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Get Happy: "The Rainbow Connection"

Here's a sweet song to end a long week. In 1979, Jim Henson (as Kermit the Frog) performed "The Rainbow Connection" in The Muppet Movie. The song reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1979, and remained in the Top 40 for seven weeks -- not too bad for a song sung by a puppet. (Sorry: muppet.) Writers Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams were nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the song, but lost both to rival song "It Goes Like It Goes" from the movie Norma Rae. Remember Norma Rae? Me neither.

"The Rainbow Connection" has popped up in pop culture quite a bit over the years. For one thing, in 1996, a man held the manager of a New Zealand radio station hostage; one of his major demands was that the station play "The Rainbow Connection." (The station did not play the song, and the man was arrested and charged with kidnapping.) Also, the song has been covered by artists including Sarah McLachlan, Kenny Loggins, The Dixie Chicks, Jason Mraz, The Pussycat Dolls (!), Willie Nelson, Weezer, and Debbie Harry (in a duet with Kermit).

Enjoy:

After the jump, a bunch of cover versions!

Debbie Harry & Kermit, 1981

The Dresden Dolls, 2006

Jason Mraz

Sarah McLachlan

A fan video with photos of rainbows, and rainbow-dissolves.

Willie Nelson

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Henson Company
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Pop Culture
Jim Henson's Labyrinth Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical
Henson Company
Henson Company

More than 30 years after its cinematic debut, Labyrinth could be hitting the stage. In an interview with Forbes, Jim Henson's son and Henson Company CEO Brian Henson shared plans to transform the cult classic into a live musical.

While the new musical would be missing David Bowie in his starring role as Jareth the Goblin King, it would hopefully feature the soundtrack Bowie helped write. Brian Henson says there isn't a set timeline for the project yet, but the stage adaptation of the original film is already in the works.

As for a location, Henson told Forbes he envisions it running, "Not necessarily [on] Broadway, it could be for London's West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."

Labyrinth premiered in 1986 to measly box office earnings and tepid reviews, but Jim Henson's fairytale has since grown into a phenomenon beloved by nostalgic '80s kids and younger generations alike. In the same Forbes interview, Brian Henson also confirmed the 2017 news that a long-anticipated Labyrinth sequel is apparently in development. Though he couldn't give any specifics, Henson confirmed that, "we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We're still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something, but nothing that's close enough to say it's about to be in pre-production or anything like that."

While fans eagerly await those projects to come out, they can get their fix when the film returns to theaters across the U.S. on April 29, May 1, and May 2. Don't forget to wear your best Labyrinth swag to the event.

[h/t Forbes]

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Spotify
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Pop Culture
David Bowie Is Taking Over New York City's Subways
Spotify
Spotify

Ground control to Major Tom: New York City subway riders can now channel one of David Bowie’s many personas while “floating 'round a tin can”—or vying for a seat on the train, as Fast Company reports. Created by Spotify in collaboration with the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), commemorative MetroCards featuring iconic images of the legendary rocker will be circulated for a limited time to promote the ongoing "David Bowie is" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

A promotional David Bowie MetroCard
Spotify

Five different MetroCards are available, each depicting one of Bowie’s iconic stage personas, including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and The Thin White Duke. Past MetroCard promotions have featured characters from cult TV hit Twin Peaks and the logo of skateboard brand Supreme, the latter of which became so popular that some of the cards sold on eBay for prices ranging from $50 to $1000, according to The Verge.

Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover
Spotify

The MTA said 250,000 David Bowie cards have been printed. They will be sold at random from station booths and MetroCard vending machines at the Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker stations.

The stations were chosen because of their proximity to Lafayette Street in SoHo, where Bowie lived for two decades up until his death in 2016. In addition to the MetroCard promotion, Spotify has launched a “ takeover” of the Broadway-Lafayette station, where commuters will see photos of Bowie that are currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

A photo of Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover
Spotify

The "David Bowie is" exhibition runs until July 15 and includes 400 objects from the David Bowie Archive. Highlights include more than 60 of his performance costumes, 85 handwritten lyric sheets, and oil paintings created by Bowie.

[h/t: Fast Company]

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