View Full Version : Who plays piano on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood?

04-17-2001, 09:35 AM
I find his music very relaxing, and would like to buy a CD if one is available.



04-17-2001, 09:40 AM
This page (http://www.misterrogers.org/mister_rogers_neighborhood/songs_main.asp) has a lot of info about the music on MRN.

I think you're probably thinking of John Costas, though.

04-17-2001, 09:41 AM
The piano player on the show is named: Fred Rogers.

Yes, he plays all his own piano, composes all his own music.

04-17-2001, 09:42 AM
Sorry, Mr. Rogers fans!

04-17-2001, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by KneadToKnow
I think you're probably thinking of John Costas, though.
Crap. That's the kind of mistake I make once baseball season starts. It's John (or Johnny) Costa and here's some more info (http://www.cdnow.com/cgi-bin/mserver/SID=706726417/pagename=/RP/CDN/FIND/discography.html/frompage=music/ArtistID=COSTA*JOHNNY/select=biography).

04-17-2001, 09:52 AM
I will concede to Jomo Mojo's apparent authority.

I based my response on the following info (from the first link):
John Costa, Rogers' friend and collaborator for more than 25 years, served as music director of MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD until his death in 1996. Costa, a nationally recognized classical jazz pianist who held two Master of Fine Arts degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, provided the elegant, upbeat and inventive arrangements that helped to give Rogers' songs a life of their own beyond the television set. In fact, Costa recorded an album of jazz versions of songs from the NEIGHBORHOOD.

From the beginning of his work on the Neighborhood series, Costa chose jazz arrangements to underscore and bridge the activities in the NEIGHBORHOOD. Jazz has a timeless quality and allows for improvisation. That improvisation is part of the language of collaboration between Fred Rogers and John Costa. Together they created a topnotch musical team. "Music has to be high-quality," Costa believed. "Fred doesn't write simple tunes, and the jazz arrangements I do are very sophisticated, too. Fred always says, 'If it's for the children, it has to be the best we can give.'"

11-10-2017, 11:36 AM
The piano player on the show is named: Fred Rogers.

Yes, he plays all his own piano, composes all his own music.

Sorry, Johanna. I think you may have some wonky info. Fred Rogers originally studied to be a minister and did hold a B.A. in Music Composition (he was also a licensed pilot). But the man who actually played piano on the show was well-known studio jazz musician, Johnny Costa. Costa introduced Fred to another musician friend, Joe Negri (jazz guitarist), who ended up being cast as frequent walk-on character, Handyman Negri in addition to scoring some of the excursion background music for the filmed off-site sequences.

11-10-2017, 11:50 AM
Moved to Cafe Society, a forum that didn't exist when this thread was started in 2001.

General Questions Moderator

11-10-2017, 12:19 PM
Wow. I just realized:
When this thread was first started, Mr. Rogers was still alive. :/

Bryan Ekers
11-10-2017, 03:47 PM
The neighborhood's gone downhill in his absence.

11-11-2017, 10:36 AM
Rogers was a pianist and did write the majority of the songs that he sang. (The operas and such were intentionally not written by him.)

But the music was played live*, so there would be no way that Rogers to play for himself.

*Some say the intro was prerecorded after Costa died. It sure does sound more like Costa than the rest of the score. But then that makes me wish they could have done that for Trolley.

Ranger Jeff
11-12-2017, 08:41 AM
I really liked Mr. Rogers because he liked me just the way I was.

11-12-2017, 08:53 AM
Johnny Costa released an album of the shows jazz music. It features many of the shows regular songs.

No need to buy. Google linked each song to YouTube.


11-12-2017, 12:46 PM
Wow, did I ever get that wrong! It's always been obvious that the show includes 2 completely different styles of piano playing. I must have been blinded to the obvious because in my impressionable young mind Fred had already ascended into a godlike figure capable of anything.

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