Sharon, Lois & Bram's The Elephant Show was the top-rated preschool show on CBC for nearly a decade. This incredibly successful program reached over 100 million homes in North America.
The Elephant Show features the adventures of the Canadian singing trio Sharon, Lois & Bram and their adorable sidekick Elephant. In each episode, they sing songs and help children with their problems.
It has officially been 25 years since Sharon, Lois & Bram changed the climate of children's music and entertainment. This anniversary makes it time again to celebrate the show's success and impact in North America with a new app.
The Elephant Show didn't begin airing on CBC until the 1980s, but the three of us actually began recording and performing together in 1978, and we had to think of a name for the trio. After tossing around a few ideas, we decided that if Peter, Paul and Mary could do it, so could we. Hence Sharon, Lois & Bram. What we had not considered, of course, was that Peter, Paul and Mary are common, easily remembered names, but Sharon ... Lois ... and Bram? Not so much. We have been called many things since:
There was the five-year-old at the Vancouver Children's Festival in May 1979, who asked, "Are you really Sharis, Loafup and Brown?" When we said yes, he followed up with, "How did you get out of the record?" Back in the days of vinyl, when there was a full square-foot album cover for the kids to look at as they listened, many children walked around holding the albums thinking we were actually stuck inside them. Next, there was a telephone message at a Charlottetown hotel addressed to "Sherman, Lawless and Brown." Sounds more like a shady law firm than a performing trio, doesn't it?
Over the years, both on CBC and off-screen during live performances, we have sung in different configurations: full-out trio, solos with just one of us singing, and with one of us singing the lead while the other two provided harmony back-up. Once, when Bram was singing the lead with Sharon and Lois on back-up, Lois's husband, Ernest, suggested we call ourselves "All Bram and the Krispies."
The best name mix-up of all time, though, was definitely from a father at a meet-and-greet in Madison, Wisconsin. Upon approaching us after the show, he said, "I didn't have any idea who you were - I thought it was going to be a show about healthy eating. All I heard my wife and kids talking about was going to a show called, "Sharing Loads of Bran!"
And then lastly, as our kids grew older and went on to have kids of their own, our name evolved once again. When Bram's family expanded to include six grand children, they called him "Papa." So, to his grandchildren, and now two great grandchildren, the trio is officially known as "Sharon, Lois & Papa!"
No matter what our fans have called us over the years, we have always loved meeting them, performing for them, and most importantly, making them smile, sing and dance.
It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since The Elephant Show began airing on CBC, and it's actually been closer to 35 years since we began performing. Clearly, a lot has changed since then. If you can believe it, we are actually launching our very own app this month ... We feel weird even saying that! People are referring to us as "retro." Nevertheless, if you're interested in downloading it for your kids, head to iTunes to get the iPhone/iPad app and one song for free for the first two weeks it is up and running. The app will allow your kids to sing and play along to their favourite classics, including "Skinnamarink," "Wheels on the Bus" and some others that are sure to take you back, way back.
Sharon, Lois & Bram