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Shep Fields

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Subject: Big band, Big band remote, 1937 in music, 1936 in music, In the Chapel in the Moonlight
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Shep Fields

Shep Fields
Shep Fields in 1957
Born Saul Feldman
(1910-09-12)September 12, 1910
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died February 23, 1981(1981-02-23) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Bandleader
Employer Bluebird Records
Known for Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
Spouse(s) Zook Klein
Relatives Freddie Fields, brother

Shep Fields (September 12, 1910 – February 23, 1981) was the band leader for the "Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm" orchestra during the Big Band era of the 1930s.[1][2]


  • Biography 1
  • Band 2
  • Recordings 3
  • Live broadcasts 4
  • Filmography 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


He was born Saul Feldman in Brooklyn, New York on September 12, 1910, and his mother's maiden name was Sowalski.[3] Edward Fields, a carpet manufacturer; and Freddie Fields were his brothers. Their father died at the age of 39.[4]

He played the clarinet and tenor sax in bands during college. In 1931 he played at the Roseland Ballroom.[5] By 1933 he led a band that played at Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel. In 1934 he replaced the Jack Denny Orchestra at the Hotel Pierre in New York City. He left the Hotel Pierre to join a roadshow with the dancers, Veloz and Yolanda.[5] In 1936 he was booked at Chicago's Palmer House, and the concert was broadcast on radio.

Fields was at a soda fountain when his wife was blowing bubbles into her soda through a straw, and that sound became his trademark that opened each of his shows.[5][6] A contest was held in Chicago for fans to suggest a new name for the Fields band, in keeping with the new sound. The word "rippling" was suggested in more than one entry, and Fields came up with "Rippling Rhythm."

In 1936 he received a recording contract with Bluebird Records. His hits included "Cathedral in the Pines", "Did I Remember?", and "Thanks for the Memory". In 1937 Fields replaced Paul Whiteman in his time slot with a radio show called The Rippling Rhythm Revue with Bob Hope as the announcer.[2] In 1938, Fields and Hope were featured in his first feature-length motion picture, The Big Broadcast of 1938.[5][7]

In 1941 Fields revamped the band into an all-reeds group, with no brass section. "Shep Fields and His New Music," featuring band vocalist Ken Curtis.[8][9] He reverted to "Rippling Rhythm" in 1947.

The group disbanded in 1963.[5] He moved to Houston, Texas where he worked as a disc jockey. He later worked at Creative Management Associates with his brother Freddie Fields in Los Angeles.[5] He died on February 23, 1981 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from a heart attack.[10][11][12] He was buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery in New York.



Live broadcasts



  1. ^ "Big-band leader Shep Fields dies".  
  2. ^ a b c d e "Shep Fields dies, noted bandleader".  
  3. ^ California Death Index
  4. ^ "Carpet King Steps Up".  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Band Leader Shep Fields Dies of Heart Attack at 70".  
  6. ^ "Shep Fields".  
  7. ^ a b Stanley Green and Elaine Schmidt (2000). Hollywood musicals year by year.  
  8. ^ a b c d e "Shep Fields Makes Decided Hit Here With New Rhythm".  
  9. ^ "Patriotic Notes".  
  10. ^ "Shep Fields, Leader Of Big Band Known For Rippling Rhythm".  
  11. ^ "Shep Fields Dies. Was Bandleader".  
  12. ^ "Died.".  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ "Musician, arranger Lou Halmy dies at 93".  
  15. ^ "Great Depression a gold mine for musicians".  
  16. ^ "Sid Caesar".  
  17. ^ Brennan, Patricia (August 11, 2002). "Sid Caesar, whose name is s ...".  
  18. ^ The Los Angeles Examiner, October 9, 1938, pg. 1

Further reading

  • Washington Post; February 7, 1937 "Shep Fields in Town Wednesday for Dance."
  • Washington Post; May 8, 1937 "'Wings of the Morning,' in Technicolor, And Shep Fields Share Honors at Earle. Racing Picture and Ace Band Divide Top Spots on Bill of General Appeal."
  • Washington Post; January 17, 1939 "Los Angeles, January 16, 1939 (United Press) Mrs. Myra Wallace, wife of a music publisher, learned tonight the $10,000 banknote which she tossed to Shep Fields, orchestra leader, for playing one her favorite numbers might be legal -- not stage money as she had thought."

External links

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