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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fred Rogers Company

From FCI Neighborhood News:
Family Communications was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, the company not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred's values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. 
Now, we honor Fred by carrying on his work under our new name - The Fred Rogers Company. We're proud to be building on Fred's legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. 
We’re in the process, as well, of redesigning our company website to reflect our new identity. You’ll see changes there over the next months. If there are any ways you would find our site more helpful to you, we’d appreciate your feedback.

Episode 1503 - Make-Believe (Creativity)

Original Air Date: June 30, 1982

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

SONGS:
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • Sometimes People are Good
  • It's Such a Good Feeling
  • The Weekend Song
Mister Rogers arrives with a small kitten which causes a bit of a distraction as he opens with Won't You Be My Neighbor. After changing his shoes, Mister Rogers explains that he found the kitten outside and believe that it belongs to Chuck Aber. A quick phone call to Mr. Aber lets him know that his kitten has been found.

 
Arriving quickly by way of his sister's car, Mr. Aber is reunited with his kitten before he sings and slightly altered version of Sometimes People are Good: "Sometimes kitties are good..." Showing viewers the inside of the car, Mister Rogers takes a moment to talk about seat belts, car seats, and other automobile safety. Back inside, Mister Rogers shows a film about workers installing seat belts in cars.

 
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, new safety regulations have been put in to place after Queen Sara's recent accident -- anyone interested in climbing the newly bulit "mountain' must wear a safety belt.

 
The belt is applied to King Friday and he is allowed to climb the mountain to have his tea. Once he reaches the summit, everyone enjoys an imaginary tea party, and King Friday declares that an opera should take place -- a mountain opera.

 
Officer Clemmons then shares an operatic song before Lady Elaine arrives via helicoptor (piloted by Chuck Aber) with a sculpture of her head to top the mountain.

 
Back at the house, Mister Rogers reflects on some previous operas which have taken place in Make-Believe.

COMMENTARY
  • Often labeled as the "Creativity" series of episodes, the title of this week's programs is actually "Make-Believe."
  • Chuck Aber's arrival at the television house in a car is one of the few (if not only) instances of an actual car being on set. Does anyone remember any others?
  • Mister Rogers invites Chuck Aber to tell viewers a little about himself: "I'm a pilot and I work for a delivery service. Sometimes I'm a salesman and I like to sing on the side." All of these details factor into this episode in some way.
  • To conclude the episode, Mister Rogers reflects on past operas performed in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The clips shown are from Windstorm in Bubbleland (Episode 1475), Key to Otherland (Episode 1425), Potato Bugs and Cows (Episode 1300), and All in the Laundry (Episode 1370).
CREDITS

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Chuck Aber, Betty Aberlin, Francois Clemmons
Special thanks to: Centruy Products, Inc., General Motors Assembly Division Plant
Executive Producer: Fred Rogers
Producer: Sam Newbury
Director: Paul Lally
Associate Producer: Margy Whitmer
Music Director: John Costa

Produced in association with WQED/Pittsburgh
A production of Family Communications
© 1982 Family Communications, Inc.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Around the Children's Corner LP

Fascinated by Fred Rogers and his career, there are certain things I'm always searching for. For example, you may remember this past summer when I came across four of the late-70's Neighborhood of Make-Believe figures. Recently I've been lucky enough to come up with one more piece of Fred Rogers memorabilia that I've had my eye out for.

We've gone over the details of this album in the past but those details were based on an mp3 copy of the LP generously contributed by a regular reader. Having a physical copy of this album for myself fills a gaping hole in my collection. Just as with the set of post-1979 episodes on DVD, I don't share this to say "look what I have" -- yet I feel the need to share because what other group of people would truly understand a guy in his mid-30's getting excited over finding a children's record!?!

Stay tuned. Spoon Mountain is on it's way!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Episode 1502 - Make-Believe (Creativity)

Original Air Date: June 29, 1982

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

GUESTS: Various medical professionals

SONGS:
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • I Like to Be Told
  • It's Such a Good Feeling
  • The Weekend Song
Mister Rogers arrives with a small juniper tree which he shows just before Mr. McFeely stops by with pictures of various other trees. Mister Rogers and Mr. McFeely look at the trees on Picture Picture.

 
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, everyone is working together to covert the Eifel Tower into a mountain by covering it with trees. Queen Sara takes a spill as she is putting a tree into place and is taken to an emergency room by Handyman Negri and Miss Paulificate.

 
Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about accidents and how sometimes people can hurt themselves and need to visit an emergency room. This leads into Mister Rogers remembering a time when he visited a hospital emergency room. He spends and extensive amount of time talking about each of the various areas in an emergency room.

 
 
Mister Rogers concludes by singing I Like to Be Told.

COMMENTARY

Often labeled as the "Creativity" series of episodes, the title of this week's programs is actually "Make-Believe."


CREDITS

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Kirk Celko, Maureen Cusack R.N., Holly W. Davis M.D., Lois Edmunds R.T., Joe Negri, Audrey Roth, Johnnie Stevenson, Tiffani Stevenson, Lionel W. Young M.D.
Special thanks to: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Hospital sequence produced by Arthur Greenwald
Executive Producer: Fred Rogers
Producer: Sam Newbury
Director: Paul Lally
Associate Producer: Margy Whitmer
Music Director: John Costa

Produced in association with WQED/Pittsburgh
A production of Family Communications
© 1982 Family Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Episode 1501 - Make-Believe (Creativity)

Original Air Date: June 28, 1982

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

GUESTS: Jeff Shade, Mary Alice Sherred

SONGS:
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • Let's Think of Something To Do
  • Troll Talk
  • It's Such a Good Feeling
  • The Weekend Song
Mister Rogers arrives with a several different kinds of spoons which he takes to the kitchen to show. As he waits on a visit from a friend, Mister Rogers shows a film about how spoons are made. After the film Mister Rogers learns that his friend will not be arriving until a little later so he sings Let's Think of Somthing to Do.

 
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Lady Aberlin and Robert Troll are having a pretent tea party and King Friday provides them with some spoons. As they sip their pretend tea, King Friday recalls a time he had tea on the side of a mountain and commands Lady Aberlin and Robert Troll to create a mountain beside the castle.

 
Frustrated by this outlandish expectation, Lady Aberlin and Robert Troll sing Troll Talk as they seek out the assistance of some of their Neighborhood friends. In doing so, they encounter Jeffrey Shade, a baton twirler who is looking for King Friday.

 
Back at the house, Mister Rogers is visited by Mary Alice Sherred who demonstrates how to make music with spoons.

 
COMMENTARY
  • Often labeled as the "Creativity" series of episodes, the title of this week's programs is actually "Make-Believe."
  • The passive-aggressive nature of King Friday shows in this episode as Lady Aberlin and Robert Troll are having their tea party:

    King Friday: [clears throat]
    Lady Aberlin: Oh, Uncle Friday, do you have something in your throat?
    King Friday: No, that's just it. I don't.
    Robert Troll: Oh, would you like some pretend tea, Your Majesty?
    King Friday: That would do nicely.
CREDITS

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, Jeff Shade, Mary Alice Sherred, Bob Trow
Special Thanks to Oneida Silversmith
Executive Producer: Fred Rogers
Producer: Sam Newbury
Director: Paul Lally
Associate Producer: Margy Whitmer
Music Director: John Costa

Produced in association with WQED/Pittsburgh
A production of Family Communications
© 1982 Family Communications, Inc.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 5 from Faith and Geekery

Yesterday I got an email from Justin at Faith and Geekery. His most recent post is a fun one that I thought readers here might enjoy as well:


Monday, September 13, 2010

Build a Castle (Rainy Day Club) [1973]

A really cool item popped up on eBay recently. Offered to young people in the early 1970's through Mister Rogers' Rainy Day Club, the Build a Castle set consisted of four cardboard sheets of punch-out pieces. The pieces go together to create King Friday's castle as well as five of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe characters.

 
 
Although I did not win the auction, I did make contact with the seller who was generous enough to scan images of the four sheets before he packaged the item to ship (if you're reading, thanks again!).

After receiving the scanned images, I got the idea to print them out and make my own Build a Castle set. So...
...fully assembled, this set looks something like this:

By printing the scanned images onto cardstock and mounting the images onto cardboard with rubber cement, a close reproduction of the original was pretty easy to create. To print and create your own castle, click the link below:

--| Mister Rogers' Rainy Day Club Build a Castle [pdf format / 4.38MB]

© 1973 Small Wonder Enterprises, Inc.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Episode 1066 [1970]

Original Air Date: February 2, 1970

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

SONGS:
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • Let's Be Together Today
  • Tomorrow
EPISODE 1066

Mister Rogers arrives and welcomes viewers back from the weekend. Going to the kitchen, Mister Rogers opens the box that he brought with him to reveal a model of Daniel Striped Tiger's clock.

 
After singing Let's Be Together Today, Mister Rogers invites viewers along to visit with the creator of the model, Bob Trow. At the workshop, Mr. Trow is putting the finishing touches on a model of King Friday's castle.

 
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Robert Troll pays a visit to Daniel who is working on his clock. Robert Troll is frustrated with King Friday who left for a meeting and could no longer play. After his spirits are lifted a bit, Rober Troll makes up a short song about kings and castles. Moments later, Robert Troll makes an appointment, via the Neighborhood phone, to talk with King Friday. When they see each other, Robert Troll shares his new song with the King who is very pleased.

 
Back at the workshop, Mr. Trow finishes the castle and Mister Rogers returns home with the second piece of his Neighborhood of Make-Believe model set. Before leaving for the day, Mister Rogers talks about rhyming words.

 
COMMENTARY
After helping Daniel fix his clock, Robert Troll closes the face of the clock. Apparently the hinges were a bit loose as Robert Troll spends the next several seconds of dialogue holding the face of the clock shut.

CREDITS
Produced by WQED Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in association with Small World Enterprises, Inc. for N.E.T.

Creator and Producer: Fred Rogers
Associate Producer-Director: David Fu-Ying Chen
Musical Director: Johnny Costa
Neighbor: Bob Trow
Executive Producer: Paul K. Taff

Production funds for this television visit were provided by a grant from the Sears Roebuck Foundation and a children's program fund established by N.E.T. affiliated stations.

© 1970 National Educational Television and Radio Center

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Episode 1144 [1971]

Original Air Date: March 4, 1971

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

SONGS:
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • It's Such a Good Feeling
  • Look and Listen
  • Tomorrow
Mister Rogers arrives with a variety of pictures made by some young friends. After sharing the pictures, Mister Rogers visits a nursery school where he visits with Mrs. Saunders.

 
The eager children at the school show Mister Rogers examples of the many activities that they enjoy such a building with blocks, creating artwork, and pretending.

 
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Mr. McFeely delivers an important package to Dr. Bill Platypus. The package includes an invitation for Dr. Bill to complete his pediatric studies in Australia as well as an inflatable flying machine which is designed to transport Dr. Bill and his family to Australia. Clearly excited, Dr. Bill cannot wait to share the news with his family.

 
Meanwhile, at the castle, Mrs. Saunders and Lady Aberlin sing It's Such a Good Feeling to Prince Tuesday before Mr. McFeely stops by with news of the Platypus family's potential travel plans.

 
Back at the primary school, Mister Rogers spends a moment singing with the children before departing. Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about things you might learn at a primary school and concludes by singing Look and Listen.

 
COMMENTARY
  • One young student at the primary school tells Mister Rogers: "You look a little more better on television than you do here." Mister Rogers' responds: "Maybe different, huh? I think sometimes it's funny to see me when I'm not on television. You expect me to be on television because that's what you're used to."
  • Another youngster asks "What's that noise?" In a moment of Neighborhood and studio crossover, Mister Rogers responds: "You mean the music? That's Mr. Costa playing."
CREDITS

Produced by WQED Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in association with Small World Enterprises Inc. for N.E.T.

Created and written by Fred Rogers
Produced and directed by Sam Silberman
Music Director: John Costa
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, W.P. Barker, Carol Saunders

Production funds for this television visit were provided by a grant from the Sears Roebuck Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

© 1970 National Educational Television and Radio Center