The Fall River Man Who Wrote Lyrics for Kermit the Frog
Joseph Guilherme Raposo was born on February 8, 1937, in Fall River, Massachusetts, the only child of Azorean immigrant parents Joseph Soares Raposo and Maria da Ascendcao Vitorino Raposo.
Joe was known as "Sonny" to close friends and family. He grew up on North Main Street, graduating from B.M.C. Durfee High School in 1954. After high school, Raposo attended Harvard University and the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris.
Joe Raposo's father was a musician and owned Raposo Music School in Fall River. According to the Herald News, at a young age, Joe taught music there and became a professional musician by age 18.
A singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, lyricist and music director, Joe Raposo is best known for his work on the children's television program Sesame Street.
Raposo wrote the Sesame Street theme song and countless other musical compositions for children's television shows, such as Shining Time Station and The Electric Company.
One of Raposo's better-known pieces was "Bein' Green," written for Kermit the Frog in 1970. The song was recorded by dozens of artists including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, Van Morrison and the Boston Pops.
"Sing," written by Raposo for Sesame Street, was a No. 3 hit for The Carpenters.
Raposo died from cancer in Bronxville, New York, on February 5, 1989. In his memory, August 3, 2022 was declared "Joe Raposo Day" in Massachusetts and his native Fall River.
The Herald News reported Raposo's son Nick Raposo, who also writes music for children's television, "is the steward of his father's musical legacy." Nick Raposo heads the Joe Raposo Music Group, "managing the catalog of his father's music and overseeing licensing deals for the 'Sesame Street March' and over 3,000 other songs his father wrote over his career."
Rsposo is buried at Union Cemetary in Chatham, Massachusetts.