Get ready for the new Mister Rogers movie with Joy Ike's cover of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Get ready for the new Mister Rogers movie with Joy Ike's cover of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Things don't always happen according to plan, and sometimes that works out for the better. In Pittsburgh-native Joy Ike's case, fallen communication led to the delayed release of her "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" cover and accompanying music video, which dropped Wed., Nov. 20, two days before the new Mister Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, hits theaters.

The video follows Ike through various North Side locations as she sings, strums instruments, and frolics with Pittsburgh children to the tune of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

"Every part of this project has personal sentimental value: filming in and around my stomping grounds and recording the song with friends back home," Ike says in a press release. "Most of all, I was so happy to finally be doing a project with children, something that has been a dream of mine for years! Most of the kids involved are the children and grandchildren of long-time friends and fans. That has been especially wonderful!"

The idea to cover the iconic Mister Rogers tune came in early 2018 when Ike was invited by PBS affiliate WQED to participate in their Sweater Sessions video series to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. At that time, however, Ike was touring and promoting her album, Bigger Than Your Box, and the project fell to the side.

"l knew I wanted to put the song out, and this month seemed appropriate," she says.

Along with being filmed in Pittsburgh, every aspect of Ike's cover has ties to the city, including being shot and directed by Pittsburgher Benjamin T. Wilson (Bennty).

"I think somehow and in some way, everyone feels connected to Mister Rogers," says Ike. "His way of thinking and being were counter-culture and filtered through a worldview that pre-supposed that everyone deserved/deserves to be seen. Truly seen. This is what I have come to love most about him. I believe his gift of presence has made ripple effects that will last into eternity."

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