Children's Music 40 Years Later
"Before 1978, We were otherwise known as Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison. In September of 1978, we lost our last names and we became Sharon, Lois & Bram and we've been together in good weather and stormy weather ever since then. Side By Side" This quote comes form the late great Lois Lilienstein off the album One, Two, Three, Four Live!. The album has since been rereleased on various platforms available for download, as well as hardcopies. It is now 2018-almost 2019 and the music scene is forever changing but Sharon & Bram are still going strong. In fact, if you ask me, I think they're vivacious as ever.
I'm thankful to have grown up on Sharon, Lois and Bram's music and am also thrilled to consider them friends, mentors and heroes. People often warn others, "Never meet your heroes. They aren't always how they appear." The beauty of this statement is, it couldn't be more wrong. Sharon, Lois & Bram are truly everything you'd imagine from their television show in the 80s The Elephant Show and their second series in the early 2000s Skinnamarink TV! They're kind, genuine, respectful, respected and respectable. Sharon, Lois & Bram have shaped the lives of children through music that spans multiple generations.
Although I was never fortunate enough to be on their television show as a child, or sing on their albums, they have taught me everything I know about music. Their consistency and dedication to children's music was so clearly important to them that it transcended to their listeners. I believe in an interview, the trio was quoted in saying, "We want families to be able to sing together." That couldn't be more true. I'm sure my parents have taken many a road trip with the cassette taps of Sharon, Lois & Bram and even in their worst moods found themselves singing along.....sometimes louder than the cassette or the child themselves.
Growing up in a very musical household, the trio ran the music scene. Life and daily activities centered around episodes of The Elephant Show or songs, or the amount of time it took to listen to an album in full. Although the episodes are not available on Hulu, Netflix or regularly shown on television, their television shows are golden treasures. If you visit Youtube, you can find clips from both television shows, news clips, interviews, and live performances. On Instagram or Twitter, simply use the hashtag #SharonandBram #Skinnamarink or #SharonLoisBram and you will be in heaven. Adults and children alike singing along to the trio or Sharon and Bram live in concert.
Following Lois' passing in April 2015 after a battle with cancer, Sharon and Bram have embarked on their 40th Anniversary Tour in 2018. The tour kicked off in October at The Young People's Theatre(YPT) in Toronto, Ontario. That destination marks where the first tiro performance took place. The ability to be in the audience for the historical event was incredible.
Although Lois was incredibly missed, her granddaughter Tessa and son David were there to help kick off the celebration. Tessa even joined Sharon and Bram on the stage and sang one of the songs Lois often sang while on tour and in the television shows, "A You're Adorable". To add to the fun, their vocal coach and longtime friend Elaine Overholt joined them on stage to sing a "Lois-esque" song, "It Don't Mean A Thing....If It Ain't Got That Swing." The song was packed with an incredible beat, delicious harmonies and was powerfully reminiscent of the arrangements found on The Elephant Show and Skinnamarink TV. There was also an incredible announcement of new music, "The Colour Song" available for download on multiple platforms, a picture book(to be released in October 2019) and even more in the works. The evening of celebration was brought to a close with a presentation by the folks at YPT. They also commemorated Sharon Lois & Bram's milestone career by donating 3 seats in their honor.
Since the start of their 40th kickoff, Sharon and Bram have traveled all over Canada performing to packed houses of adults, kids, and grandparents. They're singing songs together, treasuring family time, and simply savoring evening out full of song, dance and of course memorable tunes and arrangements. Their song list on tour included but was not limited to "The Hug Song", "The Colour Song", "One Elephant", "Peanut Butter and Jelly", "Tingalay-o", "A You're Adorable", "Candy Man" and of course "Skinnamarink". Sharon & Bram were joined by Pianist and bandleader Grant Slater, Steve Heathcote serves as the Rhythm Section, and for the duo and Multiple instrument master Kirk Elliott. Although called down from their Mammoth Band days, the feelings are just as memorable and nostalgic. If you're able, check @sharonandBram on both Instagram and Twitter as well as www.sharonandbram.com for more concert dates, ticket info and merchandise. If you're looking for a more comprehensive history of the the trio, pleas visit www.SharonLoisBram.com.
If you have young people in your life this holiday season, a birthday coming up, or a baby shower and want to gift new parents or soon-to-be parents with some quality music for children and adults alike, please consider visiting the aforementioned websites, iTunes, and/or Amazon for the ability to have Sharon, Lois and Bram's music in your life. They make perfect stocking stuffers and amazing ear worms for your iPod, MP3 players and more. If you have an Alexa device or Spotify, please ask Alexa, "Hey Alexa, play me a Sharon Lois & Bram Playlist." Your world will be blessed because of this request!
From 1978-2018 the only thing growing older is the age bracket that have been influenced by Sharon and Bram. the music stays the same, the audience grows older and gives back. Although children's music is clearly not going anywhere, Sharon & Bram are in a class of their own. As we stated earlier, Sharon, Lois & Bram wanted quality. They wanted the best for their listeners. They sang with kids instead of singing at them.
I am blessed to have their music on Record, VHS, CD, Youtube and MP3 to continue to recall special moments in my youth, to remind myself what quality music for kids of all ages is a, and what it truly means to be young at heart.
Give the gift of music anytime. You won't regret it.
"Boo Boo Be Do....MUAH!"
Photo Curtsy of Denise Grant Photography.
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