Saturday, June 14, 2008
What happened to Bob?
Bob Johnson is a music teacher who lives on Sesame Street. He has been on Sesame Street since the premiere episode. His many songs on the show include "The People in Your Neighborhood," "Believe in Yourself" and "I've Got Two". An affable and low-keyed fellow, Bob was introduced as Gordon and Susan's neighbor, and had a close, semi-romantic friendship with Linda for many years (having previously resisted the advances of Molly the Mail Lady).
While Gordon and Susan (and to some extent, Maria and Luis) function largely as surrogate parents to the Muppet characters, Bob is more of a surrogate teacher, seldom assuming a disciplinary role. He lives in an apartment above Hooper's Store. Known relatives include Uncle Wally and his deaf niece named Samara. His birthday is August 15.
Robert Emmet "Bob" McGrath (born June 13, 1932) is an American singer and actor who worked with Mitch Miller then went on to play the human character "Bob" on Sesame Street. This character once had a long-lost brother named Minneapolis, an Indiana Jones-like action hero (Jeff Goldblum) who took him on a search for the golden cabbage of "Snuffertiti" with Big Bird and Snuffleupagus. They went to Snuffy's cave.
He was born in Ottawa, Illinois. With Susan, played by Loretta Long, Bob has been the longest lasting human character, and one of the most popular, on that show, leading to a Noggin segment proclaiming "the four decades of Bob" when promoting Sesame Street on that network.
McGrath is a 1954 graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Music. While attending Michigan, he was a member of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club.
For over 30 years, McGrath has been a regular fixture on Telemiracle, a Saskatchewan telethon. On March 3, 2006 McGrath was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan for this work by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan (provincial representative of Queen Elizabeth II).
McGrath was named for Irish patriot Robert Emmet. He and his wife Ann have five children together, as well as five granddaughters and two grandsons. The couple reside in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Bob McGrath (Bob) is an original cast member of Sesame Street. An accomplished singer with seven children's albums to his credit, he performs family pop concerts and has appeared with more than 100 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada.
McGrath has authored eight books including Uh-Oh Gotta Go (on potty training) and Oops, Excuse Me Please (on manners). He co-authored an educational music curriculum book for Alfred Publishing Co. called Music For Fun, used by teachers from kindergarten to second grade. His Rhythm Band Set produced by Rhythm Band Instruments is a Parent's Choice Award winner. McGrath co-authored Curriculum Connections with Educational Activities, a professional development video and CD for teachers of Pre-K and 1st grade, using music to develop six literacy skills. He has a recording company called Bob's Kids Music, which encompasses his seven albums. The Baby Record and Sing Me a Story have won both Parents Choice Awards and The Children's Music Web Award 2002. McGrath released his seventh CD, Christmas Sing Along this past season with Mike Renzi, musical director of Sesame Street.
As an advocate for children, McGrath has participated for almost 35 years in telethons and other fundraising events and was recently honored as a lifetime member by the Variety Children's Charity in British Columbia, and was inducted into the 2002 Silver Circle of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of the American Eagle Award by the National Music Council, the Fame Award and a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association of Music Educators for furthering the cause of music education, the 2006 Saskatchewan Centennial Award for outstanding contributions to the province of Saskatchewan, and recently at the 60th Anniversary of the Midwest Clinic, the International Band and Orchestra Conference, was awarded the Medal of Honor, their highest honor in recognition for his contributions to music education throughout his career. He has been chairperson of National UNICEF Day, hosted World Children's Day at the United Nations and served as host and artistic director for the International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap for over 15 years.
On Sesame Street, he plays a music teacher. McGrath received his Bachelors degree in Music from the Univ. of Michigan, and a Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. He has five children, and eight grandchildren. You can visit him at www.bobmcgrath.com.