Bobby Bare and the music of Shel Silverstein

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

Bobby Bare Sr. has been on this program before to discuss his music career and the CD, The Moon Was Blue, produced by his son Bobby Bare Jr. And Junior has been a guest here to perform his own music. We even edited them together for a past Father’s Day moment. Now both generations of Bares are here together to talk about the music of family friend Shel Silverstein. Papa and baby Bare are the co-producers of a new CD called Twistable Turnable Man - covers of songs written by Silverstein and performed by artists such as My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Ray Price, Todd Snider and both Bobby Bare Sr. and Jr.

Silverstein is best known as a cartoonist and as the author of children’s books like The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends, but he was also an accomplished songwriter AND a roving correspondent for Hugh Hefner and Playboy in the early days of the magazine. For all his talents, Shel Silverstein was NOT a singer. Bobby Bare Sr. told a story about the two of them working on new songs in a hotel room for hours. The instant Silverstein opened his mouth to demonstrate his vision on a particular tune, the woman in the next room banged on the wall to insist that the screeching stop. Here’s a sample of Shel singing a bit of “A Boy Named Sue” and then his version of “Daddy What If” from the old Johnny Cash show.