It's a sad day for fans of The Elephant Show: Lois Lilienstein has passed away. She was 78.
Her son David Lilienstein told CBC News the beloved children's entertainer, known as part of the Sharon, Lois & Bram trio, died at her home in Toronto surrounded by friends and family. She had a rare form of cancer which was diagnosed last October.
Lois, who was born in Chicago, joined forces with Canadian performers Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison in the late '70s. They released their first album, One Elephant, Deux Éléphants, in 1978, and their sing-along folk music proved to be an instant hit with kids and parents alike.
The Sharon, Lois & Bram trio toured Canada and gained international attention. In 1984, The Elephant Show (later known as Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show) premiered in Canada, where it ran for five seasons. Nickelodeon picked up the program as well and ran reruns into the mid-nineties. Each episode concluded with Sharon, Lois and Bram singing "Skinnamarink" alongside a large elephant puppet.
To date, Sharon, Lois & Bram have sold over three million album worldwide. According to their website, "They have been invited to perform in every major Canadian concert hall, and many in the United States including The National Arts Center in Ottawa, Roy Thompson Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, at New York's Palace Theater and the White House."
Since 1988, the trio served as Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF, supporting causes seeking solutions to childhood hunger and illiteracy. In 2002, Sharon, Lois & Bram were appointed to the Order of Canada. Lois, who was born in the United States, is one of the few Americans to hold this honor.
Lois stepped aside from performing in 2000, according to Sharon & Bram's website. Sharon and Bram continued to perform as a duo.