Allan Sherman Biography

Pop humourist Allan Sherman, was the creator of the famous compilation of parodies ‘My Son, the Folk Singer’, ‘My Son, the Celebrity’ and ‘My Son, the Nut’. To read more about his childhood, profile, timeline and career read on.

Allan Sherman
Quick Facts

Birthday: November 30, 1924

Nationality: American

Famous: Jewish Comedians Comedians

Died At Age: 48

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Also Known As: Allan Copelon

Born in: Chicago

Famous as: Writer

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Dee Chackes

father: Percy Copelon

mother: Rose Copelon

children: Robert Sherman

Died on: November 20, 1973

place of death: Los Angeles

City: Chicago, Illinois

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: Fairfax High School, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

awards: Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album

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Hailing from a modest background, Allan went on to become one of the most prominent names in the field of Pop humour. His witty parodies went on to become hugely popular, and he became the pioneer of this style of music. The success of his work ‘My Son, the Folk Singer’, paved way for a number of other copycat releases, which flooded the market. Building on the success of his first release with the label ‘Warner Bros. Records’, he released two follow up albums titled ‘My Son, the Celebrity’ and ‘My Son, the Nut’. The albums helped Allan earn the respect of music lovers. It is also reported that President John F. Kennedy was seen humming Sherman’s parodies. The popularity of Allan was short lived and after the assassination of Kennedy, Allan, like other comedians, he too went through a rough patch. Allan also developed the concept and produced the game show ‘I've Got a Secret’. He even penned a book titled ‘Rape of the APE’ which was a hilarious take on the American Puritan Ethics. A man of creative nature, Allan was amiable with most of his colleagues, but couldn’t withstand anyone coming in the path of his creativity. Read on to learn more about the comic genius.

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Allan Sherman
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born to Jewish parents Percy Copelon and Rose Sherman in Chicago, on November 30, 1924, Allan Sherman adopted his mother’s maiden name after his parents got divorced. His father was an auto mechanic and a racing driver. Suffering from obesity, father Percy died in a quest to observe a 100-day diet.
  • With the family shifting homes frequently, Allan had to attend school at myriad locations including cities like Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
  • He then moved to the prestigious ‘University of Illinois’, it was here that Allan discovered his talent and he featured regularly in the humour column of the college newspaper ‘The Daily Illini’.
  • Allan, a mediocre student, got into trouble for breaking the rules of the sorority house when he tried to bring along his then girlfriend to the place. The University finally expelled him, thus debarring him from graduating.
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Career
  • Allan embarked on his career as a musical humourist in 1951, with the parody ‘A Satchel and a Seck’, disparaging the popular song of the fifties ‘A Bushel and a Peck’. This duet which also featured the artist Sylvia Froos, was recorded by the label ‘Jubilee Records’.
  • Based on the Bing and Gary Crosby hit number ‘Sam’s Song’, Allan recorded another satire titled ‘Jake’s Song’ for ‘Jubilee Records’. Both the songs failed to take off well and Allan soon ran out of work. He then moved on to produce game shows.
  • Allan was offered the production rights of the game show ‘I've Got a Secret’ by television producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. The game, based on Allan’s concept, was first aired on ‘CBS Network’ in 1952.
  • A debacle occurred on the show, after Allan insisted that the celebrity guest on the show, Tony Curtis, was asked to demonstrate the rules of some games he played as a child. As it turned out Curtis was not familiar with any of the games, the show suffered a huge setback. Allan was then removed as the producer of the show in 1958.
  • ‘Your Surprise Package’ was another game show which Allan produced in the year 1961, for the banner ‘AI Singer Productions’. This daytime game show was hosted by then famous actor and comedian George Fenneman, and was aired on ‘CBS Network’.
  • Allan’s association with the label ‘Warner Bros. Records’ happened when famous comedian George Burns came across his performance at comedian Harpo Marx’s party, who was Allan’s neighbour. ‘My Son, the Folk Singer’, released in 1962, was his first release under the banner. This collection of parody caught the attention of radio, despite concerns over Allan’s image as a performer.
  • Following the huge success of ‘My Son, The Folk Singer’, a lot of other artists came up with similar efforts. But none were able to match Allan’s popularity and he remained the undisputed favourite.
  • The label ’Jubilee records’ released an album titled ‘More Folk Songs by Allan Sherman and His Friends’ in 1962, which featured his single ‘A Satchel and a Seck’ along with works of artistes likes Sylvia Froos, Fyvush Finkel and Lee Tully.
  • Allan came out with another collection titled ‘My Son, the Celebrity’ in the beginning of 1963, which was an even bigger success. The album also notched the number one spot on the ‘Billboard’s Top 150 Best Selling LPs’ Chart.
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  • In 1963, ‘My Son, the Nut’ became the third straight album to top the billboards. The song ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh’ from this collection was a chartbuster and was ranked among the top five novelty songs. The album maintained its top position on music charts for eight consecutive weeks.
  • His next album, ‘Allan in Wonderland’, released in 1964, came only months after the death of the American president John F. Kennedy. The album failed to reiterate the success story of its predecessors, as the entire nation was mourning the death of the political leader. The album suffered harsh criticism and struggled to secure a spot within the Top 25 on pop charts.
  • His second album of 1964, recorded in association with conductor Arthur Fiedler and the orchestra troupe ‘Boston Pops’, featured the parodies ‘For Swingin' Livers Only!’ and ‘Peter & the Commissar’. This album fared even poorly as compared to his previous work, and could not even reach the Top 40.
  • Adding to Allan’s woes, the 1964 parody on ‘My Fair Lady’ remained unreleased after facing heat for copyright issues from its original makers.
  • Over the course of two years from 1965-1966, he recorded two albums titled ‘My name is Allan’ and ‘Togetherness’. Following the mediocre response drawn by the albums, the label ‘Warner Bros. Records’ called off their contract with Sherman. The comedian also published his autobiography titled ‘A Gift of Laughter’, during this period.
  • In 1973, Allan published another book titled ‘Rape of the APE’. It was a satirical take on the evolution of sexual revolution in the US.
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Major Works
  • Allan’s 1963 album, ‘My Son, the Nut’ was his most successful work. His spoof ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,’ from the album, themed on a summer camp, maintained the number 2 position on ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart for three weeks.
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Awards & Achievements
  • This comedian was received the prestigious ‘Grammy Award’ in the ‘Best Comedy Performance Single’ in the year 1963 for his track ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh’
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • Allan was married to Dee Chackes and the couple had two children. Their son Robert Sherman, born on 9th January, 1950, is a producer of TV series like ‘Tattletales’ and ‘Super Password’.
  • Dee received the full custody of their children following their divorce in 1966.
  • Suffering from obesity and diabetes, Allan went to the ‘Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital’ to recuperate. However, his lung ailment added to the complications, and he died ten days before his 49th birthday in his West Hollywood home. He was buried in ‘Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery’ in Culver City, California.
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Trivia
  • It is believed American President John F. Kennedy was a huge fan of this pop humourist’s parodies.
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See the events in life of Allan Sherman in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Allan Sherman Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/allan-sherman-3597.php
Last Updated
- April 11, 2018

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