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Shep & The Limelites

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Shep and the Limelites was a popular American doo-wop group in the early 1960s.

James Sheppard (“Shep”) and Clarence Bassett, both from Queens, New York, and Charles Baskerville (d. 18 January 1998, New York City),originally from Virginia, formed a group in Queens in 1960. This was initially billed as Shane Sheppard and the Limelites, but quickly became Shep and the Limelites. All three had previous experience in other groups when they formed the group: Shep in The Heartbeats (notable for “A Thousand Miles Away”); Bassett in The Five Sharps and then, with Baskerville, in The Videos.

Shep and the Limelites’ recording sessions for Hull Records started in August 1960. They recorded the original version of “Daddy’s Home” on 1 February 1961. “Daddy’s Home” reached no. 2 on the Billboard pop chart in May, and was covered by Jermaine Jackson in 1972. Later songs were not as successful as “Daddy’s Home”, but still sold well; among these were “What Did Daddy Do” and “Our Anniversary”.

Kahl Music, publisher of “A Thousand Miles Away”, an earlier song written by James Sheppard, sued Keel Music, publisher of “Daddy’s Home”, for copyright violation. Keel eventually lost, and this led to the end of the Limelites and Hull Records. Bassett joined The Flamingos and Baskerville joined The Drifters. Shep reformed the Limelites in the late-1960s, but died in January 1970, apparently murdered during a robbery.

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