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Sharon, Lois & Bram

Sharon, Lois & Bram - 1993
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Children/Family
Instruments Sharon: Vocals, Piano, Guitar
Lois: Piano, Autoharp, Vocals
Bram: Guitar, Banjo, Vocals
Years active 1978 – present
Labels Elephant Records
A&M Records
Drive Entertainment
Skinnamarink Entertainment
Casablanca Kids Inc.
Associated acts Eric Nagler, Raffi, Fred Penner
Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, Bram Morrison

Sharon, Lois & Bram is the name of a Canadian children's musical trio composed of Sharon (Trostin Hampson) (born March 31, 1943, Toronto, Ontario), Lois Ada (Goldberg) Lillenstein (born July 10, 1936, Chicago, Illinois), and Bramwell "Bram" Morrison (born December 18, 1940, Toronto, Ontario).


Group formation

Sharon Hampson, Lois Lillenstein and Bram Morrison began their singing careers as individuals. They all had a common ground performing at the “Mariposa in the Schools".[1] It was here where the trio met and came together to begin recording their first album, One Elephant, Deux Éléphants, released by Elephants Records distributed by A & M.[2] The folk style album soared in sales, becoming one of the fastest selling children’s album at the time in Canada.

The group began touring in Canada, in The Greatest Little Touring Super Show in 1979, then appearing in the United States at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival in New York in 1980. The group had a diverse musical sound and themed songs. It ranged from folk songs, school yard chants, pop tunes, camp songs, singing games, rounds, and nonsense rhymes that were performed in diverse styles such as jazz, calypso, rock’n roll, country and folk. Their music was for families and leaned heavily towards participation and sing along styles. This style was furthered developed in their television show Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show, which aired on CBC commencing in 1984.

Their unique singing style can be credited not only to themselves but also to producer Bill Whiteley.[3] Whitely was looking for a more energetic twist to children’s music and a shift away from the previous traditional folk style. So Whitely used a technique in which songs were no longer filtered though personalities and trademark sounds of the performer. Instead, songs instilled all musical manner and sources such as rock ‘n roll, Broadway or calypso. This sound was regarded as completely new. Sharon, Lois and Bram's appeal crossed a variety of demographics.[4]


During the 1980s, the trio starred in Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show on CBC. The series was later aired in reruns on the U.S. cable network Nickelodeon, through 1994. Each thirty-minute installment featured episode-length storylines, in addition to songs and sketches, featuring the trio alongside a human-sized elephant puppet and children's entertainer, Eric Nagler. Special guests, which included Fred Penner, Ann Mortifee, Louis Del Grande, Jayne Eastwood, Andrea Martin, The Nylons, Murray McLauchlan, Jan Rubes, The Shuffle Demons and many more, also appeared on each 30-minute episode.

A second series, titled Skinnamarink TV, featured a different format and two new puppet characters. The series ran for 52 episodes on the CBC in Canada and The Learning Channel in the USA from 1997 to 2000

The group won the Juno Award for best children’s album in 1979-named Smorgasboard, their 1980 album Singing ‘n’ Swinging and in 1999 Skinnamarink TV Sing-along album. Those three albums had record sales exceeding 100,000 copies in Canada alone, this also brings to exception three additional albums who achieved the same successful records sales, Mainly Mother Goose, In the Schoolyard and Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Elephant Show Record. Their influence on Canada’s children’s records became an international influence, with their international sales above 2.5 million dollars in 1991.[5]

Sharon, Lois & Bram 1986

They know and respect children; each had an extensive background in children’s music prior to the group uniting.[1] Since 1988, Sharon, Lois & Bram have been members of UNICEF. They began by supporting the Trick-Or-Treat for Unicef campaign. In 1989, the trio were appointed National Ambassadors by UNICEF Canada. They were involved in events, education, and public service materials, special appearances and fund raising. Through their work, they have reached children, educators, parents, the media and heads of government. In 1996, Sharon, Lois & Bram were appointed by UNICEF Canada, the spokespersons for its 50th Anniversary Year Celebration.[6]

The White House Annual Easter Egg Roll & Hunt in 1994 featured Sharon, Lois & Bram. The trio performed a concert in the Ellipse and were invited into the White House to have breakfast with President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In 1995, the trio was approached by Collective of Western Canada Planetariums and asked to produce a "Laser Sharon, Lois & Bram" multi-media presentation. This was so that children at an early age could be introduced to the solar system by a way of education through entertainment. Make A Wish with Sharon, Lois & Bram premiered in June 1995 for extended runs in Vancouver's H. R. MacMillan Space Centre and Toronto's McLaughlin Planetarium, which is no longer existing.

Also, in 1995, the song Old John Braddelum which was on their 1978 album, One Elephant, Deux Éléphants appeared in the feature-film Billy Madison starring Adam Sandler.

In 2000, after the death of her husband and deciding that life on the road was too hectic, Lilienstein retired from touring with the group, which now often performs as Sharon, Bram & Friends (friends referring to life-size animal puppets that appear alongside them). Lilienstein has continued to play benefit shows and record with the group.

In 2002 the three were made members of the Order of Canada. Video clips of the ceremony can be seen on Sharon, Lois & Bram's 25 year anniversary movie titled "25 Years of Skinnamarink".

In 2005 Bram announced on CBC News that he had been found to have a benign tumor which was causing deafness in one ear. He underwent an experimental procedure to prevent further hearing loss [1] .

Sharon's husband Joe Hampson died on November 30, 2006. Joe played with the folk group The Travellers for more than 40 years. Lois stepped in and performed with Bram during Sharon's time of mourning.

Sharon, Lois & Bram reunited on stage at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on May 4 2008 for a rare performance featuring all three singers and a viewing of their 2004 concert titled "25 Years of Skinnamarink".

In 2009, Sharon, Lois & Bram's signature song "Skinnamarink" was ranked #49 on a Top 50 Canadian Songs of All-Time list.[7] Also in 2009, the trio was awarded the Estelle Klein Award for their significant contributions to Ontario's folk music community. Sharon, Lois & Bram received their award at the 23rd Annual OCFF Conference held in Ottawa from October 15-18, 2009. The Saturday evening gala dinner on October 17th included a short video presentation of their life’s work. On Sunday, October 18th, the OCFF continued its tradition of the award recipient being interviewed by Richard Flohil[8]


  • One Elephant, Deux Éléphants/One Elephant 1985 A&M/One Elephant Went Out To Play 1994 DRIVE ent. 1978. Elephant Records. / 2002. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Smorgasbord. 1979. Elephant Records. / 2006. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Singing 'n' Swinging. 1980. Elephant Records. / 1996. Drive Entertainment.
  • In the Schoolyard. 1981. Elephant Records. / 2007. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • One, Two, Three, Four, Live!/ In Concert 1996. 1982. Elephant Records.
  • Mainly Mother Goose. 1984. Elephant Records. / 1984. Drive Entertainment / 2004. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show Record/ The Elephant Show Volume 1 1996/ The Elephant Show 1994 Drive Entertainment. 1986. Elephant Records. 2009 Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Stay Tuned/ The Elephant Show Volume 2 1996. 1987. Elephant Records.
  • Happy Birthday/ Elephant Party 1996 Drive Entertainment. 1988. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes for Summertime. 1989. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes about Animals. 1989. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes from Around The World. 1989 Elephant Records
  • Car Tunes for Sleepytime. 1989. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes for Elephant Showstoppers. 1990. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes for Schooldays. 1990. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes for After School. 1990. Elephant Records.
  • Car Tunes for Naming Games. 1990. Elephant Records.
  • Sing A to Z. 1990. Elephant Records. / 1994. Drive Entertainment.
  • Kidbits. Elephant Records. 1992.
  • Great Big Hits. 1992. A&M Records. / 1992. Elephant Records.
  • Songs in the Key of Kids. 1993. Drive Entertainment.
  • Candles, Snow & Mistletoe 1993. Elephant Records. / Drive Entertainment. / 2000. Casablanca Kids Inc. / "Family Christmas" 2009 Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Candles Long Ago 1993. Elephant Records/ DRIVE ent
  • All The Fun You Can Sing! 1993. Elephant Records. / 1994. Drive Entertainment.
  • Club-E Collection 1994. Drive Entertainment / 1994. Elephant Records / 1995. Gap Inc.
  • Sing Around the Campfire. 1994. Elephant Records. / 1995. Drive Entertainment.
  • Sharon, Lois & Bram Sampler 1995. Drive Entertainment
  • Kid Bits Vol. 1, 2 & 3 1995. Drive Entertainment.
  • Let's Dance! 1995. Elephant Records. / 1995. Drive Entertainment.
  • Car Tunes Vol. 1 1995. Elephant Records. / 1995. Sears KidVantage.
  • Car Tunes Vol. 2 1995. Elephant Records. / 1995. Sears KidVantage.
  • Car Tunes Vol. 3 1995. Elephant Records. / 1995. Sears KidVantage.
  • Car Tunes Vol. 4 1995. Elephant Records. / 1995. Sears KidVantage.
  • Wild about Animals 1997. Elephant Records.
  • Friends Forever 1998. Skinnamarink Entertainment.
  • Skinnamarink TV. 1998. Skinnamarink Entertainment.
  • Silly & Sweet Songs. 1999. Skinnamarink Entertainment.
  • Travellin' Tunes. 2001. Mother's Love Records.
  • Great Big Hits 2. 2002. Elephant Records. / 2002. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Mother Goose & More. 2002. Fisher-Price Inc.
  • Name Games. 2002. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • School Days. 2004. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Everybody Sing! 2004. Casablanca Kids Inc.
  • Sleepytime. 2004. Casablanca Kids Inc.



External links



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