Tuesday, October 20, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH SHARON HAMPSON

The following is yet another thing I rescued from Geocities. The Elephant Show was one of my favourite shows as a child.

If the webmaster objects to me posting this interview, contact me and I will delete this post.

A Conversation with Sharon Hampson

A while back, I had the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Sharon Hampson, of Sharon, Lois & Bram. Before I say anything, I must thank Sharon
again. It was incredible getting to talk to one of the three performers who made my childhood so great.

Sharon, Lois & Bram have been known as role models for children all over North America. Knowing that, the first thing I discussed with Sharon was her role
models. Hampson told me that her musical role model was always Pete Seager, who was a folk singer with the group the Weavers. Not only was Seager a great
folk musician, but as she put it, "Seager has a high moral code and speaks about strong views."

Believe it or not, Sharon Hampson did not always want to be a singer. At a young age, Sharon wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher; however she always had
a love for music, as it was always a regular part of her family life. She has been working with kids since Grade 6, and simply combined her love of music,
with her love of kids, to get one of the greatest jobs someone could have!

Everyone knows of Sharon Hampson as one-third of the trio Sharon, Lois & Bram, but I always wondered how exactly they all met. When we discussed this topic,
Sharon stated that "We both got involved in each others activities." At the time, Sharon was involved in a folk festival known as "Mariposa in the Schools"
and Lois was involved in a library program known as "Music for Children." Both worked on each others projects, making a true friendship. Sharon knew Bram
from “teenage coffee house days," but he also participated in "Mariposa." Bram gained friendship with Sharon even more through her children, who knew Bram
as a music teacher.

At this point, all three were supposed to participate in a "Mariposa" album, but Bill Usher suggested that Sharon Hampson, Lois Lillienstein and Bram Morrison
should do an album together. This was the very beginning of Sharon, Lois & Bram. At the time of the recording of their 1978 album "One Elephant, Deux Elephants,"
it wasn't intended to be the trio's career, but because of albums huge response, Sharon, Lois & Bram continued to record, and continued to gain popularity.
As Sharon pointed out, making their first album took a lot. "Lots of planning and borrowing money before we could record the album in May of 1978."

We also talked about how the three were really not a trio yet at time of "One Elephant." They were three separate singers, who sang solo on many songs,
but as the years went on, they began to sing better as the group Sharon, Lois & Bram. As Sharon noted, when you put three totally unique voices together,
you're very lucky when you get such a great sound that the group had, and still have.

Eric Nagler was always a major role in "Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show." He was seen in every episode, and played at most of the groups concerts around
the time of the show. I discussed with Sharon how they met Eric. As she quotes, "We always knew Eric from the folkie scene." As the group was brainstorming
for ideas for the show, Eric was mentioned, and that's about it. He was always a great folk artist, and another person who had a love for children.

At this point in our phone conversation, Sharon told me a story about the origin of "The Elephant Show." Arnie Zipursky and Bruce Glawson, who were right
out of film school, both knew the group through their nieces and nephews. They wanted to do a TV show with the group, and Zipursky and Glawson seemed to
be the only two who came through with money and truly were interested. A special was created for the CBC network called "Live at Young People's Theatre,"
which was well-received, and which sparked the creation of Cambium Productions, and "The Elephant Show." In fact, clips from the Young People's Theatre
special can be seen on the pilot of the show, "Elephant's Doctor."

We then discussed how "The Elephant Show" was taped. Normally, the crew would go out and shoot the show in the summer. This is how all the outdoor segments
were always done, so it wouldn't be freezing cold during taping. As many people know, the show was shot around Toronto, which can get VERY COLD. The episodes
were then edited around fall, and preparation for the next season started around the next winter, while touring still occurred at this time not only promoting
the show, but their albums based on music from the show.

"The Elephant Show" lasted for 5 seasons of 13 episodes each. The show came to an end in 1988. I talked with Sharon about why the show actually came to
an end. As Sharon stated, "We were told that 65 episodes was the right number to do," and as viewers knew, every episode had an original story. That would
also be quite hard to keep up without repeating scenarios. 1988 was also the year that "The Elephant Show" came to the U.S. and aired on Nickelodeon, a
U.S. children’s cable network. The popularity of the show went through the roof, and although Sharon, Lois & Bram expected to take a breather after the
show ended, touring was more popular than ever! Tours expanded out of Canada and into many U.S. destinations, including Long Island, New York (at the Westbury
Music Fair) where I got the opportunity to see the trio.

As I commented, the thing about "Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show" is that it evolved so much between 1984 and 1988. In the beginning, the episodes
were about simple things like going on a Picnic, or to an Amusement Park. Towards the end, the episodes got more interesting, such as "Birth of the Show,"
an episode all about the fictional creation of "The Elephant Show" and "The Early Years," a fictional but very entertaining story about how Sharon, Lois
& Bram became Sharon, Lois & Bram.

As we talked more about the show, she told me that she feels that many think the show is dated. According to her, as true Sharon, Lois & Bram fans know,
how can a show so welcoming and sweet, about simple stories ever be dated? "Parents come in to a child watching Barney and run from the room, we created
a show that the whole family would enjoy." As Sharon said, the show was not a lot of "Razzamatazz," but it was a good quality show which all kids deserve
to grow up with.

There were so many songs sung on "The Elephant Show." Many cannot be heard on the albums that Sharon, Lois & Bram put out in stores. We talked about how
they picked songs to be placed on the albums. As Sharon noted, it was very difficult picking songs, but the group would simply go through all their songs,
look for good mixtures of different styles of song, and put them together on an album. One thing about the group and their albums is that they never "cheaped"
out on the number of songs on an album. They would always give the kids their money's worth. As Sharon quotes, "Taping the show was like going to camp.
We'd see everyone every summer, and during the other seasons we would hardly see the crew at all."

As it sounds from how Sharon puts it, her years spent taping "The Elephant Show" seem to be some of the greatest years of her life. Most recently, the
trio created another television show known as "Skinnamarink TV," and is now celebrating 25 years as Sharon, Lois & Bram.

Sharon, congratulations and thanks again for not only your time during our conversation, but for being one of the people that made my childhood so great.

Monday, October 19, 2009

DEGRASSI PERSONALS

The following are exerpts of something I rescued from Geocities. I managed to edit out MOST of the filthy parts.

DEGRASSI PERSONALS

Hi Im Alexa! Well, after my beautiful performance at Degrassi, I had to become an actress! Well, it didnt quite work out, and now all i do is work at a
local Value Village. Yes, I know, I cant stand being around dirty used clothes. But I do get free staind underwear, and bras! Not to mention used deodorant,
and broken condoms. Oh, and I got married to Simon! What a HUNK!

Hi. I'm BLT. I have Mulitple Sclerosis, Tubular Lungitis, and other such diseases. Well, thats all i have to say, although I went for the NBA, it never
worked out for me. I wish I was a stud. Look at my big lips! WOW They are HUMUNGOUS! I never realized.

Hey everybody, I'm Kaitlan, one of the only good looking people on the show. Well I htink so anyways. I cant beleive I went out with that dork Joey! He
is so inconsiderate! Well, if your wondering what Im doing now, I work for Greenpeace. Which reminds me, what did I ever see in tht loser Claude? What
an idiot! Can you beleive this guy? Ugh makes me sick! Yea, so I stand infront of hunters guns when theyre tryig to hunt deer. I got shot with a rifle
67 times, and got shoot with a harpoon, only about 8 or 9 times. Well, good day! Oh and, save the rainforest!

Hi/ Im Claude. Aint I a sexy bitchass? Well, I blew my brains out in the Degrassi series. Wow, that ended my career. Like it was going anywhere anyways!

Hi im Joey.I lie getting geaten up by big guys. By the way, this is my friend Dwayne. Be nice to him, he has HIV! Hes a decent guy though.

Hi. Im Lucy. The fun one who could never get a boyfriend! And when I did, they always turned out to be nerdy guys with glasses. They were really ugly eh?
Well anywasy, im doin my own little thang now, Im probably the most successful one out of the whole cast. I work for a big business. Im the CEO of Nabisco
Shredded Wheat. Isnt that fanstastic? I got married to Alex. You know that ugly kid who got totally shot down by Stephanie Kay, and that other dum broad
Tess? Well, yea I'm married to him!

Hey. Im Michelle. I got married to Snake shortly after the show. He's so cute. And he beat up BLT fo me.

Hey Im Spike, the only kool one in the show. Although I look like some sort of lizard in this picture...well, Emmas 11 years old now! Isnt that great? Shes
so great! I had a hard time bringin her up, shes in drugs and prostittion now, and i sent her to boot camp about 6 times already. That little brat.
RIP THE SYSTEM!.........? k cya.

Heeeeey buuuuuuuuuuuuudy! Im wheels! The kickenest guy in the world! YEA E YEA! Man, I rule everyone here! If it wasnt for my geeky face, then Degrassi
would of never made it! ZIT REMEDY RULES! YEA! I work at Money Mart currently. Yea, I make only about 7 bucks an hour. But what can I say?

DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION: EPISODE REVIEW

The first episode of Degrassi last night concerned Johnny taking nude photos of Ali. Since Ali and Claire are friends, you would think Ali would have learned about that sort of thing from Darcy's experience. That's the thing about Degrassi: the kids never learn; they only make bigger mistakes.

The second episode was about Johnny possibly giving Ali vd. The episode was basically an advertisement for the HPV vaccine. Girls, do not get that vaccine. It only protects against a couple of the one hundred strains of the virus, and not even the most prevalent ones. Google "Gardasil deaths."

444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444

There was a story on Cbc Friday about Chinese people being superstitious about the number four. Apparently, in Cantonese the word for four is also the same word for death. Cities are giving people the option of replacing the four in their street address.

Will our bending over backward for these people never end? This is carrying acomodation too far. We live in Canada. Our numerical system goes
1234567890
and if you don't like it, leave.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RANDY ORTON'S APARTMENT

Formerly "Does John Cena Do His Own Laundry?"

Hello Everybody,
I'm buzzed on a Tuesday. Gotta love it.

Boy, is Saudi Arabia ever big!!!

So, in Ontario where I live we are experiencing unseasonably low temperatures. We are going to have snow on the ground before long. It'll be the first time in years we've had snow in October.

So, the Cbc says that they want to get mor conservative. Since 2005 they've been investigating the fact that they have a liberal bias. My guess is that they figure if there's an election Stephen Harper will get a majority (thus securing his cardboard cut-out status.) Plus, the Cbc is facing a budget shortfall, has already asked for extra money and has been denied, so they figure if they kiss up to the Conservatives by having Jan Wong guest host The Current and by partnering with the National Post and by having This Hour Has 22 Minutes constantly make fun of Michael Ignatiaf then they might get the extra money. Cbc has always known which side it's bread is buttered on.