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The Pinball Song, Again

+ 2003-07-12 15:04:19 BST

UPDATE: Since posting the information below, Walt Kraemer, composer of the Sesame Street Pinball Song, wrote to me with some definitive information about it. Click here to read Walt’s letter.

Long time readers may know of my ongoing search for information about the Sesame Street 70s funk classic The Pinball Song. Last time, it was established that the song is known as J Imagination (Lower) and was penned by Walt Kramer (not Herbie Hancock as previously rumoured). The singers on the track could be The Pointer Sisters, but I havent confirmed that yet.

I was puzzled that doing a Google search for Walt Kramer came up with no relevent information, not even anything about a Walt Kramer being a musician. The latest information I have thanks to a chap called Chris is that Kramer should in fact be spelled Kraemer. Entering this correct spelling into Google offers up more information about Walt, including a brief biography and this page, which lists Walt as the sound and synthesizer effect supervisor on the Star Wars spoof Hardware Wars.

As far as I know, The Pinball Song doesnt feature on any Sesame Street compilation albums and decent MP3 versions of it are like gold dust, which is a shame because judging from the number of search referrals I get to previous posts Ive written about The Pinball Song, theres a lot of interest in it.


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+ 2003-07-13 07:41:13 BST

You are talking about the ‘one-two-three FOUR FIVE! six-seven-eight nine TEN! eleven twelve!’ song, aren’t you? I love that one! And I didn’t even know it had a name…


+ 2003-07-17 07:48:04 BST

The Pinball Song is on the Sesame Street DVD The Great Numbers Game.

Also you may be interested in this video…





+ 2003-07-19 12:45:24 BST

The “Pinball Number Count” is track 1 on disc 2 of the upcoming Sesame Street CD box set, due for release in North America by Sony Wonder on 2 September 2003. The track listing does indeed credit the song to the Pointer Sisters. Whee!


+ 2003-07-19 14:52:42 BST

Great news Michael, thanks!


+ 2003-07-21 06:43:32 BST

Does anyone remember the Capital I song from Sesame Street, and who wrote that?


+ 2003-07-24 03:03:31 BST

I found this press release at


Re: pinball number count

Solid Steel [22.07.03, 18:01:06]

Well this is a turn up for the books – what’s Sesame Street doing on Ninja Tune? Just in time to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their very first show in the US, Sesame Street & Ninja Tune have teamed up to release a super rare disco remix by Larry Levan and the previously unavailable and much loved ‘Pinball Number Count’ by The Pointer Sisters.

It all started a couple of years ago when Strictly Kev, part of DJ Food, desperately wanted to include the infamous ‘Pinball Number Count’ on the first ‘Solid Steel Presents’ mix CD. You know the track, it was super funky and was accompanied by the cool animation of a pinball rolling around strange landscapes. Now this track is the stuff of legends within beat digging circles, DJs have scoured record bins for decades in the hope of finding it included on old Sesame compilations but alas, it was never on any of them.

Fortunately Kev knew this and rang Sesame Workshop in New York asking for a copy of the tape. It never actually made it onto the mix CD but that’s another story. What you have here is a composite of numbers
2-12 of the ‘Pinball Number Count’ animations (number 1 was never created). Kev has re-edited all the key elements and cleaned up the sound while he’s at it. And cooing those syncopated numbers and “do-do’s” in the background is only the Pointer Sisters on a session singing assignment.

If that wasn’t enough, also included on the release is an extremely rare disco mix of ‘C is For Cookie’ by Cookie Monster (the original can change hands for up to 100). This fantastic remix is by the late Larry Levan; DJ legend and driving force behind the New York club,The Paradise Garage for 10 years. Many people credit Larry as being the first DJ to play a very eclectic and open-minded mix of music. This was the first remix he did before going on to have a very successful studio career,introducing the dub aesthetic into dance music. As he said at the time “Tommy Baratta one day said to me ‘you want to mix a record?’ There was this song from Sesame Street, called ‘C Is For Cookie’, and I mixed it, not serious, not getting paid for it or nothing”

Finally, the last track is another beat diggers break nugget and an alternate disco mix of ‘C Is For Cookie’. This time late Manhattan disco DJ Roy Thode was the man controlling the faders. Involved in the NY disco scene in the 70’s he did remixes for Vanguard Records
and was resident at clubs like 12 West and the Saint. His remix is full of thumping disco breaks that make this more than your average kids record and rounds the package off beautifully.

With all these ingredients in the mix you know exactly what this special release from the Solid Steel crew is doing on Ninja Tune. Look out for more rare Solid Steel selections in this irregular series.

DJ Food Re-edit – Special extension by Strictly Kev (2:41)

Funky version – Special Disco Mix by Larry Levan (6.09)

Sweet version – Special Disco Mix by Roy Thode (7:35)


+ 2003-08-04 12:57:40 BST

I have been looking for this track for ages too. The closest i came was when i was told by a record store owner in Camden (London) that he’d had a copy knocking around for a couple of years without being able to shift it. He told me that he’d ended up giving it away!!! But did tell me that it was on an obscure kids album that hadn’t got anything to do with Sesame Street or CTW but couldn’t remember what it was called. If its true then we still live in hope and if not he’s just added to its urban legend status.


+ 2003-08-14 19:40:53 BST

They still play this on the new sesames—my husband is going to throw it through his 4 track and get it on CD
Im trying to get his band Juggling Suns to cover it—-
they are psychedelic funky grateful dead phishy style stuff—-
should really f-in sweet:)


+ 2003-08-18 00:10:21 BST

i was always of the opinion that it was written by Frank Zappa?

thats the story that i was always told


+ 2003-08-19 12:31:24 BST

THIS IS DRIVING ME MENTAL….......................


+ 2003-08-20 14:11:16 BST

I have some more information on the Pinball Number Count remix. The 12” vinyl will be available on September 15th and the song is also included on the 3 CD boxset that Sesame Street has coming out on September 1st.

Ninja Tune has released the artwork as wallpaper you can download and use as a background on your computer. The the Pinball wallpaper uses frames from the original animation.

Check it out at http://www.ninjatune.net/downloads/


+ 2003-08-20 17:38:27 BST

More Ninja News. If you go to http://www.ninjatune.net/home/ they now have some more info on the release on the front page of their website and if you go to


they have the songs in real audio format.

Walt Kraemer

+ 2003-09-09 01:57:29 BST

I am the composer of the Pinball Song and would like to post a few comments about it. How do I do that?


+ 2003-09-09 11:38:00 BST

Well you can use form below (as you just have done), or you can email me at matt_jones@blueyonder.co.uk and I will post your comments on the front page of this site.


+ 2003-09-10 09:50:49 BST

Please read A Letter from Walt Kraemer

Walt has been kind enough to send me detailed information about the history of the song.


+ 2003-09-24 16:21:05 BST

Hi ho,

This tune did , and indeed still does rock.. Its a feel good tune that rivals such feel good themes from “Airwolf” , “TerraHawks” , “Ghostbusters” and the age old fave from “Thundercats”... Here is a link you may find mildy amusing


Its a Funky remix of the old tune with a nice video to go along..

Enjoy and Remeber the 80’s was the best age for Kids TV.. I spent my youth listening to counting vampires , magical hats , talking rodents and look how I turned out !


+ 2003-09-24 16:22:42 BST

Hi ho,

This tune did , and indeed still does rock.. Its a feel good tune that rivals such feel good themes from “Airwolf” , “TerraHawks” , “Ghostbusters” and the age old fave from “Thundercats”... Here is a link you may find mildy amusing


Its a Funky remix of the old tune with a nice video to go along..

Enjoy and Remeber the 80’s was the best age for Kids TV.. I spent my youth listening to counting vampires , magical hats , talking rodents and look how I turned out !


+ 2003-10-04 22:42:47 BST

Anyone still trying to see the original versions of this series might want to check current airings of Sesame Street. The Pinball series probably gets included in current shows more than any of the classic (70’s) S.S. segments.

It was easy to view the Pinball series when the Noggin network was airing old Sesame Street shows regularly, under the title Sesame Street Unpaved. That started in 1999 but has pretty much ended. Actually you may still be able to watch S.S. Unpaved, but if so it’s relegated to something like 5 a.m. timeslot about once a week IIRC.


+ 2003-10-13 05:13:40 BST

I’m looking for a song also a very old song about a kid who keeps singing I don’t Care and then a lion eats him and then changes his mind, it sounds like carol king. Not sure
old cartoon & music



+ 2003-10-23 00:11:28 BST

That’s probably from “Really Rosie” by Maurice Sendak. A musical based on his books. The story is called “Pierre”

cookie monsta

+ 2003-11-06 01:32:12 GMT

can some 1 plz post a workin link to the pinball tune pleeasssssseee !!!!




+ 2003-11-30 22:59:16 GMT

there is a new boxed set of 63 songs from sesame street called songs from the street….check it out, it has this song


+ 2003-12-16 00:05:18 GMT

This link is currently up:


Thanks for all the fantastic detail on this legendary song!


+ 2004-04-12 16:15:27 BST

You are my hero!

I recorded this song for an upcoming album, but have had no luck in the copyright research. Happening upon your site today may permit me to finish this project!! Could you put me in contact w/ Mr. Kraemer?

Many thanks!

~~B.J. O\’Shea

Beej, again

+ 2004-04-12 16:20:47 BST

Clicking on the www link above will take you to the mp3 of my group playing the song. No crazy vocals, but the sax is a fellow named Tracy Patterson, & the pianist is Shane Ohlson.

Distribute freely, just remember from whence it came.


Beej, last time

+ 2004-04-12 16:26:13 BST

Well, it didn\’t work that way, let\’s try this instead:

\link text\


+ 2004-04-22 07:03:26 BST

The song is called Pinball Number Count and it\’s performed by the Pointer Sisters. I believe it\’s on a CD called Sesame Street – Songs From The Street-35 Years Of Music (Disc 2)

I know this for sure, because the video clip for it was just requested and aired on C4 (New Zealand\’s equivalent of MTV).

if anyone knows a place where I could download it, I would very m,uch appreciate it.


+ 2004-04-23 06:35:12 BST

Got the song now, don\’t worry


+ 2004-05-27 18:12:15 BST

where the hell can i download the damn cartoon?!!??

email me: acdcriot@san.rr.com


+ 2004-05-29 01:06:45 BST


you can get the video as well as a mono version of the song (as if it was recorded off the tv hahaha) in kazaa lite.

I can\’t believe this: I\’ve been playing it over and over again.

mat from NZ

+ 2004-06-13 10:41:33 BST

Yo wicked tune. You know what would be the coolest – Drum and bass remix by DJ Zinc!!! It is so god damn funky!


+ 2004-06-24 07:15:39 BST

There is also an extended version of this song with a GREAT xylophone jam out there, I used to have it. Probably off Kazaa lite.

This was the original version, but much longer. Was almost 5 minutes if I remember correctly.


+ 2004-09-17 12:22:56 BST

where can i get the dj food edit of p n c ? im also from nz whuch seems to be a theme at the mo, any kno or got it and can give it email me tiberiustertius@hotmail.vom


+ 2004-09-27 21:50:27 BST

Hello there,

I’d just like to add, for the record, that I did a drum n’ bass remix of the Pinball Tune in 1998. This is a sort of feeble attempt on my part to say “I did it first!” to Braces Tower, who did a drum and bass remix of the number song in 2003. So there!!

My version was inspired by slacker TV nostalgia and Drum n Bass, I was an A-Level student back then and spent a lot of time watching Ironside and Sesame Street. The Pinball Song had always been a favourite of mine and seeing it again one day promted me to slack off college the same time next week to record it and make a tune out of it.

It was made entirely in Fasttracker2 on a 486 PC with a 15 2-channel mixer used to fade in some background sfx from a tangerine dream record and some delay from a Zoom Guitar FX thing.
The track also contains samples from Ironside, the B-Side to Street Life by the Crusaders, EVA by Jean Jacques Perrey and loads of bits of breaks and stuff.
Yes, I am slightly bitter.
No, I didnt get any recognition for it.
Ah well eh, nevermind.

If anyone is still interested, you can hear it at the link provided (I’ve just dug out the old minidisc, recorded it, remastered it, and uploaded it to my website).



John Davies aka Datassette


+ 2004-11-10 01:41:17 GMT

John/Datassette: I totally dig your remix, man!

This is just an update on where my link has gone… pinball number count

Get it there. I got to talk to Mr. K, and he’s very, very cool. It was a funny conversation to start with, “Hello, is this Walt Kraemer?”


“The Walt Kraemer who wrote the pinball number count song?”

“Um, let me turn down the t.v. ... Now, what?!”




+ 2004-11-23 10:30:40 GMT

Does anyone have links to the racecars spies clips? Now that I have found the Pinball clip I want to find these too.


+ 2004-11-23 10:49:49 GMT

The Ninjatunes DJ Food version of Pinball is really good! It splices a lot of the featured numbers into the one clip.

I would love a set of all 11 original versions of the clip, but thats just dreaming!


+ 2004-12-14 21:51:45 GMT

I am trying for the life of me figure out the notation for this tune….
i want walt kraemer to call me!LOL
my husband has been playing it over and over and its been tough for him….
beej- awesome version!


+ 2005-01-20 12:28:42 GMT

am trying to find original, dj food and larry lavan mixes…...

please email me any info

I know ninja tunes should have something but this is the the most info i have found on it and the audio given on here doesnt work so im guessing its old and been taken off.


+ 2005-01-30 00:43:21 GMT

Has anyone got an mp3 copy of the one just released on the “Songs from the street” cd? I’ve heard the windows media sample and it’s obviously been remastered etc. and it sounds really crisp. I want a copy of the full song – the only one I’ve got is taped off the TV and it’s fuzzy. Where can I get one?