Premiering on Saturday, March 20th at 10am CT, a special virtual presentation of “Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers,” will be hosted by Tom Bergeron (America’s Funniest Videos, Dancing with the Stars) to commemorate America’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers’ 93rd birthday.
The virtual show will stream on both YouTube (youtu.be/RVUeGpBvecA) and Facebook Live (@ThankYouMisterRogers), and includes featured performances of Fred Rogers’ songs and/or birthday shout-outs by celebrity recording artists Kellie Pickler, Vanessa Williams, Lee Greenwood, The Cowsills, Jaci Velasquez, Jim Brickman, Jon Secada, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr, Micky Dolenz, Tom Bergeron, and Sandi Patty. The virtual celebration is also dedicated to the late Joanne Rogers, wife of Fred, who passed away earlier this year.
The virtual birthday bash is the creation of two-time Grammy and Emmy winning producer, Dennis Scott, who has produced two albums of Fred Rogers’ music: Songs From The Neighborhood – The Music of Mister Rogers (2005) & Thank You, Mister Rogers – Music & Memories (2019).
Also, for the event, Scott interviewed numerous fans and supporters of Mister Rogers and was surprised by how many people received personal letters from him over the years. One compelling story is that of a young Connecticut girl who was visited by Fred while she was in a coma recovering from brain surgery.
“I wanted to give folks a chance to tell their stories and express their gratitude to Fred on what would have been his 93rd birthday,” said Scott.
A post Covid re-release of the Thank You, Mister Rogers – Music & Memories is now underway for the acclaimed tribute album originally released in 2019. The new collection of Fred Rogers’ songs has received numerous awards including a Parent’s Choice award, a Family Choice award, and a nomination from the American Association of Independent Music – to which Joanne Rogers added, “Congratulations to you in getting these honors for Fred in the field he cared most about.”
Mister Rogers suggested that in times of trouble we should “Look for the helpers.” Many would agree that Fred Rogers is, himself, a helper that “we need now more than ever.”
Others honoring Fred include David Newell, better known as Mister McFeely from “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.” David is a fan of the reimagined versions of Mister Rogers’ songs on the new album. “Each song is arranged differently, and each singer has made it their own. Fred would be delighted to know that his music lives on to new generations.” In turn, radio stations across the country are invited to make it a “snappy new day” (a lyric found in Fred’s closing song theme) by playing Mister Rogers songs all day on his birthday.
Producer, Dennis Scott, is simultaneously spearheading a grassroots campaign to get Fred Rogers nominated to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. A petition in support of that is viewable at ThankYouMisterRogers.com.
“Fred loved writing songs and becoming a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside other great American composers, is the best birthday present we could give him,” said Scott. “Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers!”
“Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers” streams on YouTube & Facebook Live @ThankYouMisterRogers, Saturday, Mar. 20 at 10am CT.