Rainbow Connection

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"Rainbow Connection"
Rainbow Connection scene.jpg
Scene from The Muppet Movie
Song by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson)
from the album The Muppet Movie: Original Soundtrack Recording
Released June 1979 (1979-06)
Recorded 1978
Studio A&M Studios
Genre Pop
Length 3:15
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Paul Williams
  • Jim Henson

"Rainbow Connection" is a song from the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, with music and lyrics written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher.[1] 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.[2] Williams and Ascher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.[3]

Critical reception and legacy[edit]

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"[4] and went on to add that "'Rainbow Connection' serves the same purpose in The Muppet Movie that 'Over the Rainbow' served in The Wizard of Oz, with nearly equal effectiveness: an opening establishment of the characters' driving urge for something more in life."[4] The song lost the Oscar to "It Goes Like It Goes" from Norma Rae, a win that some critics decried.[5][6]

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,[7] a summer camp for seriously ill children,[8] and a horseriding camp for people with disabilities.[9] The name's influence can also be seen from business names[10] to artificial Christmas tree products.[11]

The American Film Institute named "Rainbow Connection" the 74th greatest movie song of all time in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs.[12]

In 1996 in Whanganui, New Zealand, a 21-year-old man burst into the radio station Star FM and took the manager hostage, demanding that "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog be played.[13]

Other renditions in Muppets productions[edit]

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 Muppets as the closing number in the 1986 special The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Kermit also reprises the song in the 2011 film 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 tribute band "The Moopets" 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 then-current performer of Kermit. The song was also reprised in the TV series The Muppets, in the 2015 episode "Pig's in a Blackout".

Covers[edit]

The following artists have also covered the song:

Artist Year Notes
Collins, JudyJudy Collins 1980 album Running for My Life
O'Hara, MaryMary O'Hara 1980 album The Scent of the Roses
Brothers Cazimero, TheThe Brothers Cazimero 1980 album Waikiki, My Castle By The Sea (sung primarily in Hawaiian)
Loggins, KennyKenny Loggins 1994 album Return to Pooh Corner
Less Than Jake 1997 EP Muppets
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes 1999 album Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Are a Drag
Nelson, WillieWillie Nelson 2001 album Rainbow Connection
McLachlan, SarahSarah McLachlan 2002 album For the Kids
Cincotti, PeterPeter Cincotti 2003 album Peter Cincotti
Mraz, JasonJason Mraz 2004 album For the Kids Too!
Dixie Chicks, TheThe Dixie Chicks 2004 album Mary Had a Little Amp
Carpenters, TheThe Carpenters 1981 2004 album As Time Goes By; an outtake from the 1981 album Made in America
Weezer and Hayley Williams 2011 album Muppets: The Green Album
Brickman, JimJim Brickman 2012 album Piano Lullabies
Yale Whiffenpoofs 2013 released as "Rainbow Connection (Glee Cast Version) - Single" and credited as the Glee Cast[14]
Avi, ZeeZee Avi 2014 album Nightlight
Stefani, GwenGwen Stefani 2015 album We Love Disney
Smith, ToddTodd Smith 2016 album Bellissimo!, as "El-Creepo!"
Sleeping at Last 2016 album Covers, Vol. 2
Velard, JulianJulian Velard 2017 album Fancy Words for Failure[15]
Loeb, LisaLisa Loeb 2017 album Lullaby Girl
Poppe, MaddieMaddie Poppe 2018 American Idol Audition And Finale Performance

Dan Stevens recorded a version of the song for the official soundtrack of the Legion TV series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Watch Muppets Sing 'Rainbow Connection' at Hollywood Bowl Concert". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-11-27. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ Kiefer, Halle. "Ryan Murphy Is Still Haunted by The Muppet Movie's Best Song Oscar Loss". Vulture. Retrieved 2017-11-27. 
  4. ^ a b Cater, Darryl. "Muppet Movie Original Soundtrack Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  5. ^ 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' ..."
  6. ^ 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 ..."
  7. ^ "Rainbow Wish Connection". Rainbow Wish Connection. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "RC Camp". RC Camp. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Carlisle Graphics - Jeff Carlisle - www.carlislegraphics.com (2012-11-03). "The Rainbow Connection.org". The Rainbow Connection.org. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Rainbow Connection - Suspenders & Ties". Archived from the original on 2005-03-12. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Rainbow Connection Arch". Treetopia.com. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Top Movie Songs of All Time" (PDF). 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "CNN, 1996". CNN.com. 1996-03-27. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  14. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rainbow-connection-glee-cast/id646951141
  15. ^ "Fancy Words For Failure, by Julian Velard". Julian Velard. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 

External links[edit]