Georgia Gallery to Spotlight Harold Shedd

Harold Shedd B&W111

Harold Shedd

Harold Shedd has spent his decades-long career putting artists including Alabama, Toby Keith, Shania Twain, The Kentucky Headhunters, and K.T. Oslin in the spotlight. In August 2012, Bremen, Ga. native Shedd himself took a turn in the spotlight in his hometown to celebrate his contributions to Country music.

Artists Toby Keith, Billy Ray Cyrus and Mel Tillis, as well as Nashville industry executives, flocked to Bremen to pay tribute to their longtime colleague through musical performances, and sharing memories made in the studio and in Music City. “It was an overpowering and emotional night for me,” Shedd recalled of the evening. “That these people would go this great distance to be part of it was pretty powerful for me.”

Next year Bremen will honor him again. Its Mill Town Music Hall is set to unveil a 4,000-square-foot collection of Shedd’s various wares picked up from years of signing and/or producing projects for Alabama, Mel Tillis, Glen Campbell, Louise Mandrell and Reba McEntire.

The gallery will include an educational center, allowing attendees to gain a broad overview of the workings of the music industry. Among the artifacts are more than 30 Gold and Platinum awards, numerous ASCAP, BMI and SESAC awards from various artists, his 1988 ACM Album of the Year honor for his work on K.T. Oslin’s This Woman, as well as his ACM Album of the Year honors for Alabama’s Roll On (1984), The Closer You Get (1983) and Feels So Right (1981), and a poster signed by Johnny Cash.

Shedd’s career evolved from working in radio stations throughout the Southeast, to producing jingles in a Nashville studio, to producing records. “The records were more exciting than the jingles,” he laughingly recalled during a recent visit to the MusicRow offices.

After befriending Joe and Betty Gibson, owners of independent record distribution company Nationwide Sound, Shedd was introduced to an up-and-coming band that took its namesake from their homestate, Alabama.

“They made a record in Muscle Shoals, Ala. that started to create some noise,” recalled Shedd. “Joe called me and said, ‘You need to meet this band. We have a record out on them right now, they are No. 30-something on the charts, and no money has been spent on them.’ Joe and Betty Gibson had started working on My Home’s In Alabama. I rented a studio in Berry Hill and put strings on it and finished the album.” The project produced the band’s first two chart-topping hits, “Tennessee River” and “Why Lady Why.” “Long story short, we did some things that people started to love,” noted Shedd.

Not just some people—millions of people. The group sold more than 75 million albums after signing with RCA Nashville, garnered more than 30 chart-topping singles and became one of the most well-known Country music groups in history. In 1988, Shedd joined Mercury Polygram Records Nashville. During the next six years, he went on to spearhead the signing of Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kentucky Headhunters, Toby Keith and Kathy Mattea. Shedd was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1989.

For the exhibit, Mill Town Music Hall Gallery will not only feature memorabilia from Shedd’s illustrious career, but the careers of various artists and industry execs that he has worked with, including those from nearby Georgia areas. “There are some really talented people to come out of this area,” Shedd said. “Hopefully they will all be part of it.”

The gallery is expected to open in coming months, though no official date has been announced. “Not to compare it, but it’s like a trip to the Hall of Fame, except condensed to Georgia,” Shedd concluded.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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