J. Clarke's 915 3rd Ave and 55th Street in New York City was one of my
favorite places. The fall of 1960, I was sitting at a table with my dog,
Duchess, who was eating a hamburger under the table. P. J Clarke's had
a dog named Skip. Skip and Duchess were great friends, therefore Duchess
was permitted in the restaurant. It was about 2 AM when Sass came in
with a group of people. When she saw me, she came over to say
"hello" and to pet Duchess; she and Duchess were good friends.
She invited us to join her group. Johnny Mathis,
Syd Shaw and a couple of other people I didn't know, were in the group.
I was introduced all around and sat with Sass. Later, we left P. J.
went up to Johnny's apartment to listen to his latest recording.
A few days later I had a message at my hotel from Johnny, inviting me to go with him to hear Adam Wade at the Roundtable. People said Adam sounded like Johnny, so Johnny wanted to hear him.
That night I met Adam wade and Helen Noga, Johnny's Manger. Syd Shaw was there and we had a good conversation about the music business. Some years later, Syd wrote an act for my wife Paula,. We used Sarah Vaughan's piano player - we recorded her using Sass' band. Also, years later, Adam and I became close friends through a mutual friend, Maria de Aragon. We performed in a play he wrote, The Dancer; his wife directed it.
Johnny had an album titled Heavenly, named after one of the songs on the album written By Syd and Burt Bacharach. I told Syd about a girl I knew in Miami who was a folk singer. I played her demo, which I had taped the night before I left Miami. He liked it and wanted a professional tape for presentation to a record company. That's another story.
Syd also wrote acts for Lena Horne, Polly Bergen and others. In 1968 I moved to New York with my family. My wife, Paula was a singer. Syd didn't want to hear Paula sing because we were friends and he didn't want to tell me anything negative. I finally persuaded him to come to club where she was singing. She sang "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" and Syd was sold on Paula. He had written an arrangement of that song for Polly Bergan. Syd selected some songs for Paula's act and then he did some arrangements using Bob James as the piano player. I met Bob when he was accompanist for Sarah Vaughan. That's another story.
Syd and I became friends that lasted up until his death in 1969. When I arrived at his apartment that morning, the police and coroner were there and Syd was on the bed. I don't know if the cause of his death was ever determined.
Below is a list of his songs.
Among the songs that Syd composed with Erroll Garner music:
Among the songs that Syd composed with Burt F.
Among the songs that Syd composed with Jane
Dousglass White lyric:
Among the songs that Syd composed both the Lyric
and the Music: Performer: Eddie Anderson
Among the songs that Syd composed with Phil
Among the songs that Syd composed with Mort
Among the songs that Syd composed with Irene
Among the songs that Syd co-composed with Alex
Among the songs that Syd composed with Otis G.
Among the songs that Syd co-composed with still