Philip Balsam who, along with Dennis Lee, wrote songs and music for Fraggle Rock and many other Henson productions, has died at the age of 79.. 

The Henson Company posted the following tribute on social media:

“‘For the magic, magic is in every moment. Magic is you.’ – Balsam & Lee

Today we honor and celebrate the life of Philip Balsam, who — along with Dennis Lee — was the songwriter and composer of the nearly 200 memorable and beloved songs for Fraggle Rock, including its iconic theme song. A cherished member of our Fraggle Rock family, he inspired generations of fans and musicians, and his heartfelt work will continue to bring joy for many years to come.”

Balsam also provided the voice, and inspired the name, for Phil Fraggle in “New Trash Heap in Town”, made a cameo as a  street musician in “The Day the Music Died” and it’s presumed that Balsam the Minstrel was named after him as well. 

Balsam and Lee later wrote songs for The Tale of the Bunny Picnic, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppet Classic Theater, and The Animal Show, while Balsam worked solo on Dog City, composing the main title theme.”

Below is a sampling of Balsam’s pop, kid friendly songs for Muppets.

Philip Balsam was born in Europe and moved with his family to Canada at a young age. He began working in children’s shows and had his big break in 1983, when he and Lee made a demo for Fraggle Rock. The show was being made (in part) in Toronto, where Balsam and Lee lived. This led to working on about 200 episodes of television that were broadcast around the world. In 1984, the duo won a Grammy for their work on Fraggle Rock. On May 26, 2020, Apple TV+ announced that, alongside a series order for a reboot, they had acquired the exclusive streaming rights to the previous seasons of Fraggle Rock in 100 countries.

The Muppet Fandom wiki has more about him :

Dennis Lee is still living in Toronto and writing children’s books.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.