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Shanklin wrote several hit songs including "Primrose Lane" (1959), recorded by Jerry Wallace and "Jezebel", recorded by Frankie Laine in 1951 and covered (as an instrumental) by Australian teenage guitar prodigy Rob E.G. in 1963, as well as by Herman's Hermits in 1967.
Shanklin's best-known composition is the song "Chanson D'Amour (Song of Love)". It was first recorded in 1958 in two competing versions by Art and Dotty Todd and The Fontane Sisters, both of which were successful. It was later covered by The Lettermen in the 1960s and was revived with great success by vocal jazz quartet The Manhattan Transfer in 1976.
Young Wayne Shanklin had a family of 11 children, the last of whom was born in 1944 in the Los Angeles area. These children used his name and assumed their mother was married to Mr. Shanklin.
Shanklin founded the independent record label Signet Records in Los Angeles in 1959. His secretary, Victoria Hamway, worked right alongside him and in 1964, they were married. On August 31, 1965, born to Wayne and Vicki Shanklin, was his youngest boy of many children, Edward "Windsor" Shanklin. Though Windsor his only child with Vicki.
In the early 1950s, Shanklin wrote with Al Sherman as well as Sherman's sons, Robert and Richard who worked under assumed names at the time. One of the label's early successes was a song written by Shanklin. "The Big Hurt" (1959) became a US Top 5 hit in early 1960, and is also claimed to be the first commercial use of the production technique known as "flanging". Shanklin also wrote Miss Toni Fisher's 1962 single "West of the Wall", which dealt with the partition of East and West Germany and the erection of the Berlin Wall (although exactly the same melody and arrangement was used previously for an obscure Toni Fisher single on Signet called "Toot Toot Amore").
Shanklin also contributed music to a number of films. His song "Kiss Me Quick" was featured in the 1957 Randolph Scott western Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend. He composed the original music for the 1961 film Angel Baby that starred George Hamilton and Mercedes McCambridge.
Shanklin died June 16, 1970, from a heart attack in Orange County, California. He is survived by his many children including 5 year old Windsor and wife Vicki, ex-wives and common-law wives. His son Windsor and his band Jaz Dyin recorded a cover of the song Jezebel in 1983.
Shanklin's songs are still being used on the music soundtracks of several recent films; "Primrose Lane" was used on the soundtrack of Primary Colors (1998) starring John Travolta and "Chanson D'Amour" featured on the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
- "Domino | News | Anna Calvi releases debut single - Jezebel/ Moulinette - 11th October". Dominorecordco.com. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
- Wayne Shanklin at the Internet Movie Database
- Personal reference from Melody Lee Shanklin (Grand-Daughter of)