"Rainbow Connection" is a song from the 1979 film, The Muppet Movie, with music and lyrics written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher. The song was performed by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) in the film. "Rainbow Connection" reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1979, with the song remaining in the Top 40 for seven weeks total. Williams and Ascher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.
Critical reception and legacy
Kenneth Ascher and Paul Williams received Oscar nominations at the 52nd Academy Awards for the score of The Muppet Movie and for "Rainbow Connection," which Allmusic described as an "unlikely radio hit ... which Kermit the Frog sings with all the dreamy wistfulness of a short, green Judy Garland" and went on to add that "Rainbow Connection" serves the same purpose in The Muppet Movie that "Over the Rainbow" serves in The Wizard of Oz, with nearly equal effectiveness: an opening establishment of the characters' driving urge for something more in life." The song lost the Oscar to "It Goes Like It Goes" from Norma Rae, a win that some critics decried.
The song's name has been used by a number of charitable organizations wishing to evoke its message, including a children's charity similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a summer camp for seriously ill children, and a horseriding camp for people with disabilities. The name's influence can also be seen throughout culture-from business names to artificial Christmas tree products.
Kermit the Frog reprised the song on The Muppet Show in 1980 as a duet with Debbie Harry when she was a guest star. The song is also reprised by a large group of The Muppets as the closing number in the 1986 special The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Kermit the Frog also reprises the song in The Muppets, this time as a duet with Miss Piggy that leads into the entire Muppet group singing together. A shorter version of the song performed by The Moopets tribute band is also used in the film. The iTunes release of The Muppets soundtrack includes a new version of the song as an exclusive bonus track, recorded by Steve Whitmire, the current performer of Kermit the Frog.
- "CASEY KASEM AMERICAN TOP 40 - 10/11/79 (and see also 102779.html, 110379.html, 111079.html, 111779.html, 112479.html, 120179.html, on the same site)". www.oldradioshows.com. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Cater, Darryl. "Muppet Movie Original Soundtrack Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- Tom Shales. "Kramer vs. Everybody," The Washington Post (DC), April 15, 1980, page B1: "The already forgotten ballad 'It Goes Like It Goes,' from 'Norma Rae,' won the Oscar as best song over competitions that included 'The Rainbow Connection' ..."
- Rich Copley. "'The 75th annual Academy Awards' – trophy date on your night with unpredictable Oscar. Will he be a dream—or a dud?", Lexington Herald-Leader (KY), March 21, 2003, Weekender section, page 18: "Sometimes, old baldy leaves us scratching our skulls: ... the 1979 Oscar for best original song goes to It Goes Like It Goes from Norma Rae instead of Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie ..."
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