A Very Serious Non-Scientific Poll

I am seriously looking for your input on this; I assure you it is not a trick question, but what I think to be a very simple and straightforward one. That said, I am not doing this as a multiple-choice poll, but open-ended, for reasons which I will reveal at a later date. Please do leave your answer in the comments, even if others have already answered (and please do your best not to be influenced by earlier answers, whether they agree or disagree with yours). And despite this being the internet, I am asking for your honest first answer (even if it is “I don’t know”). Please do not google, bing, or otherwise search–I’m not looking for their answer, I’m looking for yours.

The question is: Who sang “The Rainbow Connection”?


  1. rikitiki says

    That would be Kermit the Frog. If the question is about who provided Kermit’s voice…I think at that time it was Jim Henson. That song was from the first Muppet Movie as well.

  2. eric says

    I also associate it with Kermit. Don’t know if Henson or one of his staff wrote it, or it was a cover. Don’t really care; Kermit will always own the song for me. :)

  3. busterggi says

    I’m joining the majority for a change – that was my favorite from The Muppet Movie.

  4. Kevin says

    Kermit the Frog, aka, Doug Henning.

    In the first Muppet Movie, including while riding a bicycle. Which was the first time anyone had seen his legs, as I recall (Kermit’s, not Henning’s).

  5. Kevin says

    Crap. Jim Henson…Doug Henning was a magician…may still be one.

    Ah, memory. How it fails one.

  6. readingwhilefemale says

    I had never even heard of the song until just now, and I had no idea who sang it until I read the comments. Oops.

  7. Humanists Harbor says

    I heart The Muppets. It was definitely Kermit the Frog, the late great Jim Henson being the puppeteer of course. I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it!

  8. SherryH says

    I don’t know if he was the first, or the only, but I distinctly remember hearing it sung by Kermit the Frog. (There may have been backup from other Muppets, but Kermit was definitely the main singer.) And, no, I don’t remember the voice actor who would actually have been singing it. Was Kermit voiced by Jim Henson?

    And, again, not 100% sure, but I’m pretty positive it was in the Muppet Movie that I heard it.

  9. Blondin says

    Okay, I couldn’t help seeing other people’s answers but honestly I was going to say Kermit/Jim Henson.

  10. Blondin says

    Kevin@10, Doug Henning WAS a magician. He died of liver cancer in 2000. I saw him perform live several times before he left Winnipeg. What a pity he got mixed up in TM bullshit and didn’t seek proper medical care when he needed it.

  11. says

    I scrolled past the other answers to say; Kermit The Frog sang the main song in the original Muppet Movie. Other characters may have joined in the chorus, I can’t remember.

    This is not to say that the song couldn’t have existed prior but that is when I first heard it.

  12. Jenna says

    John Denver! And of course Kermit… Which came first in my mind, I’m not terribly certain.

  13. rpenner says

    My memory of the period indicates that many people sang it, but I thought it was first sang by Kermit the Frog.

  14. kaboobie says

    My immediate response was Kermit the Frog, though with a moment’s reflection I might have said Jim Henson.

    When Kermit started strumming the intro on his banjo in the recent film “The Muppets”, I teared up.

  15. Alverant says

    The world’s fastest filker, Tom Smith, still sings it often after his tribute song to Jim Henson titled, “A Boy and His Frog” (YouTube it and be prepared to turn on the water works).

    I sing it too occasionlly.

    Note, your question did not ask who sang it first, just who sang it.

  16. carpenterman says

    I could not even recall the song until I read the comments.
    Does that mean I have no soul?

  17. HP says

    Lots and lots of people have sung “Rainbow Connection.” As others have pointed out, it was premiered by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie.

    If you want to know who was the first to sing “Rainbow Connection,” then either Paul Williams or Kenneth Ascher, who are co-credited with music and lyrics. But this is easily accessible information, so I can’t fathom your purpose in asking.

    Despite your assurances, I suspect this is a trick question of some sort, because you can Google like the rest of us.

    [edit–I did not need to google, of course; I knew the answer(s). I was not after what the answer is, but after what people say the answer is. That’s why it was a poll, not a question.–DC]

    Unless you have reason to believe that the easily accessible information is wrong, in which case I’m going to guess Joe Raposo.

  18. Besomyka says

    I don’t know. The title sounds familiar, but I don’t have any melody or lyrics in my head that could even help me guess.

    Probably a group from the 1970’s, but… heck if I know.

  19. Trebuchet says

    Posting without looking at any previous comments: I’m completely clueless. I don’t even remember a song of that title.

  20. says

    Are you planning a scandalous rewrite of the lyrics?

    Are you wondering if all you have to worry about is a fake frog?

    The real danger is the pig. Cloven-hoofed and everything. Clearly a religious allegory.

    I also associate the song with Kermie.


  21. cathyw says

    Kermit The Frog, of course, and I think I might have a glimmer of what your reasons-to-be-named-later are…

  22. Tenebrarius (@Tenebrarius) says

    Grr… Argh….

    Paul Williams. I was half right, right? I was picturing him as I gave the wrong name.

  23. MoeFaux says

    My answer was “The Muppets.” But looking at the other responses, I have a vague recollection of it being Kermit.

  24. Jag says

    Whoever did the voice for Kermit the Frog, although it took me a few minutes to put an image with the voice in my head.

  25. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Kermit the Frog! (though I have no idea who voiced him. Did Jim Henson do the voices too??)

  26. HA2 says

    The version that I now have stuck in my head is by the Carpenters.

    I have a suspicion that that is a cover, but you didn’t ask who sang it first, just who sang it :)

  27. HennaHonu says

    I have no idea. The name sounds vaguely familiar, but I definitely couldn’t hum a refrain…

  28. jaranath says

    Kermit the Frog and/or Jim Henson. Dunno if the song was original or not, but that’s who (to me) “sings it”, and while I know Henson was Kermit, I really just think of the Muppet when I imagine the song.

    No trick question? What are you up to, then…? Tell me and I’ll buy you a bottle of one of the finest wines of Idaho!

  29. Katalina says

    So now I cheated and looked at everyone else’s responses – I assumed Kermit the Frog wasn’t a choice, for some reason! I have a feeling that Kenny Loggins was a cover, too, and that I don’t know the original singer.

  30. Plien says

    I just watched the latest Muppet movie, which has a version of this song, otherwise i wouldn’t have remembered the original muppet movie.

    So that’s Kermit voiced by Jim Henson.

    I <3 the muppets, get teary eyed by them & stuff like "a boy & his frog". Heck, i even get the wobblies by this post & thinking of all the good they have done.

    The Muppets
    Sesame Street
    The Freggles
    The Storyteller
    Labyrinth (i <3 Bowie for his role in that movie!)
    The Dark Crystal

    Hops of to watch some henson…

  31. Phrogge says

    Kermit the Frog (or, more properly, whoever voiced him at the time; Jim Henson, I think.)

  32. says

    I don’t know. Never heard of it before. Sorry if that messes up your stats. Full disclosure. I didn’t grow up here, not my culture.

  33. Kristen says

    Paul Williams wrote it, Kermit the Frog sang it originally. My favorite version is Paul Williams and Jason Mraz :)

  34. puppy says

    Kermit the Frog. I couldn’t sing a single bar of it, though. The Muppets scare the crap out of me and I avoid them whenever possible.

  35. Fighter says

    Shit! My “honest first answer” is Kermit the Frog, so I guess I have to give that one, but the answer I really want to give is Me First and The Gimme Gimmes!!!!

  36. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    My recollection is that it was Kermit the Frog voiced by Jim Henson in “The Muppet Movie” Love that movie! That’s the only version I know.

  37. Helen says

    Strictly speaking, I don’t know for sure. My immediate association is Kermit the Frog of The Muppets, so that would mean I think Jim Henson sang it.

    That’s if you mean “who sang it first”. If you want a list of people who have sung the song at some point in time, then definitely Jim Henson, bunches of other people, and also a former classmate of mine.

    [edit–I’ve sung it many a time, myself!–DC]

  38. Lynn Wilhelm says

    Kermit the Frog. Don’t care if there was a human “behind” him it was Kermit.

  39. had3 says

    Btw, I scrolled to the end of the comment section and entered my answer before reading any comments. Now for the good stuff…

  40. tms says

    I have absolutely no idea, nor have I ever heard, or heard of, “The Rainbow Connection”.

  41. Chuck Nelson says

    Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog.
    You should check out the Doc “Finding Elmo”, great stuff with lots of old photos and footage of Jim and Kermit Love.

    [edit–that would be “Being Elmo”, and I intend to.–DC]

  42. N. Nescio says

    Skipped to bottom.

    Jim Henson when he voiced Kermit the frog in the muppets movie.

    I don’t ‘get’ this poll. I hope the results involve clever prose.

  43. martinbenson says

    I have no idea. I suspect I’d recognize it if I heard it, but the title means nothing to me.

  44. Aliasalpha says

    Am I the only one in shock at the number of people who’ve never heard of the song? You people were clearly not raised right if you don’t know the muppets!

  45. Tehpet says

    Kermit Theee Frog here folks. Also some other muppets. Some humans too, but nobody cares about them.

  46. Eidolon says

    Interesting. I can see Kermit on the bike, hear the intro banjo bit and and I would think Jim Henson voicing the song. Now I will go watch it.

  47. como says

    Kermit’s is the first version I heard, back in the ’70s. I faintly remember some other woman singing it too, though (Dione Warwick?)

  48. Mimmoth says

    The one I remember is Kermit T Frog.

    It’s a pretty good song, though, so I don’t doubt others have recorded it, and I have no reason to think Kermit was necessarily the first.

  49. Scott Simmons says

    Kermit the Frog.

    Now can I go Google it? I can’t help but be curious what other answers are floating around on the ‘net; I can’t recall ever hearing anyone else perform this other than as a Muppets homage.

  50. bahrfeldt says

    Real nice to see what brings the greatest number of responses. For the record, I remembered Kermit, assuming a cover but I see no one else will swear to that either.

  51. David says

    Ahh fond memories of my childhood… it was, of course, Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie, as so many have said. I still own the album and photo book. Jim Henson was one of the greats.

  52. Captain Mike says

    Kermit the Frog.

    @ Kevin @ 10: Henning was a magician, but he later went insane and then even later went into Canadian politics (while still nuts). His Natural Law Party wanted to replace the military with levitating transcendental meditators.

  53. Rip Van Winkle says

    1. Kenny Loggins
    2. Kermit the Frog

    I thought of them *almost* simultaneously so it was difficult to say which was my “first” thought.

  54. caseloweraz says

    There’s no way to prove it, of course, but yes, I clearly remember that it was Kermit the Frog, on the illimitable Muppets Show.

    (And I would guess that Kermit was voiced by the late Jim Henson.)

  55. Eric O says

    I don’t know that song. Maybe I’d recognise it if I heard it, but I still probably wouldn’t know who the singer is unless he or she has a very distinctive voice.

  56. Eric O says

    Disregard this comment for polling purposes: After googling it, it seems like I do know the song after all. I just didn’t recognise the title.

  57. says

    I’m guessing that the point of asking is the distinction between Kermit and Jim Henson. That is, did Kermit sing it, or did Jim Henson? My answer, in agreement with the majority, is Kermit.

  58. rodrigo says

    What is “The Rainbow Connection”?

    Of course, right after that first thought came “It’s a song, you silly!”, but you did ask for our first …

  59. says

    Kermit (character); Jim Henson (actor)

    For any musical, if you ask me who sang a song, I’d only give the actor’s name if I forgot the character’s name.

  60. Theshiningfool says

    Kermit the Frog!

    (I have no idea who sang for Kermit, but he’s the reason I know the song, and the reason I picked up the banjo!)

  61. OmegaMom says

    KERMIEEEEEE! Of course it’s Kermit The Frog! And, oh, yeah, some human guy named Jim Henson.

  62. Jon says

    Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog sang it in the movie. Other people have covered it, of course.

  63. llyris says

    Kermit the frog. Well, the man behind the frog. Was it Jim Henson?
    *Done! now I can read the comments*

  64. Die Anyway says

    Hmmm… a poll that can’t be pharyngulated.

    First thought was Kermit, second thought was “well literally it was whomever was the voice of Kermit”, third thought was “was Jim Henson still doing Kermit at that point?”

    I’m old enough to remember Kermit from the original coffee commercials. I was living in the D.C. area at the time.

  65. carolw says

    Kermit the Frog. I love that song. Here, I’m going to age myself – we sang it in elementary school choir (shortly after it came out).

  66. Phledge says

    I think Matthew @#155 has it. My very first thought was Kermit, but then my mind revolted and said, “Kermit isn’t REAL–it was Jim Henson!” But then I wondered what the definition of real is if it excludes a character like Kermit. I might be confused all day.

  67. The Ridger says

    I’m too late to vote, but I wanted to thank Alethea H. Claw – it bugs me when people say “Jimmy Stewart said” or whatever. I know why they do it, but the odds that Stewart (for example) subscribed to everything his characters said are vanishingly small…

  68. Katkinkate says

    The puppeteer behind Kermit the frog. Technically it was Kermit, but he’s actually just an imaginary character personified by a felt puppet with someone’s hand up its fabric backside.

  69. Katkinkate says

    Unless, someone else performed it first then that might be the right answer, but the first time I ever heard of it was with Kermit.

  70. abb3w says

    Errr? Well, the song by that name I recognize was a number from the original Muppet Movie. The main singer for the opening version was Kermit T. Frog, voiced by Jim Henson, though some of the other Muppets also sang in the reprise – I’d guess Frank Oz was at least one of the voices. There probably are others in the Henson team who were singing in the reprise, but those are the only two muppeteers I recall by name.

    As I suspect a trick question, I’d note it’s been sung by others since; there might possibly be another unrelated song by that name; and I’m not 100% sure it was original to the Muppet Movie, either.

    Now, to go peek at what other people said….

  71. Skye says

    Sorry, I must have grown up under a rock – I am 30, and my first response was Kenny Loggins!

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