The Sheppards Biography

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This R&B vocal group was formed in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The Sheppards created a marvellous transitional style of R&B during the early 60s, drawing much of its character from earlier doo-wop, yet incorporating instrumentation and vocal stylings that in later years would inform soul music. They were named after their producer Bill ‘Bunky’ Sheppard. The members were lead and bass Millard Edwards, lead and top tenor Murrie Eskridge, baritone Jimmy Allen, bass and fifth tenor James Dennis Isaac, second tenor O.C. Perkins and guitarist Kermit Chandler. The group’s most famous song was the doo-wop ballad ‘Island Of Love’ (1959), but later tracks included ‘The Glitter In Your Eyes’ (1961) and ‘Tragic’ (1962). All the members had been veterans of the R&B scene for several years before joining together as the Sheppards. Eskridge and Perkins were members of the Palms on United in 1957, and Edwards, Allen and Isaac were members of the Bel Aires on Decca Records in 1958. Edwards left the group in 1967 to join the Esquires, another Sheppard-produced group. The Sheppards broke up in 1969. Jimmy Allen died in 1980, and Kermit Chandler in 1981.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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