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Shel Silverstein

Biography

Shel Silverstein was one particular rare “multi-threat” performers — composer, singer, cartoonist, illustrator, writer — with popular successes in every of these areas. Created in Chicago in 1930, Sheldon Alan Silverstein 1st attracted see during his military assistance, in Japan and Korea, when he became a cartoonist for the U.S. Military publication Celebrities & Stripes. After time for civilian existence, he made an integral part of his living offering popular canines at Chicago’s two ballparks, and, based on a 1961 publisher’s biography, arranged an archive for the amount of popular dogs offered at Thursday night time video games. He also started sketching cartoons for periodicals such as Appear, Sports Illustrated, which Week, nonetheless it was when he became a member of Playboy newspaper in middle-’50s that his name began obtaining known nationally. The newspaper was then over the leading edge of well-known lifestyle, and Silverstein’s cartoons, which made an appearance in every concern from 1957 with the mid-’70s, making use of their satirical and provocative content material, were a number of the sharpest function in there. Through the past due ’50s, Silverstein also started exploring the areas of imagination, including composing and music. He documented an LP, Hairy Jazz, for Elektra Information, which highlighted two original music in addition to his interpretations, being a vocalist, of the brace of jazz criteria. It had been the to begin twelve albums that Silverstein would cut throughout an active profession greater than 2 decades in music, reducing across all styles — his following record, Inside Folk Music, was a sharply comedic go through the early-’60s folk music increase and most of its attendant absurdities, including the original edition of “The Unicorn Music,” and he adopted that up with a trio of LPs for Chess Information’ intensifying label, Cadet Information. During this time period, aside from his are a journal illustrator, Silverstein was occupied as an writer — his cartoons made an appearance in book type, including Right now Here’s My Strategy (Simon & Schuster) and Get Your Socks (Ballantine), and he had written an effective children’s publication, The Lion Publication. Additionally, he made an appearance frequently on radio being a musician and professional over the Jean Shephard Present, and as a normal with Roger Cost on tv. He also performed, being a vocalist and banjo participant, within Papa Bue’s Danish Viking New Orleans Jazz Music group so when a solo action. Amid his literary successes, including Uncle Shelby ABZ Reserve, Uncle Shelby’s Zoo, and Giraffe . 5, which were targeted at kids, Silverstein also set up himself being a songwriter. A set of his compositions, “THE VERY FIRST Battalion” and “You’re Spending Your Time Attempting to create Me RELAX,” were documented by Bob Gibson and Hamilton Camp, through the early ’60s, but “The Unicorn Melody,” from his very own Inside Folk Music album, quickly attained a lifestyle of its once the Irish Rovers transformed it right into a large international strike. The Brothers Four also discovered success documenting Silverstein’s “25 A few minutes to look,” nonetheless it is at 1967, when Johnny Money enjoyed massive achievement with his edition of Silverstein’s “A Boy Called Sue,” that he attained stardom being a songwriter. RCA Information eventually issued an record of Silverstein’s music using that melody as the name track. Silverstein’s most significant album out of this period, nevertheless, and his most effective was Freakin’ on the Freakers Ball, released in 1973, where he transformed his jaundiced, satirical eye toward the counterculture, hippies, and radicals of most stripes. Annually before that, nevertheless, he saw a fresh round of achievement begin like a songwriter with “Sylvia’s Mom,” an over-the-top passionate lament that reached quantity five for the graphs and converted its performers, Dr. Hook & the Medication Show, into celebrities; the group, who performed on Freakin’ in the Freaker’s Ball, consequently hit a great deal larger using the satiric “The Cover from the Moving Rock,” also compiled by Silverstein, as well as the group was the main automobile for Silverstein’s music for all of those other 1970s. His music “Don’t Provide a Dosage to the main one You Love Many,” from Freakin’ in the Freakers Ball, was later on adopted as a style in various anti-venereal disease promotions. Even while he was celebrated in advanced musical circles for his satirical and adult-oriented tracks, nevertheless, Silverstein was a best-selling writer of children’s books, including Falling Up (1996), The Lacking Piece (1982), Where in fact the Sidewalk Ends (1981), A Light within the Attic (1981), & most enduring of most, The Providing Tree (1964), which includes remained on the net almost constantly for near 40 years. He also published a play, Crazy Life, that experienced its off-Broadway debut in 1983 to rave evaluations, and he gained an Oscar nomination like a songwriter for “I’m LOOKING INTO,” which he published for the 1990 Mike Nichols film Postcards from your Edge. His tunes were also found in such films as Ned Kelly, Coal Miner’s Child, Hearts of Open fire, and Things Switch. The entire world lost a distinctive and talented designer when Silverstein passed away of the coronary attack at his house in Key Western in-may 1999.

Quick Facts


Full Name Shel Silverstein
Died May 10, 1999, Key West, Florida, United States
Profession Poet, Author, Cartoonist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Singer-songwriter, Lyricist, Film Score Composer
Education School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Roosevelt University, Roosevelt High School, Chicago College of Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Nationality American
Spouse Susan Taylor Hastings
Children Shoshanna Jordan Hastings, Matthew Silverstein
Parents Nathan Silverstein, Helen Silverstein
Siblings Peggy Myers
Awards Grammy Award for Best Country Song, Grammy Award for Best Album for Children, Quill Award for Children's illustrated book, Academy of Country Music Awards Poet's Award
Music Songs Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out, I Got Stoned and I Missed It, 25 Minutes to Go, Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too, Father Of A Boy Named Sue, The Unicorn, The Smoke Off, Never Bite a Married Woman on the Thigh, A Front Row Seat to Hear Ole Johnny Sing, Peanut-Butter Sandwich, Someone Ate The Baby, The Great Conch Train Robbery, I'm So Good That I Don't Have to Brag, Beans Taste Fine, Boa Constrictor, Monsters I've Met, Goodnight Little House Plant, Zebra Question, You're Always Welcome at Our House, Dirty Ol' Me, Sure Hit Songwriter's Pen, Homework Machine, Masochistic Baby, Crowded Tub, Bury Me in My Shades, Stacy Brown Got Two, The Dragon of Grindly Grun, 26 Second Song, Folk Singer's Blues, The Ugliest Man in Town, Liberated Lady 1999, It Does Not Pay to Be Hip
Albums Freakin' at the Freakers Ball, A Boy Named Sue, The Great Conch Train Robbery, The Best of Shel Silverstein: His Words, His Songs, His Friends, Shel Silverstein (disc 2), Shel Silverstein (disc 1)
Nominations Academy Award for Best Original Song, Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay, Goodreads Choice Awards Best Middle Grade & Children's, Best Screenplay Award
Movies Things Change, Édith et Marcel, Payday, Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, Ned Kelly, True Story, The Giving Tree, The Moving Finger


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Shel wrote several songs for the 1970's group Dr. Who.
2 He wrote the song "A Boy Named Sue" after attending a judicial conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (a town mentioned in the song), at which a featured speaker was a male prosecutor named Sue Hicks.
3 He was awarded the 1983 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work for "Gorilla" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
4 Johnny Cash recorded two of Silverstein's poems, "A Boy Named Sue" (1969) which reached No. 2 on the Billboard "Hot 100". He also recorded "25 Minutes to Go", first released on his legendary comeback LP "At Folsom Prison" (1968).
5 He wrote several songs for the 1970s group 'Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show'.
6 Music composer, author and poet.
7 His best-known books, "The Giving Tree" (1964) and "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (1974), were reissued in deluxe editions in 2004.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2016 TV Series writer - 1 episode
American Horror Story 2016 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Fargo 2015 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Pop Gold 2015 TV Mini-Series writer - 1 episode
Detectorists 2014 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Marty Stuart Show 2012 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Todd's Pop Song Reviews 2011 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Premio Donostia a Meryl Streep 2008 TV Special writer: "I'm Checkin' Out"
Opry Video Classics: The Hall of Fame 2007 Video writer: "One's On the Way"
Dennis Locorriere: The Unique Voice of Dr. Hook - Hits and History Tour Live 2007 Video writer: "I Don't Want To Be Alone Tonight", "More Like The Movies", "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan", "A Couple More Years", " Freakin' At The Freakers' Ball", "The Cover Of "The Rolling Stone"", "Sylvia's Mother", "Queen Of The Silver Dollar", "Jungle To The Zoo" Solo Acoustic Bonus Feature, "I Gave Her Comfort" Solo Acoustic Bonus Feature, "Judy" Solo Acoustic Bonus Feature
Are We Done Yet? 2007 writer: "A Boy Named Sue"
Alone with Dennis Locorriere 2004 Video documentary writer: "The Wonderful Soup Stone", "More Like The Movies", "I Can't Touch The Sun", "The Cover Of The "Rolling Stone"", "Queen Of The Silver Dollar", "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan", "Carry Me, Carrie", "Sylvia's Mother", "A Couple More Years"
Tarnation 2003 Documentary writer: "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"
Almost Famous 2000 writer: "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'"
Top of the Pops 2 2000 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Divorcing Jack 1998 writer: "Danger of a Stranger"
Stars in Their Eyes 1995-1998 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
Tohuwabohu 1996-1998 TV Series writer - 3 episodes
Completely Hooked 1992 Video writer: "Sylvia's Mother", "The Cover Of The "Rolling Stone"", "I Don't Want To Be Alone Tonight"
Thelma & Louise 1991 writer: "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan"
The 63rd Annual Academy Awards 1991 TV Special writer: "I'm Checkin' Out"
Bullerfnis 1991 TV Series music - 1 episode
Postcards from the Edge 1990 writer: "I'm Checkin' Out"
Dolly 1988 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Little Treasure 1985 writer: "Queen of the Silver Dollar"
The Benny Hill Show 1983 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Montenegro 1981 writer: "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan"
Coal Miner's Daughter 1980 writer: "One's on the Way"
Top of the Pops 1978-1979 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
13th Annual Music City News Awards 1979 TV Special music: "On The Cover of The Music City News" parody of "On the Cover of the Rolling Stone"
Broken English: Three Songs by Marianne Faithfull 1979 Short writer: "Ballad of Lucy Jordan"
The Muppet Show 1976-1978 TV Series writer - 3 episodes
The Old Grey Whistle Test 1975-1977 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
A Concert: Behind Prison Walls 1977 TV Movie documentary writer: "A Boy Named Sue"
Dolly 1976 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Ernie Sigley Show 1974 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Musikladen 1974 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Midnight Special 1974 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
Rock Concert 1974 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Graham Kennedy Show 1973 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Payday 1973 writer: "She's Only a Country Girl", "Slowly Fadin' Circle", "Lovin' You More", "Baby Here's a Dime"
Johnny Cash i København 1971 TV Special documentary writer: "A Boy Named Sue"
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? 1971 lyrics: "Bunky and Lucille", "Last Morning", "The Sweet Forever Song" uncredited, "Ricky Ticky Song" uncredited / music: "Bunky and Lucille", "Last Morning", "The Sweet Forever Song" uncredited, "Ricky Ticky Song" uncredited
The Johnny Cash Show TV Series writer - 7 episodes, 1969 - 1971 music - 1 episode, 1971
Ned Kelly 1970 lyrics: "Ned Kelly" uncredited, "She Moved Through the Fair" / music: "Ned Kelly" uncredited, "She Moved Through the Fair"
The Best on Record 1970 TV Special writer: "A Boy Named Sue"
Johnny Cash in San Quentin 1969 TV Movie documentary writer: "A Boy Named Sue"

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Giving Tree 2015 Short story
Nostalgia Critic 2014 TV Series story "The Giving Tree" - 1 episode
Manki & Daghighanchi 2004 Short
The Bridge 2004/III Short
An Old Man & Little Boy 2004 Short
De boom die gaf 2002 Short novel
Things Change 1988 written by
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back 1978 Short writer
Free to Be... You & Me 1974 TV Movie stories
The Giving Tree 1973 Short book

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back 1978 Short Narrator (voice)
The Giving Tree 1973 Short Narrator (voice)
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? 1971 Bernie
The Moving Finger 1963 Party Attendee

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Giving Tree 1973 Short
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? 1971
Ned Kelly 1970
The Moving Finger 1963

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Absolutely Fabulous 2001 TV Series songwriter - 1 episode
Thieves 1977 composer: flute themes

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back 1978 Short

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Giving Tree 1973 Short producer

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
AM Northwest 2004 TV Series Himself / Writer
Spotlight 1975 TV Series Himself
The Johnny Cash Show 1970 TV Series Himself
Playboy After Dark 1969 TV Series Himself - Singer
Cartoon 1968 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1963-1964 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Most 1963 Documentary short Himself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Girls Next Door 2005 TV Series Himself - Playboy Cartoonist / Writer
Playboy: The Party Continues 2000 TV Movie documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1985 Grammy Grammy Awards Best Recording for Children · Ron Haffkine (producer)
1970 Grammy Grammy Awards Best Country Song For the song "A Boy Named Sue".

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1991 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Music, Original Song Postcards from the Edge (1990)
1991 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Original Song - Motion Picture Postcards from the Edge (1990)
1989 Edgar Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Motion Picture Things Change (1988) · David Mamet


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