• The Sheppards (2)
    (L to R) Murrie Eskridge , O. C. Perkins, Millard Edwards, James Dennis Isaac, Jimmy Allen & Kermit Chandler

    The Sheppards (2) (Chicago, IL.)


    Personnel :

    Murrie Eskridge (Lead / Top Tenor)

    Millard Edwards  (Lead / Tenor / Bass))

    O. C. Perkins (Second Tenor / Baritone)

    Jimmy Allen (Baritone / Second Tenor)

    James Isaac (Tenor / Bass)

    Kermit Chandler (Guitar)


    Discography :

    Singles :

    The Sheppards (2)
    1959 - Island Of Love / Never Felt Like This Before (Apex 7750)
    1960 - Just Like You / Feel Like Lovin' (Apex 7752)
    1960 - Meant To Be / It's Crazy (Apex 7755)
    1960 - Society Gal / Just When I Needed You Most (Apex 7759)
    1960 - Come Home Come Home / Just Like You (Apex 7760)
    1961 - Tragic / Come Home, Come Home (Apex 7762)
    1961 - Tragic / Feel Like Lovin’ (Apex 7762)
    1961 - Never Let Me Go / Give A Hug To Me (Pam 1001)
    1961 - Glitter In Your Eyes / Every Now And Then (Wes 7750)
    1961 - Every Now And Then / Glitter In Your Eyes (Vee-Jay 406)
    1962 - Come To Me / Tragic (Version With Echo) (Vee-Jay 441)
    1962 - Loving You / Elevator Operator (Abner 7006)
    1963 - Pretend Your Still Mine / Walkin' (Okeh 7173)
    1967 - Stubborn Heart / How Do You Like It (Mirwood 5534)
    1969 - What's The Name Of The Game / Glitter In Your Eyes (Sharp 6039)
    1969 - Steal Away / Island Of Love (Bunky 7764)
    1969 - Your Love (Has A Hole In It) / I'm Not Wanted (Bunky 7766)

    The Shepards
    1965 - Little Girl Lost / Let Yourself Go (ABC-Paramount 10758) 

    Murrie Eskridge
    1961 - So In Need For Love / Never Felt This Way Before (Apex 7764)



    1964 - The Sheppards – Collectors Showcase Vol. IV (Constellation CS 4)
    Island Of Love / Never Felt Like This Before / I'm Not Wanted / Never Let Me Go / Forgotten / Queen Of Hearts / Tragic / Elevator Operator / Give A Hug To Me / Come To Me / Loving You / Glitter In Your Eyes

    The Sheppards (2)




    The group was formed in 1959 by the members of two earlier groups, the Ballads and the Bel Aires (who had actually gotten a record, "Rockin' and Strollin'," released by Decca), who decided to pool their abilities under one cover -- in addition to Eskridge, who sang in a full, soulful wail, and the smoother-voiced Edwards, the members included baritone Jimmy Allen, bass Dennis Isaac, and second tenor O.C. Perkins, with Kermit Chandler playing guitar. Edwards, Perkins, and Chandler also wrote songs, providing them with a stream of originals, which helped set the group somewhat apart from most of their rivals. The sextet, taking the name the Sheppards, signed to Apex Records, a company owned by Bill "Bunky" Sheppard (who had produced the Bel Aires' single) in late 1958.

    The Sheppards (2)    The Sheppards (2)

     They made their debut in 1959 with "Island of Love," featuring Edwards on the lead vocal. The smoothly romantic ballad was a great showcase for the group that got into Billboard's "Bubbling Under" listings during the summer of that year. If the single's A-side was classic doo wop, the B-side, "Never Felt Like This Before," featuring Eskridge's lead vocal (sounding like a more passionate Jackie Wilson), was more representative of soul music and a much more forward-looking record. The Sheppards went on to release a handful of follow-up records on Apex, of which "Come Home Come Home" earned some airplay in the Midwest and local sales but never broke out to national audiences or chart placements.

    The Sheppards (2)

    Their efforts culminated with "Tragic," an achingly beautiful ballad that got them onto American Bandstand, the biggest single piece of national exposure they had during their history -- "Tragic" became the group's best-known track and is one of those songs that, when heard, usually makes non-soul fanatics scramble to find the artist's name. By this time, the Sheppards had developed a wonderfully engaging and commercial style that should have put them in the front ranks of soul groups of their era -- "Come to Me" sounds almost more like Ben E. King/Rudy Lewis-era Drifters than the Drifters did, yet somehow it never got heard.

    The Sheppards (2)

    In 1962, the group was shifted by Sheppard to his new Pam label, co-founded with Carl Davis, who had one major success to his credit with "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler. Their debut on the new label, "Give a Hug to Me," was successful in Chicago but never got any wide exposure outside of the city. A brief association with Vee-Jay Records didn't do anything to raise the Sheppards' profile as a recording act. They also got one single, "Pretend You're Still Mine," issued on OKeh during 1963, courtesy of Davis. In 1967, the group released one single, "Stubborn Heart," but by that time their style was a little too dated to have much chance of competing. It was around this time that they were reduced to a quartet, when Edwards exited to begin a solo career under the name Mill Evans, on the King label. The group had ceased to exist by the end of the decade.


    Songs :

    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Sheppards (2)

    Island Of Love                Never Felt Like This Before                 Just Like You

                Feel Like Lovin'              It's Crazy / Meant To Be       Just When I Needed You Most

    Come Home Come Home / Just Like You                   Tragic                     Never Let Me Go / Give A Hug To Me

    Glitter In Your Eyes               Every Now And Then                  Come To Me      

                             Tragic             Loving You / Elevator Operator    Walkin'/ Pretend Your Still Mine     

       Forgotten                            I'm Not Wanted                      Queen Of Hearts

    Tragic (Version With Echo)                Society Gal            What's The Name Of The Game

    Steal away

    The Shepards

    Little Girl Lost                           Let Yourself Go

    Murrie Eskridge

    So In Need For Love


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