Harry Sheppard (musician)

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Harry Sheppard
Born (1928-04-01) April 1, 1928 (age 94)
Years active1990s

Harry Sheppard is a jazz vibraphone player who has recorded and played with Roy Eldridge, Charlie Shavers, Ben Webster, Red Allen, Cozy Cole, Sol Yaged, Georgie Auld, Clark Terry, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Lana Cantrell,[1] Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster,[2] Barbra Streisand, Doc Severinsen, and Coleman Hawkins.[3] Sheppard grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, moved to New York City, then moved in Houston in 1985 to care for his daughter, who died of cancer about a year later.[3]


Sheppard received his first lesson at the age of eight from his brother. After serving in the Navy, he met his first wife, Betty Ann Miller, when she was 16, and he was 19. His first professional performance in New York was with the Sol Yaged Quintet. In 1954 Sheppard and his wife recorded vocals on the first cha-cha in English called "Cha Cha Cha in Blue." Their marriage lasted into the 1960s.

In 1958, Sheppard performed with Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, and others on the TV program Art Ford's Jazz Party. He played with Benny Goodman in the '60s. In the 70s, he worked with Deagan to create the electric vibraphone. After a second marriage ended, he was single for decades until he met, and later married, Pam Bingham, a clarinetist in the Houston symphony. At 84, he suffered two strokes, surgeries on his carotid arteries and a tongue cancer diagnosis, but continued playing. Harry can be seen playing at Catbirds on Westheimer on most Sunday evenings. [4]


  • Blowing in from New York (44 Records, 1978)
  • Viva Brazil (Justice, 1990)
  • This-A-Way That-A-Way (Justice, 1991)
  • Points of View (Justice, 1992)


  1. ^ "Symbiotic (liner notes)". 1982.
  2. ^ "Jazz Couplet". The Houston Press. November 25, 1999.
  3. ^ a b Tyer, Brad (June 16, 1994). "Good Vibes: Elder statesman of getting down: Fusion vibist Harry Sheppard". The Houston Press.
  4. ^ "Harry Vs Cancer Round 1: He Comes Out Swinging". Free Press Houston. Retrieved February 8, 2013.

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