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Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Side of Shel

I may be the only person out there who didn't know that Shel Silverstein was a musician as well as a poet. I picked up the entertainment section of the New York Times this week while in Starbucks and read about a concert tribute held in New York City, called "Shelebration!"

My mother and daddy were Johnny Cash fans. I remember listening, and laughing, with them over his hit song, "A Boy Named Sue." It was recorded live at San Quentin State Prison. And who wrote it? Shel Silverstein. Of course. It's his signature rollicking rhythm and quirky humor. I should have known.

And this one, first recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary is a favorite. Here's "Boa Constrictor" performed by Johnny Cash.


More Poetry Friday here with Karen Edmisten.



8 comments:

  1. My youngest has Shel on his ipod. :) I often give his books as baby gifts - the ones with that include CDs. Love "If We Were A Rock-n-Roll Band."

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  2. Great link! Thanks for reminding us about these great songs. (Now has to share a story - as a kid - my dad took us to see Johnny Cash. He had a "song suggestion" box. They would pull one to do. We loved "I walked the line" - my dad used to play it all the time on car drives. So we wrote that song down. When Johnny did it as an encore, I was CONVINCED it was because of OUR request. I felt so responsible for *everyone* hearing it at that concert. I didn't understand it was one of his biggest hits and he had to do it anyway and that he probably hadn't seen our note. In my head, it's still because of that note, though. :)

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  3. Irene, Okay I didn't know that one either. As you can tell, I was never a music buff! Could never remember who sang what, even the songs I liked. It was always sort of like trying to identify cars. I could tell a mustang, but that was only because I had one. The rest were all just cars. Or songs.

    Ash, Of course it was because you requested it!Of course it was!

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  4. I've always loved "Boy Named Sue", and I was surprised to learn that Shel Siverstein wrote it. I did an article on him many years ago and found out he was a very versitile writer!

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  5. Linda, Sometimes I think we pigeon hole our favorite children's authors and forget they have an adult life, as well. I'll bet most of us write "other things," too.

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  6. Shel Silverstein wrote A BOY NAMED SUE?????? Holy Cow!! I grew up in a Johnny Cash household and became a children's literature "expert"...how did I not know this?!?! (love the boa video)

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  7. I just read Shel Silverstein's biography - A BOY NAMED SHEL - by Lisa Rogak. It was a wild ride, and you'll learn a lot more about him if you check it out! A.

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