Growing up, I loved Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree like every proper kid should, but the Shel Silverstein that really stood out was a book that actually belonged to my mother, called Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book. Labeled as a “primer for adults only,” it was a guide to the alphabet as only Uncle Shelby could give: naughty, subversive, sure to give nightmares to any child who mistakenly thought they were in for some old-fashioned ABC’s (take the entry for “B is for baby,” which ends with “Mommy loves the baby more than she loves you.”) I’d sneak the book into my bedroom and laugh out loud – nothing was really dirty, per se, but showcased a sense of humor that toyed with the same audience he made a living catering to (sorry, kiddos). I realized there was a lot more to this man who wrote everyone’s favorite graduation gift, and went on to discover he was also a prolific songwriter: most notably composing “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash.
Shel actually had a great deal of Nashville connections – he lived here for a time – and also wrote for Loretta Lynn, Krist Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and released a folk album in 1961 called Inside Folk Songs. He was eventually inducted into the songwriter hall of fame.
Tonight, experience the sprit of Shel Silverstein at An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, a night of one-act comedy plays at the East Room – in addition to his other accolades, Shel was also an accomplished playwrite. Tickets are a measly three bucks.
Come, because mommy loves the baby more than she loves you.