February 19, 2013
Although my partner Kelli Ross and I ran Janis Ian’s publishing catalog, somehow i never met “Shadow” Morton, who produced “Society”s Child”, which was one of Janis’ biggest hits! I’ve always been curious about this enigmatic figure who produced some of the ground breaking records of our generation, “REMEMBER (WALKIN” IN THE SAND)” by the Shangri-Las and “YOU KEEP ME HANGIN” ON” by Vanilla Fudge
I asked a few of my friends if they had any stories about “Shadow” , my friend Seth Greenky from GREEN KEY MANAGEMENT emailed me..
“I was still a teenager and I had gone to 1650 Broadway. I was in the office of Red Bird Records, just about to play a demo for the label head, George Goldner. Mary, from the Shangri-Las, still only 17 years old, dressed in black leather, was there (lucky me), looking amazing. Just as George was about to drop the needle on my acetate, the door to the office flew open and this very hip looking guy came barreling in….practically flying. “George, George!” he implored. “You gotta hear this!”
It was Shadow Morton who had just finished recording someone down in the studio (Allegro) located in the basement of the building. So, my demo came off the turntable and George Goldner put the acetate, still warm from being freshly cut on the lathe downstairs, on the turntable. Well, you know the phrase “my brains fell out?” Well, I came as close there as anywhere. It was the Vanilla Fudge’s recording of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” As if that was not enough there was another side. “Eleanor Rigby.” So, along with Shadow Morton, George Goldner and Mary Weiss, I was among the first to hear these recordings. My life has not been the same since. RIP (Rock In Perpetuity) Shadow Morton”
Then i heard from my friend of 50 years, producer/engineer Brooks Arthur
“It was an honor & a privilege sitting by George “Shadow” Morton’s side as his recording engineer for the making of: The Shangri-Las “Remember (Walking In The Sand”), “Leader Of The Pack” and Janis Ian’s, “Society’s Child” … I will miss his smile, his style and his unique way of making “three minute movies” (masterpieces),that you can listen to!
Sleep well my wonderful friend. My heart will never forget you.”
Former CEO of UNI AND 20th Century records Russ Regan had this to say
WAS A WONDERFUL GUY
AND A GREAT MUSIC MAN.
MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES
TO HIS FAMILY.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY ABOUT SHADOW” OR A COMMENT TO MAKE ABOUT THIS REMARKABLE MAN YOU CAN LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR E-MAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org AND I’LL INCLUDE IT IN THIS TRIBUTE
You can reach Seth Greenky at Green Key Management, LLC www.GreenKeyManagement.com
his FB page is: www.facebook.com/GreenKeyManagement
photo at top “Shadow” Morton and Seth Greenky