RIP Fraggle Rock Composer Philip Balsam

Published: April 3, 2023
Categories: News
Philip Balsam (right), with Dennis Lee (left) and Traveling Matt (center).

It is with a heavy heart that we learn that Philip Balsam, composer for the majority of the music on Fraggle Rock, has passed away.

The music of Fraggle Rock is arguably just as important to the success of the series as any of the Fraggles themselves. The songs helped drive the story, build suspense, create comedy, and help to drive home Jim Henson’s mission to bring peace to the world through his puppet show. Fraggle Rock would not have been Fraggle Rock if it weren’t for the songwriting team of Balsam and Lee.

While Dennis Lee wrote lyrics, his musical partner Philip Balsam handled the compositions. And those melodies are all spectacular, giving Fraggle Rock not just one voice, but a slew of various genres that helped build out the world and allow for an incredibly diverse library of music.

Among their Fraggly accomplishments, the duo wrote the franchise-defining song “Follow Me” as their audition tape for the show. They were also tasked with writing the iconic theme song, as well as songs like “Let Me Be Your Song”, “Pass It On”, “Convincing John”, “Do It On My Own”, and dozens more.

Elsewhere on Fraggle Rock, the character “Balsam the Minstrel” seems to have been named for Philip Balsam, although according to the Muppet Wiki, that fact has not been confirmed. But, come on.

In addition to his work on Fraggle Rock, Balsam and Lee wrote songs for Rocky Mountain Holiday, The Tale of the Bunny Picnic, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppet Classic Theater, and The Animal Show. Balsam (without Lee) also wrote the theme song to the Dog City TV series.

A spotlight on Philip Balsam wouldn’t be complete without a little music. Please enjoy just a few of our favorite Balsam and Lee songs below:

Click here to help us remember Philip Balsam on the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes –

Tagged:Fraggle Rock | RIP

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Written by Joe Hennes

Co-owner and Editor-in-Chief.
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