F is for Free to Be You and Me #AtoZChallenge

Book. Record. TV Special. VHS. And later- DVD.

Marlo Thomas was the creator, producer, and brainchild behind this 1972 book, then later the same year an accompanying record album. Being performed by an impressive celebrity list, the record featured song and stories from the book. It aired as an ABC television special in 1974. Much later it was available on DVD. 

The premise of the book was simple. It aimed to teach children about tolerance, individuality, acceptance and being comfortable with one’s own identity. It pushed at gender stereotypes, showing kids that gender did not matter and you could be anything you want to be. 

I have such fond memories of this record. I loved the tv special but most of all I remember listening to the songs and stories. It didn’t matter or occur to me that it was jam-packed with big name celebrities like Alan Alda, Cisely Tyson, Rosie Greer, Shirley Jones, and Diana Ross- to name a few. I didn’t even know who most of them were. 

There were two stories/skits/songs that stuck with me all these years.“Boy Meets Girl’ featured Marlo Thomas and Milton Berle providing voices for two babies, who were meeting in a hospital nursery and didn’t know if they were boys or girls. “William’s Doll” was a song based on a book by Charlotte Zolotow. Alan Alda and Marlo Thomas sang the parts of the two main characters. William was a boy who just wanted a doll. 

I was excited to find it on DVD so I could share it with the little guys. I wasn’t sure how it would be received but they loved it! It’s always fun to share things from your childhood with your kids and/or grandkids and have them enjoy it as much as you did as a child! Do you remember this book/record/show?

This post is part of Blogging from A to Z Challenge- F

Have a great day!


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