Growing up, most of my friends' fathers had ordinary jobs. They were lawyers, doctors, businessmen. My dad was a record producer. Ours was certainly not your ordinary home on Long Island's North Shore. When I asked my mother who was coming to dinner, I never knew what answer I would receive. It might be Charlie Parker, Alan Freed, Sarah Vaughan, Patti Page. My goodness, Billy Eckstine used to be my baby sitter.
I was very privileged to be the daughter of Bob Shad, one of the most famous record producers in music history. For most of my childhood, my father was the head of A&R at Mercury Records. While working there he made Mercury one of the top companies of the period. He recorded the Platters, the Crew-Cuts, Patti Page, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, the Ravens, Wini Brown and many, many others great recording artists.
I was fortunate to have attended many of these famous recording sessions. On special occasions, like my birthday, my dad would bring recordings of singers like Sarah Vaughan singing me Happy Birthday.
My father was passionate about his music. He often would come home late at night after a recording session, and we always knew when he came in. He didn't walk in the house quietly. That was not his way. He would go into the living room where our 1950s Hi Fi was, with all its big tubes and parts, and he would blast the latest recording of Dinah Washington, a big band, or some new rock'n'roll group.
After many years at Mercury, Bob went out on his own again and recorded many great R&B, pop, and early rock'n'roll artists for his new labels - Time, Shad and Brent. He was always confident that another great artist would appear on his horizon.
For thirty years or so, these tapes sat in storage until, one day, I opened the box and found them in perfect shape. That's how my dad was. For 40 years he spent the better part of his days in the recording studio. He didn't stop. He just went from one thing to the next. In the end he recorded over a thousand albums and something like 200 charted singles.
It is with great pride and joy that I can introduce the first Ace package from my father's labels entitled WOP DING A LING. This collection features classic New York doo wop of the late 1950s and early 1960s from vocal groups such as the Chevrons, the Tradewinds (aka the Rob Roys), the Genies and the Wheels. The well-researched notes are by George Povall.
Next year will come the TIME/SHAD/BRENT STORY which will include many of my dad's hits and reveal an important part of pop music history.