COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY LEADER
SHELIA SHIPLEY BIDDY
INTRODUCES LIFE STORY
“THE MUSIC IN MY REARVIEW MIRROR:
MY 30 YEARS IN MUSIC & MORE”
Self-Published Autobiography Highlights
Personal And Professional Challenges Succeeded By Triumph
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 1, 2014) – Longtime music industry professional and Director Of Operations of Music Health Alliance, Shelia Shipley Biddy, introduces the release of her self-published autobiography entitled “The Music In My Rearview Mirror: My 30 Years In Music & More” ** (CreateSpace Publishing). The publication is now available through Amazon.com and Kindle.
As a well-respected businesswoman and Music Row trailblazer, in Nashville and around the world, Shelia highlights her career experiences in the music and entertainment industry and the hurdles presented before her as a woman entering the “good ole boy’s” circle to become one of the first females seated at the helm of a major label. The autobiography, forwarded by award winning country recording artist Reba McEntire and with introductions made by Chuck Dauphin (of Billboard Magazine), is a 30-year bittersweet labor of love.
“Writing my autobiography was an emotional roller coaster ride. Not only did I recall the excitement, and highs and lows of working with some of country music’s greatest talents, I relived many of the darkest moments in my life when hope didn’t exist,” stated Shelia Shipley Biddy. “This book is a reflection of where I have been, introduces the most influential people in my life, and the new direction I am headed--until the next crossroad. I hope my experiences, and tell-all, will help others to discover and pursue their own personal and professional destinies.”
As personal and professional chapters unfold on the pages of “The Music In My Rearview Mirror,” the reader is offered inspiring insight to the various paths the Kentucky-born woman took to achieve her goals and become one of the most prominent career women in the country music business. A courageous country girl from the rural Bluegrass state, Shelia removed herself from an abusive family environment, married at the age of 16, and uprooted to move with her first husband to Nashville. Shelia was quick to make entry through the doors of the music business; she landed her first “gig” as a receptionist at Monument Records. She made her way up the ranks to become a leader in radio promotion (at RCA and MCA); within four months of joining the MCA staff, she debuted George Strait’s OCEAN FRONT PROPERTY as a No. 1 album—a “first” in the history of country music. Shelia’s tenacity, work ethic, loyalty and true passion for the artist and his/her music led her to become the first female to head-up a Nashville record label—Decca Records. Her groundbreaking career and achievements as “Nashville’s Top 25 Most Influential Women” (Nashville Life Magazine) span three decades. Shelia Shipley Biddy was instrumental in taking more than 139 country singles to No. 1; she is recognized for the success of multi-platinum country singer Mark Chesnutt, and she signed and launched the careers of Gary Allan and Lee Ann Womack.
“When you read this book, you’ll learn about all her hard work and all the amazing folks she got to work with. I know she has some great stories for you! Plus, because of Shelia, huge doors have opened for other women to take on the music business. Thanks, Shelia. We need more like you, but I think God broke the mold when He made you!” --Reba McEntire
“Shelia Shipley Biddy is one of the most knowledgeable and respected music industry executives in the entertainment business. She has earned this status by conducting her affairs in a first-rate fashion that is envied by all who know her. I am thrilled that she has written this book in which she shares her world to her legion of fans. I may be her biggest fan.”
--Tandy Rice, President, Top Billing Inc/Former President, COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION
“There’s more to her story than just a legendary career. Shelia Shipley Biddy is a loving wife, mother, daughter and friend. She has endured poverty, neglect, abuse, a life-threatening illness and much more. In the pages of this book, you’ll cheer, you’ll laugh, and you’ll even cry at a childhood that was far from the carefree existence that most of us had in small-town America. This is a success story, not just about country music, but also about life. So get ready to be inspired, no matter what mountain you currently face.” --Chuck Dauphin, Billboard Magazine
“The Music In My Rearview Mirror” is now available in both physical and digital copy. It will be available on the Kindle as an exclusive release through December 31, 2014. Five percent of the proceeds from orders placed via Amazon Smile will be donated to Music Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization established to create a safe and confidential place for the nationwide music community to gain the best healthcare and insurance solutions through defined and transparent advocacy services.
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Strong Willed & Well Respected
I had not met Shelia prior to my signing with MCA, but right from the start, she "got" me. And when I signed, I had no idea she was one of the first women seated as a powerful label decision-maker on The Row.
Back then, I didn't know much about the music business, and I'm still learning today, but Shelia knew the business and she wasn't in it for the money or for fun; Shelia has a passion and heart for the music and the artists she works with.
She came to one of my shows and I sang "I'll Think Of Something" (which was a cover previously recorded by Hank Jr.). I played that song ten times, if I didn't play it a hundred, and I never thought about recording it. It's because of Shelia--who talked the label into letting me record it--that it's one of my biggest hits. (Shelia helped me to get a lot of songs recorded that I could not have otherwise.)
Like many artist/label relationships, as I grew into my own skin as a performer, I grew farther from what the label wanted me to be (artists and labels can get crossways with "creative differences"). The label grew tired of my "ole country," I think, and wanted me to move toward pop country. Shelia stood by me and told me to "stick to my roots" (and that's probably why they moved her over to head up Decca, where I was "transferred").
A few years down the road, I began to veer away from the "well-groomed" brand; straying away from the Wrangler Jeans, starched shirts and big belt buckles. I grew my hair longer; I grew a beard, starting wearing Levis again and Shelia was happy just letting me be me.
She's intelligent and she was strong-minded and well-respected, but in all honesty, I think her biggest challenge was to get the "boys" to take her seriously. She was little, feisty and she was a fighter and from day one, she fought for me. From Decca to Vivaton to all of my independent releases, Shelia Shipley Biddy never gave up on me. She's been an educator, a mentor, my career cheerleader and she's a dear friend. Not many artists can say they've enjoyed the kind of relationship (with their managers, label heads, etc.) I've been blessed to share with Shelia.
Mark Chesnutt, recording artist
A Passion For The Business
"At Decca Records, I worked directly with Shelia on every single and album release and I saw firsthand her amazing organization skills, her passion for the business and an amazing work ethic. Shelia is a top administrator that can create calm out of chaos and keep a team focused on any given project. While highly skilled at managing a mountain of statistics, she's also adept at creating winning strategies and innovative ideas to promote a project. I would give her my highest recommendation.” John Lytle, Owner, Lytle Management (Gary Allan Manager, former VP of National Promotion, Decca Records)
Making A Difference
“I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Shelia for many years (at MCA) and am honored to call her a friend. She has moved steadily up through the ranks with hard work, dedication, perseverance, and a great passion for what she does. Thanks to Shelia, more women have a better opportunity to take on decision-making roles in the music business. Making a difference is one of the most important things you can do with your life, and Shelia has made a difference.” Reba McEntire
Leadership, Creativity & Marketing Savvy
“Shelia is one of those rare people who have a well balanced mix of leadership, creativity, and marketing savvy, wrapped in the drive to get the job done. Her activity results in accomplishment. Her success in the music business is the result of these professional skills, but those very skills are what makes an executive great in any industry, and can be transposed from industry to industry. I am proud to call her friend, to know her as a peer, and would be honored to serve alongside her in business.” Robert Michaels, CEO and National Chaplain at Serve & Protect