Weekly Music Tip: 8-bit Reading Rainbow

Those photos of LeVar Burton playing B.U.T.T.O.N. got me thinking about the old PBS television show Reading Rainbow (which Burton famously produced and hosted). So, I thought I’d theme this week’s music tip accordingly – with a chip tune remix of the Reading Rainbow theme song!

This one goes out to all of you who grew up in the United States in the 80’s:

To be totally honest, I never cared much for the show. My teachers used to force the show on us when I was a 1st grader, on days when it was too rainy to go outside. To this day, I remember suffering through some of those episodes. I feel bad admitting this, especially because I admire Burton and what the show was trying to do. But to my discredit, I was never much of a reader.

Still, I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and it feels good to hear the old theme song, especially in an absurd 8-bit incarnation.

Lastly, as a bonus, here’s an obscure Burton-related music factoid:

Have you ever heard The Orb’s legendary ambient-house track, “Little Fluffy Clouds“? The song famously samples Rickie Lee Jones reminiscing about the skies in Arizona when she was a child. Popular myth holds it that the interview comes from an episode of Reading Rainbow, and therefore that the person asking the question (“What were the skies like when you were young?”) is none other than LeVar Burton.

Just this week, I learned that the speaker in question is not, in fact, Burton. Apparently, the interview doesn’t come from Reading Rainbow, but from a bonus interview disc as included with a promotional copy of Jones’ “Flying Cowboys.”

Like my friend Matt put it: “Just when I thought I had no more illusions to shatter.”

Share your thoughts