The Curious Listener: The Music of "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!"

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 17, 2012 12:18 pm

The director of each NPR program get to the pretty sweet job of selecting the songs that you hear between stories on air. We call them music buttons because they "fasten" the stories together.

Those buttons often generate interest among our listeners who love, hate or are just plain curious about how a particular song ended up on a program.

This week's Curious Listener is taking a turn to examine some of the ear-catching tracks selected by our Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! crew that left listeners (and our Listener Services team) scratching their heads:

Emily Dagger from NPR Listener Services, who answered this listener letter, tell us that this isn't the first time the news-quiz-show crew have sent listeners on a hunt for the unexpected songs they choose for the show.

"I Ate Too Much is a really obscure song that they pulled from one of the producers' record collections... I ultimately had to contact the WWDTM staff to track it down."

Although, she adds, "It's probably slightly less obscure than the time they used a song from an early season of The Muppets that ONLY exists on LP... an LP which one of the producers still happens to be clinging to a childhood copy of."

This music button was a version of the song "Wiggly Tooth" sung by a Muppet named Rocky, and included on two, nearly-impossible-to-find albums from the early '80s. In case you're curious, the show used the a version from the album, Sesame Street: For the First Time.

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