Silverstein, Shel / Best Of Shel Silverstein His Words His Songs His Friends, The
Album: Best Of Shel Silverstein His Words His Songs His Friends, The   Collection:General
Artist:Silverstein, Shel   Added:Oct 2005

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2005-10-09 Pull Date: 2005-12-11
Week Ending: Dec 11 Dec 4 Nov 20 Nov 13 Nov 6 Oct 30 Oct 23 Oct 16
Airplays: 2 1 2 2 5 4 4 3

Recent Airplay
1. Jun 03, 2012: A Family Affair
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out, Homework Machine
4. Oct 16, 2009: Mittens & Scarves
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out
2. Mar 15, 2012: American Beauty
Rock 'n' Roll Band
5. Mar 13, 2009: Emphysema For Emphasis
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out
3. Mar 08, 2012: American Beauty
Cover Of The Rolling Stone
6. Jun 22, 2008: Undrinkably Bad Oddities
Peanut-Butter Sandwich, A Couple More Years

Album Review
Your Imaginary Friend
Reviewed 2005-10-10
Shel Silverstein is probably most famous to us all (wittingly or not) for his masterpiece “childrens” book The Giving Tree. Many of us realize that he was a songwriting genius, but I doubt all of us knew the depth to which his writing went. For example, did you know he penned “A Boy Named Sue” (made famous by Johnny Cash), or folk classic “The Unicorn”, or Dr. Hook’s 1972 smash hit “Cover of the Rolling Stone”, or creepy sad “Sylvia’s Mother”? This is a FANTASTIC compendium of his most famous songs, either performed by him or by the ones who made them famous (who, in addition to the aforementioned, include Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, et al). Many of these have a country edge to them, which makes sense as he spent a lot of time writing in Nashville, but a lot have a west coast hippie feel (where he seemed to be most at home, where he lived (Marin) until his death several years ago). But a good portion are just simple spoken word story telling. If they have one thing in common it’s a childlike playfulness, a silly yet dramatic feel. My god, Shel Silverstein comes across altogether Children’s music a la Raffi but simultaneously pornographic, swampy, gravel voiced, folk, hippie, and redneck country, clean shaven (up top at least) and scruffy bearded. It makes sense that he is famous for The Giving Tree while he got his initial fame by writing and illustrating for Playboy in the late 50’s. Confusing? Ah, the ultimate mark of genius!!! Just listen:

1) very brief near spoken word
2) spoof/tribute to Johnny Cash, with a cameo by Mr Cash himself
3) freakin at the freakers ball, twangy folky fun
4) storytelling
5) The Irish Rover’s w/ their mega hit penned by Shel, folk classic “The Unicorn” probably second only to Puff the Magic Dragon
6) brief dragon song, spoken word
7) country western hit by Bobby Bare
8) spoken poem, classic about garbage and a little girl who wouldn’t take out the trash
9) Dr. Hook hit – written by Shel – twangy heartbreaking epitome of AM rock radio circa 1972
10) Kris Kristofferson- upbeat acoustic twang, w/ Mexican horns that Calexico can only fake
11) “Homework Machine” must play for all students, brief
childlike rhymes, simple playful song
13) “too many kids in this tub”
14) “if we were a rock and roll band” fantasy spoken word poem, for kids
15) big AM radio hit for Dr Hook, twangy fun as hell
16) Bobby Bare and his kid almost won a grammy w/ this schmaltzy country hit on par with Red Sovine
17) philosophical spoken word, brief
18) a song about plastic! Both the garbage and the surgery!
Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings – absolutely stunning heartfelt country
20) spoken word poem about eating a peatnut butter sandwich
21) early 70’s soulful epic feel
22) a spoken word poem involving generals who are better playing on the beach than fighting
23) son of a bitch! This was every teenaged pot smoker’s theme song in the 70’s, fun song!
24) here you go: Johnny Cash and “A boy named Sue”!!
25) another classic that ironically my 5th grade teacher used to play the Johnny Cash version of for our class, then 30 seconds of silence and a hidden “26 second song”, great!

Track Listing
1. A Light In The Attic   13. Crowded Tub
2. A Front Row To Hear Ole Johnny Sing   14. Rock 'n' Roll Band
3. Freakin' At The Freakers' Ball   15. Cover Of The Rolling Stone
4. Monsters I've Met   16. Daddy What If
5. The Unicorn   17. Zebra Question
6. The Dragon Of Grindly Grun   18. Plastic
7. Marie Lavaux   19. A Couple More Years
8. Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out   20. Peanut-Butter Sandwich
9. Sylvia's Mother   21. Queen Of The Silver Dollar
10. The Taker   22. The Generals
11. Homework Machine   23. I Got Stoned And I Missed It
12. Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too   24. A Boy Named Sue
  25. Boa Constrictor