Mind Cure Records owner Mike Seamans doesn't necessarily like to flaunt it, but he comes from Pittsburgh royalty: Seamans' mother, Elizabeth, is Mrs. McFeely.
That's why, for one thing, when Seamans and Mr. McFeely portrayer David Newell appear in character in a new video promo for the store and record label (along with dozens of other local notables), Seamans points out: "That is my mom. That guy is not my dad."
It's also one reason why Mind Cure is releasing a 7-inch single this weekend to benefit WQED and The Fred Rogers Company.
"My mom and dad both moved to Pittsburgh to work for public television at WQED," Seamans explains. "I literally grew up hanging out in the hallways there, hanging out on the Mister Rogers set."
And it was at a WQED event — Rick Sebak's 25th-anniversary party — that Seamans saw The Beagle Brothers performing the theme song from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood — and something clicked. "Right then, I had the idea that we should do a record, and they'd record the song, and give all the proceeds to public television," he explains.
The Beagles, who had become favorites of WQED's Sebak (hence the invite to play the party), gladly signed on. "His pitch to us was he wanted it to be a love letter to Pittsburgh, and to QED," explains the Beagles' Read Connolly. The result is what the Beagle Brothers call an "interpolation," rather than an interpretation. "We wrote this song that we interpolated ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' into," Connolly says.
The song is titled "9 out of 10 / It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and begins as a sweet Beagles ditty, with the famous Mister Rogers melody line entering gradually before it becomes the focus of the song's second half.
The 7-inch — the B-side of which is called "Hey There Blackbird" — marks the end of Mind Cure's year-long series of local singles, and will be available in person at the show (and at Mind Cure Records' store in Polish Hill). The tracks will also be sold online for those more digitally inclined.