Magic Penny Award
2012: Sharon, Lois & Bram
We are very pleased to announce that the 2012 Magic Penny Award recipients are Sharon, Lois & Bram! Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, and Bram Morrison truly deserve the lifetime achievement award in children’s music. This Canadian trio has influenced a generation of Canadian and American children as well as numerous parents and educators throughout the world.
All three musicians were already fixtures at music festivals, work-shops and the “Mariposa in the Schools” program when they met and joined forces. The first of their many records, “One Elephant, Deux Éléphants” recorded in 1978, became the fastest-selling children’s album in Canada. They followed up with a television series, “Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show” which aired on CBC beginning in 1984.
Their unique singing style, with the help of producer Bill Usher, showcased a diverse musical sound including folk, rock, jazz, calypso and country. The music is full of participatory songs such as folk songs, schoolyard chants, pop tunes, camp songs, singing games, rounds, and nonsense rhymes.
The Elephant Show firmly established the trio’s popularity in Canada and was later shown on Nickelodeon in the U.S. Along with a life-sized elephant puppet, Sharon, Lois & Bram sang songs and hosted special musical guests. Their second TV series was called Skinnamarink TV. The key to their appeal is simple, according to Morrison, who told People Magazine: "There are no three people with as much experience as we have – on the floor, nose to nose with children. We’ve really done our homework. We know kids and we respect them."
They have always put children first, and have been ambassadors for Canadian UNICEF since 1988. In 2000 Lois Lilienstein stepped back from touring, but remains active in all other group activities. Sharon and Bram have continued to perform as ‘Sharon, Bram and Friends’. The trio have received numerous awards and soon they will be able to add the Magic Penny Award to that number. We are thrilled that all three will be able to join us for the Magic Penny presentation at Zion, IL on October 12-14, 2012.
Sharon, Lois & Bram (2012)