...THEN OH THEN
When I was a little girl...
Sharon Hampson (nee Trostin) was born on March 31, 1943 in Toronto. Sharon began her career as a folksinger in Toronto as a teenager, singing in coffeehouses and hootenannies across Canada and the Untied States. Married to Joe Hampson, member of Canada’s “The Travellers”, they have two children Randi and Geoff. She was instrumental in founding Canada’s innovative folk-artist program, Mariposa In the Schools. Sharon, one of the founders of Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, is a three-time breast cancer survivor and public speaker addressing issues relating to breast cancer as well as about speaking about the importance of music for children and their families. She is also the recipient of the YWCA 2007 “Woman of Distinction Award” in the area of Health.
When I was a little girl...
Lois Ada Lilienstein (nee Goldberg) was born on July 10, 1936 in Chicago. A classically trained singer and pianist, she studied music at the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband, Ernest Lilienstein. He was a sociology professor at York University in Toronto, where the family settled and raised their son David. Lois helped, along with Sharon, create the Children’s Area at the Mariposa Folk Festival. It was through this program and Sharon, that she met Bram. Lois retired from touring with Sharon, Lois & Bram in Spring 2000, appearing only for special occasions and benefits afterwards. Lois died of cancer on April 23, 2015. She was 78.
When I was a young man...
Bramwell Morrison was born on December 18, 1940 in Toronto. By the early 60’s he was playing in coffeehouses and hearing Canadian singers, traditional and contemporary. He began working and touring with folksinger Alan Mills. Inspired by Mills’ concerts for children, Morrison became a music teacher until 1975 when he began working with Mariposa In The schools and Prologue to the Performing Arts. In 1978, through the M.I.T.S. program, Bram met Sharon & Lois. The rest they say… is history. Bram, along with Sharon celebrated the trio’s 40th Anniversary in 2018 and after releasing their first duo album Sharon & Bram and Friends, Bram has stepped aside from touring as of December 2019.
A TRIO A, THREE-O, A TRIO...
If you grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s, you probably sang along with Sharon, Lois & Bram. Sitting on the floor in front of the TV, you may have watched their hit series, The Elephant Show and Skinnamarink TV or begged your parents to take you to one of their sold out concerts. Sharon, Lois & Bram have spent their careers bringing joy to families everywhere.
Over the course of their 40+ year musical journey, the Canadian trio have produced 17 recordings, numerous compilations, three songbooks and the best-selling children’s book, Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink. The recipients of countless awards, Gold & Platinum albums, induction into the Order of Canada and appointed Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF, the group is widely known as the most beloved children’s entertainers of all time.
There is magic in the music they make. Sharon, Lois & Bram found a way to reach inside the hearts of the young…and the not so young with the uplifting and inspiring gift of song. #skinnamarink
WE LEARNED TO SING
Together THEN OH THEN
AND MAKE ROOM FOR...
Elephant takes up a great deal of space...
Elephant is a Song
The first verse is the original song itself - "One Elephant Went Out to Play" - sung in English, and in French, as translated by an Immersion French kindergarten teacher, as Sharon, Lois & Bram were recording it in 1978 at Kensington Sound in the middle of the old downtown market in Toronto. Our one mistake was to think that Elephant was a boy - but on later careful examination, we found out that Elephant had no gender - neither boy nor girl.
Verse Two was our decision, being good Canadians, to name the album after the bilingual song, now called, "One Elephant - Deux Éléphants, A Children's Record for the Whole Family ".
Verse Three was the naming of our new company "Elephant Records - Les Disques Éléphant".
Verse Four was the first step in the growth of Elephant in the public eye: We borrowed an elephant costume from the Toronto Dance Theatre's production of Babar and had Elephant enter and dance through parts of the show, word- and gender-less, until much later in the story.
Verse Five was the creation of a new costume for Elephant, on the television series "Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show". This time, though, Elephant did have a voice, but
wordless, spoken by the tuba. This is Elephant that most people know today,
as part of the stage show, as well as on TV.
Verse Six, the last, was a brand new character, Ella A Cappella, who this time
did have a female gender and girl's voice, as she cavorted with CC Copycat
and SL&B on the series "Skinnamarink TV".
After that, Elephant slowly disappeared, to where we know not, but rumour
had it that Elephant had retired to a far-off isle in the ocean - possibly
Bermuda... but more likely, Atlantis.