I have been a fan of the Muppets since I was a little kid. I am not a little kid anymore but I still love them and it is kind of strange to think that the whole concept and the gigantic empire the Jim Henson built just started out with a love of puppetry and the desire to make some money by doing black and white silly adverts for coffee companies and cookie manufacturers.
His look evolved over the years
Kermit the Frog was one of the earliest inventions of Henson, and Kermit would play the role of what is referred to as the "straight man" - which has nothing to do with sexuality but rather that he would be the voice of reason in a cast of otherwise erratic and somewhat crazy counterparts.
A big part of the Muppets in the late 60's until today was the musical numbers that they do in the Muppet Show and Sesame Street and later in the feature length films that they continue making to this day despite the fact that the voice actors have changed for most of the characters many times over.
While these songs are catchy and for the most part, certainly well-done, a few of the more memorable ones are those which were sung by Kermit; the most famous of which are It's not easy being green, and The Rainbow Connection.
It is expected that these songs will be popular with the mostly child-audience back in the day, but Rainbow had such wide appeal that it actually made it to the top charts for all musical genres back in 1979.
Think about this for a second ok? A song sung by a fictional puppet frog was on the same top list as The Eagles, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, and Bob Dylan.
It's even more funny because Billboard apparently didn't know who to attribute the song to and in the listings it still appears simply as "Kermit" as the artist with (Jim Henson) written next to it. The song would remain in the top 40 for a total of 7 weeks and stayed in the top 100 for much longer. Imagine you are driving down the road jamming to some Foreigner and Journey and the next song is a Kermit song. I know I wouldn't mind because it truly is a fantastic song. There is one thing that people should know though, Jim Henson, as brilliant as he was, had nothing to do with the writing of the song. It was written by two men that while not famous artists themselves were responsible for writing songs for a lot of different bands - a tricky little process that continues with a lot of pop music even to this day.
Kermit was actually one of my least favorite Muppets, probably because he wasn't as slap-stick funny as a lot of the other characters in the lineup. I did on the other hand really like Rainbow Connection and to this day it is still a beautiful song even though it is sung by a man using a voice that is not his own and he doesn't have much of a vocal range anyway.
I was very young when this song and movie came out, but here we are many years later and I still enjoy it. If you haven't heard it I suggest that you do so now because as far as I know, it is the only time that Muppet song made any sort of crack into the charts as far as overall music is concerned.