Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American singer, musician, actor, and author. He is often remembered for his voice-over work as Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He also was associated with the Almanacs, a folk-singing group which included Woody Guthrie, Willard Lampell, Pete Seeger, and Millie Geer at times.
About Burl Ives in brief
Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American singer, musician, actor, and author. Ives began as an itinerant singer and banjoist, and launched his own radio show, The Wayfaring Stranger, which popularized traditional folk songs. In 1942, he appeared in Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army, and then became a major star of CBS radio. In the 1960s, he successfully crossed over into country music, recording hits such as \”Funny Way of Laughin’\”. A popular film actor through the late 1940s and ’50s, Ives’s best-known film roles included parts in So Dear to My Heart and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He is often remembered for his voice-over work as Sam the Snowman, narrator of the classic 1964 Christmas television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which continues to air annually around Christmas. He was a member of the Charleston Chapter of The Order of Demolay and is listed in the DeMolay Hall of Fame. In 1987, he was elevated to the 33rd and highest degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, and was later elected the Grand Cross. He also was associated with the Almanacs, a folk-singing group which included Woody Guthrie, Willard Lampell, Pete Seeger, and Millie Geer at times. The group was active in the American Peace Mobilization, a group opposed to American entry into World War II and Franklin Roosevelt’s pro-Allied policies.
They rerecorded several songs to reflect the group’s new stance in favor of the US entry into the war. In June 1941, after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the APM abandoned its pacifist stance and reorganized itself into the American People’s Mobilization, which re recorded several songs such as “Get Out and Stay Out of War” and “The Blue Tail Fly” The group later changed its name to The Almanac’s, and Ives left the group in 1953. He died in a car accident in California in 1987. He had a son, David, and a daughter, Sarah, who both died in 2008. His son and daughter-in-law both died of lung cancer in 2011, and he died in 2012, at the age of 89. He has a son and a grandson, David Ives, who also played the banjo and is a well-known folk singer and songwriter in the U.S. Today, he is the owner of the publishing house Ives & Co., based in Chicago, Illinois, and lives with his wife, Barbara Ives. His daughter, Mary, is the author of several books, including “A Little Bitty Tear: A Folk Song for a Country Girl” (2002) and “A Country Song For A Country Girl: A Country Song for A Country Boy” (2012)