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RAFFI, THE EGYPTIAN-BORN CROONER, IS MAKING A COMEBACK

It has been seven years since Raffi wrote the songs that make the whole world of kids sing. Sure, he recorded an environmental pop album called "Evergreen, Ever Blue" for the older set in 1990, but it has been quite some time since the Egyptian-born crooner spoke of tying shoes, snapping fingers and going off to school.

Raffi decided his fans have waited long enough, so he's staging a comeback.The popular tots' singer has just released "Bananaphone," a collection of songs that are as whimsical in their lyrics as the titles themselves: "Shake a Toe," "The Shmenge Polka," "Cowlit Night" and "The Gorilla Song."

The album is easy to recognize - Raffi's holding a banana up to his ear - and it's yet another in Raffi's long and prosperous career. But then, this is no wonder, as Raffi has been distinguished as the pioneer of children's music. He started singing for kids in 1974 and has sold more than 7 million albums in North America since then.

Raffi (his real name is Raffi Cavoukian), has recorded 12 albums, published four song books and 11 picture books and has three concert-length home videos.

His latest album is on MCA Records.

UNPLUGGED FOR KIDS: Two more albums are out with a spin on the "unplugged" moniker. In this case, it's clean rap and sweet pop for kids.

Walt Disney's "Mickey Unrapped" hit the stores this week with rap songs by the famous rodent. The tunes playfully mock the hits of today: "Whoomp! (There It Went), "DJ Goof," MC Mickey" and "Red Rappin' Hood," to name a few. Cassettes are $10.98, while CD prices vary.

Due out this week is "Kermit Unpigged" by Jim Henson Records. The album featuring the irrepressible amphibian includes duets with George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Ozzy Osbourne and Linda Ronstadt. Pop, not rap, is the operative word here, with tunes like "On Broadway," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Born to Be Wild" and the classic "Bein' Green."

Audiocassettes are $9.98; CDs, $15.98.