was ---- ?

Comments (2)

Found this...
Theme 1 (CBS: 1954 - 1974): "Puffin' Billy"
[aka: "Puffin' Billy (The Captain Kangaroo Theme)";
aka: "Captain Kangaroo Theme";
aka: "Captain Kangaroo";

This was a track from a British production library known
as the "Chappell Recorded Music Library" which was sold
through a New York company called Emil Ascher; the tune's
original title referred to a British steam locomotive; it
became so popular, that in 1957 permission was granted for
Mary Rodgers to write lyrics to the tune and it was given
the vocal title "Captain Kangaroo"]

Composers: music by Edward G. White (ASCAP) with
lyric added by Mary Rodgers (ASCAP)


I would like to hear the theme song of Captain Kangaroo that I remember. I know it had nothing to do with a locomotive. Puffin Billy was not it. The one I remember was a very light theme played by an orchestra.

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