I started the biography of Shel Silverstein (A Boy Named Shel) that author Lisa Rogak sent me. Quickly discovered that there was little the man couldn't do if it involved the written word : cartoons, books, essays, plays, songs, poems.
I knew he wrote A Boy Named Sue, but didn't realize that he had also written The Unicorn, the Irish Rovers hit. Or that in addition to writing for Johnny Cash, he also wrote hits for Loretta Lynn, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, Bobby Bare, Marianne Faithful, and Emmylou Harris. Did you know he wrote Marie Laveau and Queen of the Silver Dollar? He also composed original music for several films and was nominated for an Oscar for the score of Postcards from the Edge.
Of course, the children's books will be the most long lasting of his accomplishments because they will never grow old. A Light in the Attic has actually been banned from some libraries for the very reason that children love it. I can pick up any one of Uncle Shelby's children's books and enjoy the silliness and the truth with fresh pleasure. Well, except for The Giving Tree, which I avoid because it makes me cry. Each and every time.
NPR has some audio clips from The Best of Shel Silverstein. And the link to his official site that I posted some time back -- great animation and Shel reciting poems. Another good link, Shel Silverstein Remembered.