This post was contributed by country artist Patrick Masse.
I first met Mel Shaw in early 1998 when I was in Nashville to record my first record. He immediately took me under his wing. I was blown away that I was recording at Texanna Sound Studios, home to some of the top players in the world. I remember them saying; we got to cut your record in the morning, Reba’s in the afternoon. I was over the moon.
I was very fortunate to meet Mel Shaw early in my career; he was very well-connected and got me some top draw songs. He co-produced my first EP, “Get There From Here” with Ray Caroll of The Platters, and the first song “Let’s Talk About Love” made Top 10 in places all over the world.
Not only was Mel a great producer, but he was also a champion for rights in the music business. He was a friend, a mentor, and just an all-around good guy. He never wavered and supported me even after I came out as a gay man in country music in 2002. That always meant a lot to me, very few people stood by me, but Mel always did. I spoke with John Harris of The Harris Institute the other day, and he said, “Mel Shaw was the nicest and most supportive person in the music business.” I have to agree with you on that one, John.
These are some of the highlights of Mel Shaw’s extraordinary career:
- Canadian Songwriter, Manager, Producer, Publisher, and Mel Shaw Music Platforms CEO.
- Manager for The Stampeders since their inception in 1965.
- Winner Producer of the year 1972
- The founding President of CARAS (Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences)
- Past President of Canadian Independent Record Productions Association (CIRPA)
- Former Executive Director of FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record).
- Winner of the Juno Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award in 1991.
- SOCAN Guardian Award in 2021
I believe a special tribute is in order for Mel Shaw at the upcoming JUNO Awards. I mean, after all, he was the founding President of the association responsible for them.
There is definitely a big hole in the industry now that you’re gone my friend. I’m sure you’re up there in a brand new Cadillac Eldorado, having a Jack-in-the-Box cheeseburger, pardon me, a double jack-in-the-Box cheeseburger.
Until we meet again, my friend. You will be remembered and never forgotten.