Sharon, Lois, & Bram

By Sharon Hampson, Lois Ada Lilienstein, and Bramwell “Bram” Morrison

We all grow up listening to that one specific group. For me, it was Sharon, Lois, & Bram. We loved them. My parents grew to hate them. Our tapes died a horrible, slow, painful death from overplay. We torture our loved ones, my sister and I.

One of my defining moments of childhood was the day my father took we two young ones to our first concert. Admittedly, I thought he was kidnapping us because we were being dragged who-knows-where, and there was a huge, scary corrugated metal garage door in the shadows, leering at me. But perhaps I had an overactive imagination. Abduction fears aside, we went wild when my father, who delights in keeping secrets, finally revealed the surprise and a giant grey elephant came prancing out to entertain us gleefully screaming children who couldn’t be happier to be there.

I don’t remember what “tour” that was in particular, but I remember that all the basics were played. Specifically the ear-worm that is the Skinnamarink song. If you don’t know it, listen below. Please not, I am not responsible of you have an attack of nostalgia and/or your brain can play nothing else but this all day. You’ve been warned.

Sharon, Lois, & Bram were a new version of children’s musicians back in the day. Before that, children’s music was more of a folk style – slower, calmer, lots of lullabies. Sharon, Lois, & Bram changed all that with infectious, catchy, upbeat music that makes children get up and dance. They even had their own television show, The Elephant Show, which delighted me as a child and provided a wonderful distraction from the onerous tasks I was given, such as “watch your cousin while I go outside for 5 minutes and whatever you do, don’t let him fall down the stairs”. Guess how that ended?

The inspiration of Sharon, Lois, & Bram can still be found in current musical acts, such as the Wiggles today. Their music is classic and timeless, and a lot of fun. The Elephant Show is a little dated now, as are all things from the 80’s, but the music is still great. Quite tellingly, their music is still available and popular at the local library. If your child has never yanked this off the shelf and begged you to take this out, I recommend an immediate trip. Your child will thank you. Just don’t ask them to babysit while the CD is playing.

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Mr. Bach Comes to Call

By Susan Hammond

The basic premise is this: A young girl is practicing Bach on the piano, despite any desire to do so. Mr. Bach then appears and teaches her the value of the piano, while simultaneously telling her of his life and music.

Mr. Bach Comes to Call is a great mix of back-from-the-dead autobiography and concert CD. Many of Bach’s most famous musical works are played within the story, both in the background and featured on their own without any interruption. I don’t really remember what I enjoyed most – the story or the music. But I don’t even have to choose, because Mr. Bach Comes to Call gives us both in one.

Suggested Ages: 4+

Hammond, S. (1990). Mr. Bach Comes to Call. The Children’s Group.

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