James Sheppard: Age 33 | Cause Of Death: GUNSHOT

James Sheppard

(b. c.1936, Queens, New York, d. 24 January 1970)

James “Shep” Sheppard And The Heartbeats

Shep & The Limelights

Ed. note: Still researching conflicting reports that Sheppard was shot dead on 24 January 1970.  Or that he wasn’t robbed and beaten to death, his body found in his car on the Long Island Expressway) 

The Heartbeats were around from 1955 to 1959. They grew up from the st.albans area of queens new york. Originally formed as a quartet they were known as The Hearts. Not knowing there was a female group with the same name. At the time James Sheppard had his own group and was not a member of The Hearts. The lead singer was Al Crump. The Hearts congregated in a park in st.albans queens often engaging in “Battle of the groups”  contest against other vocal groups. One day The Hearts faced off with James Sheppard’s group. It turned out The Hearts won.  Then after it was all over they asked James Sheppard to join the group. The Heartbeats performed at local functions around the area until Wally Roker met jazz musician “Illinois Jaquet”. They auditioned for Jaquet, then were introduced to his brother Russell who recorded the group as “The Heartbeats Quintet”. They recorded for a label called “Network”. Tormented b/w After Everybody’s Gone.~ John Vigilante