The Countís Countdown
Louise Gold is credited in the sleeve notes as featuring as The Countess, album produced in 1997 †- However, has been some debate as to whether this is correct. This page assumes the sleeve note credits were correct (see below).
Catalogue number: (Sony Wonder CD) LK 63409, (Sony Wonder Cassette) LT63409.
Fran Brill (as Zoe, and, The Countessí Mother)
Kevin Clash (as Elmo)
Louise Gold (as The Countess)
Richard Hunt (as A Great And Good Friend Of The Count)
The Countís Special Guests
Ftatateeta and the Bats
The Royal Transylvanians (featuring Marilyn Sokol)
The Singing Dancing Lambs
Produced by - Ed Mitchell and Christopher Cerf
Mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony Music Studios,
Musical Director for
Arranged and Conducted by - Dave Conner, Stephen Lawrence, Robby Merkin, Sam Pottle, and, Joe Raposo
Music Supervisor -
Lyrics Coordinator - Dan Sovak
Special Thanks To - Vicki Bennett, Lou Berger, Thom Cadley, Janelle Courts, Joe Diaz, Tina Fuscaldo, Ryan Hewitt, Ann Marie Kearns, Steven Laszio, Joe Marziotto, Chuck Nankivell, John Phillips, Renee Rachelle, Deborah Strafella, Belinda Ward, Linda White, and, Alan Winnikoff
Music by - Christopher Cerf, Tony Geiss, Stephen Lawrence, Robby Merkin, Jeff Moss, Lee Pockriss, Sam Pottle, Joe Raposo, Jule Styne
Lyrics by - David Axlerod, Sammy Cahn, Tony Geiss, Emily Kingsley, Jeff Moss, Joe Raposo, Adam Rudman, Norman Stiles, Peter Swet, Belinda Ward
1. The Song Of The Count (Music by Jeff Moss, Lyrics by Emily Kingsley,
1972) -The Count (
2. The First Day Of School (Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1982) - The Count (
4. Little Miss Count Along (Music by Robby Merkin, Lyrics by Adam Rudman,
1994) - The Count and Zoe (
5. Nothing To Count (Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1983) - The Count (
7. The Batty Bat (Music and Lyrics by Joe Raposo, 1986) - The Count with
Ftatateeta and the Bats (
8. Counting Is Wonderful (Music by Sam Pottle, Lyrics by Emily Kingsley
and David Axlerod, 1975) - The Count and Elmo (
9. One Potato (Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1978) - The Count (
10. Count Up To Nine (Music by Sam Pottle, Lyrics by David Axlerod,
1977) - The Count with Ftatateeta and The Bats (
(Music and Lyrics by Jeff Moss, 1978) - The Count (
12. Itís Been A Long Time (Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, - not
sure of recording date) - The Royal Transylvanians with The Count (Marilyn
13. Counting Robins (music by Christopher Cerf, Lyrics by Norman Stiles,
1994) - The Count and Nine Robins (
14. I Could Have Counted All Night (Music by Stephen Lawrence,
Lyrics by Belinda Ward) - The Count, The Countess, and, The Countessí
15. The Lambaba! (Music and Lyrics by Tony Geiss) - The Count with The Singing
Dancing Lambs (
The Cassette follows the same track-listing as the CD, with Tracks 1 to 7 on Side A, and Tracks 8 to 15 on Side B.
There has been some debate as to whether Louise Gold actually sang I Could Have Counted All Night on this album. The voice is a very unusual one, for her, although not outside the bounds of possibility to be one of hers. Muppet Fan TW noticed (and your webmaster agrees) that Louise Gold could not have puppeteered the number of Sesame Street itself (because that looks like it was puppeteered right-handed), its possibly the singing on the programme itself may have been Julianne Buescher (Muppet Fan TW thinks that is who it sounds most like). However, Louise Gold (as she herself confirmed) did sometimes sing numbers on Sesame Street that she didnít puppeteer, so this could be one of them. The big question, though, is whether the sleeve notes of this album are correct. The three puppeteers credited on the track in question in this album canít remember for certain: Ms Gold herself doesnít remember it (but that doesnít necessarily mean she didnít do it). Meanwhile Puppeteer FB and Sesame Street colleagues (including Puppeteer JN)ís consensus of opinion seems to be that Louise Gold probably did sing it.
Apart from Marilyn Sokol, it is not known who sang the roles of The Countís Special Friends on this album, however likely possibilities include: Pam Arciero, Camille Bonora, Fran Brill, Richard Hunt, Jim Kroupa, Peter Linz, Richard Lyon, Noel MacNeal, Alison Mark, Jim Martin, Joey Mazzarino, Jeff Moss, Carman Osbahr, Marty Robinson, and, Tish Summers
All of the people involved with this album had of course worked on Sesame Street.
The CD version of the album and the cassette version had slightly different front covers. Both depicted Elmo and The Count, with The Count holding a microphone. On the cover for the CD Elmo was holding a CD, and on the cover for the cassette Elmo was holding an audio cassette tape.
Many years before this recording, Louise Gold played a maid in a production of My Fair Lady and in it is very likely that she sang backing vocals on that productionís version of I Couldíve Danced All Night.
Kevin Clash puppeteered on Labyrinth
Marty Robinson puppeteered on Spitting Image
Stalwart Muppet singers:
Camile Bonora, Richard Hunt, and, Marty Robinson puppeteered on Tale Of The Bunny Picnic.
Arciero, Camille Bonora, Fran Brill, Kevin Clash, Louise Gold,
Ed Mitchell went on to work on A Green
And Red Christmas, for which
Louise Gold, and, Richard Hunt had puppeteered on The Ghost Of Faffner Hall.
If, like me, you are a fan of that wonderfully
All of the tracks on this album are very listenable to, not least because they are so well sung. Few Muppet albums contain quite such a consistently high standard of vocal performance as this one. Nevertheless some songs do stand out a little more than others. Amongst the more memorable are: Little Miss Count Along, and, The Batty Bat. A bit more notable are Counting Robins, and, The Transylvania Polka. The former has a very catchy tune and Iím sure a similar tune turned up somewhere on The Muppet Show, while the latter, is very funny, and could well be a sort of spoof on something else.
Another number which is clearly a spoof, this time most definitely from Lerner and Loweís My Fair Lady, is, my favourite track on the album, I Could Have Counted All Night. This is the only track where the star of the album is to some extent overshadowed by one of his colleagues, namely Louise Gold. Ever since their Muppet Show days these two have always made a great singing team (and one who seem to take it in turns to shine - Louise may dominate on this particular number, but on some of their other duets Jerry has dominated, and on other occasions neither has dominated the other, itís a very equal partnership). In this particular instance, it seems to be magnificently appropriate for Louise, to take the lionís share of the number. However, Jerry, as one would expect, stands up to her well, and the combination is shear delight. Fran Brill, taking on a Mrs Pearce (Henry Higginís housekeeper) type role as The Countessí Mother barely gets a look in. But perhaps the most striking thing about this track, is not the wonderful winning singing combination (good though that undoubtedly is), but Louise Goldís excellent job of creating an accent for The Countess. If I hadnít known she was on this track I certainly would never have guessed it was her. In fact the first time I heard the track I was not entirely certain who was who (out of Louise Gold and Fran Brill). It was only by realising that lyrically which part had to be The Countess, that I knew which had to be her.
All in all, if you want to hear the cream of the
Muppets musical talent, then this album, starring the great
Links about The Countís Countdown
Muppet Wikiís page for this album: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/The_Count%27s_Countdown
FYE.comís entry for this album: http://www.fye.com/Count-s-Countdown-Front-Page_stcVVproductId200172VVcatId455366VVviewprod.htm