ED- The Eerie digest is interviewing Harry Shannon, who is probably the most versatile person that we have interviewed to date. Harry, you have been a Songwriter, Entertainer, and Novelist that has a career that simply awes me. Tell us about your music from your High School days.
HS I used to listen to my father’s old Big Band records, and had a terrible crush on Ella Fitzgerald in the 1950’s, but it was really folk music that lit my fire. I ate up early Bob Dylan, started learning guitar and listening to bluesmen like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. It seemed natural to write songs, and of course the first were heavily influenced by folk artists. Two friends of mine joined me in forming a group dubiously dubbed The Laymen, and we played around town, bar mitzvahs, weddings. After high school I went on the road with The Kids Next Door.
ED- Tell us the other groups that you’ve been in, and about your advertising commercials for Ford.
HS-Well, from the Kids I went to The Back Porch Majority and did commercials for Ford with The Going Thing. Think that was 1972, when it stopped. I played bars for a few years before signing with ATV Music Group as a staff songwriter at 25.
ED- You have also been a Songwriter for such notables as Eddy Arnold, Reba McIntire, Englebert Humperdinck, and Glen Campbell. Tell us about your career during this time.
HS-The first couple of years at ATV I was just a lyricist, and several of those songs were recorded. Then I got interested in music publishing. The company gave me a job. I worked myself up to Executive Director, and along the way wrote a number of songs for television and films with my friend Billy Goldenberg. (more…)