William Neal Browder, 20 July 1944, Humboldt, Tennessee, USA. Sheppard is a nephew of old-time country performer Rod Brasfield, and his mother was a piano teacher who gave him lessons. Sheppard began his professional musical career in Memphis in the early 60s, working as a backing vocalist for Travis Wammack and then performing as Brian Stacey, having a regional hit with High School Days. After his marriage in 1965, Sheppard became a record promoter for Stax Records and RCA Records. In 1974, he was signed by Motown Records country arm, Melodyland, and had two number 1 country records with The Devil In The Bottle and Trying To Beat The Morning Home. He took his stage name from German shepherd dogs, although many have thought his name represents The Good Shepherd. Sheppard merged his Memphis soul background with country music, which included revivals of the Four Tops I Cant Help Myself and Neil Diamonds Solitary Man. Over at Warners, Sheppard had a US country number 1 with Last Cheaters Waltz. In 1981 Sheppard made the US Top 40 with I Loved Em Every One. His duets include Faking Love with Karen Brooks, Home Again with Judy Collins and Make My Day with Clint Eastwood. The hits continued after Sheppard signed to Columbia Records, but with the advent of new country stars such as George Strait and Dwight Yoakam his style rapidly went out of date and he was dropped from the label in 1990. Apart from a brief resurgence on Curb Records he remained without a record contract until the late 90s.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.