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IVES, Icle Ivanhoe "Burl" [1909-1995] -- American folk singer, actor and author, Academy Award

Relationship to me: 7C2
IVES family Outline Descent Tree(s) ODT
Contents:
Academy Award (1958: Supporting Actor: The Big Country)
Golden Globe (1959: The Big Country)
Grammy Award (1962: Best C&W recording: Funny Way of Laughing)
a/k/a
IVES, Burl

Born of humble origins in Bible Belt Illinois, he retained that character throughout his life. He was singing songs taught him by his tobacco-chewing grandmother at the age of four -- his age, not hers! -- and also learned the banjo and guitar at a early age. After high school, and with a promising career as a football star before him, he threw that up - dropping out of college in 1930 with but fifteen cents in his pocket - to hitch-hike around North America as a sort of itinerant minstrel, collecting folk songs. In a career spanning nearly sixty years, he became America's best-known folk artist.

Not as political as his pal and fellow folk singer Woody Guthrie, he became identified with the whimsical and delightful aspects of folk music: The Blue-Tail Fly, Big Rock Candy Mountain, I Know An Old Lady (Who Swallowed a Fly), and so on. With no effort at all, I can still hear his distinctive voice singing any number of folk classics - or more modern compositions, like Holly Jolly Christmas or Lavander Blue (Dilly, Dilly). (Lavander Blue was actually based on an 18th century folk song.) In the course of his career he was variously: a radio star, and a respected stage, screen and television actor, collecting an Academy Award along the way. He did numerous voice-overs and narrations; produced an astonishing body of recorded songs; and somehow found time to write a couple of songbooks still valued for their well-researched commentary, several children's books and an autobiography. (Despite his public association with children's works, he is reported to have had a private dislike for the little monsters.)

He was hailed by the great poet, Carl Sandburg, as "The mightiest ballad singer of this or any other century." I have in hand a 1945 songbook (The Wayfarin' Stranger, compiled and edited by Herbert Haufrecht, pub: 1945, Leeds Music Corp), with a goofy-looking youthful Ives pictured on the cover. Inside, several of the 21 folk songs are credited with words and/or music by Burl Ives.

His widow, Dorothy (Koster) Paul, is a working casting director. (2002)  -30-
 

Chronology

1913
First public performance, ć 4y, at an old soldier's reunion
1927
Enters college
1930
Drops out of college to bum around the country, collecting songs
1933
He is working in New York's International House as a busboy and entertainer
1940
With CBS radio, popularizing the many folk songs he learned on his wanderings
1946
His first movie rôle, in Smoky. He will eventually appear in more than 30 films over the next 42 years.
1950-1987
Numerous guest appearances on TV shows from What's My Line (1955, twice on same show), to Playhouse 90 (1957, The Miracle Worker), to Alias Smith & Jones (1971-72, 4 times), to Dolly Parton's second (short lived) variety show (1987).
1958
Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor: The Big Country
1958
Academy Award
1959
Golden Globe
1962
Grammy Award
1989
Retires from show business, ć 80y

Selected Works

  • The Big Country (1958 film, Oscar)
  • Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1958 film)
  • Desire Under the Elms (1958 film)
  • East of Eden (1955 film)
  • The Fox (Words - traditional, tune by Burl Ives)
  • Just You and Me, Kid (1979 film)
  • Meg O' The Mill (Poem by Robert Burns, tune by Burl Ives)
  • On The Grand Canyon Line (Words and tune by Burl Ives)
  • Rocket to the Moon (a/k/a Those Fantastic Flying Fools 1967 film, playing P. T. Barnum)
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1962 Christmas special (TV) voiceover)
  • Tibbie Dunbar (Poem by Robert Burns, tune by Burl Ives)
  • Uphill All the Way (1986 film)
  • Where Is The Old Man? (Words and tune by Burl Ives)
  • Bookmarks (off-site links)

    Bookmarks:2008-08-08 19:08:54

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