I apologize for the absence of INSIDE PITCH over the past few weeks.We shall return with new inspiration shortly. But, for the time being I
would like to dedicate this blog entry to the greatest man I have ever
known, my father.
Born in Brooklyn, NY on October 8th 1922, Mr. Shimkin created Golden
Records in 1948, the first record company devoted exclusively to
publishing children’s records. In the 1950’s he created the Golden
Records Libraries, thus creating the largest children’s record company
in the world. Working with such artists as Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Cab
Calloway, Jimmy Durante, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Shari Lewis, Alfred Hitchcock… he
inspired major stars from film, radio and television to lend their
talents to entertaining and educating children.
In 1961 he produced “Young Abe Lincoln”, the first children’s
musical ever on Broadway. In the same year he won his first Grammy
award for his “Peter & the Wolf” children’s album conducted by
Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic.
Mr. Shimkin was subsequently a driving force behind Disney Records
and Bell Records (predecessor to Arista), and founded Sesame Street
Records, where he became a multi-Grammy award winning producer.
As a survivor of cancer of the larynx Mr. Shimkin became fluent in
esophageal speech, and went on to teach and mentor many other
laryngectomy patients. He also devoted his expertise to the American
Arbitration Association over many years of work as an arbitrator.
Raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Shimkin graduated from Columbia
University and served in WW II (1942-1945) as a pilot in the Army Air
Corps. He was a man of many passions: master to his beloved dogs Pinky
and Ellie, a lifelong tennis player and instructor, a clarinetist and
lover of opera and classical music, a man who, like his favorite author
Mark Twain, always said what was on his mind.
In his own words Arthur Shimkin’s philosophy in life was very
simple: “I did my best to take pride in my work – call it devotion or
artistry or even self-indulgence . . . I never gave up . . . I
tried-honestly and with all my strength . . . that’s the satisfaction,
that’s the love, that’s the reason for “doing”- for breathing – for
He is survived by his wife of 40 years- the love of his life-Bonnie
Lee Sanders; his four sons, David, Jonathan, Tony and Carl; his
daughter-in-law Alicia; and his five grandchildren, Erin, Amanda,
Sarah, Isaiah, and Paul.
The family will be offering a memorial service for him on Wednesday,
December 13th at The Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis
B. Cullman Center, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium (entrance at 111
Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Street) from 10 am. to 1 pm.
*** My father grew up a Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan regularly attending Ebbets Field and later became a New
York Yankees’ fan after the Bums left town. As an accomplished record
producer he had the pleasure of recording with many great artists and
even a couple of old ballplayers. Below I leave for you his original
Golden Record recordings of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" and "The
Umpire, The Umpire" starring four of his favorite players- Phil
Rizzuto, Ralph Branca, Roy Campanella and Tommy Heinrich. Both of
theses recordings are displayed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown, New York. Just click on the Downloads below to listen on Quicktime.
Download 02_golden_cd_1_track2c.mp3 (Take Me Out To The Ballgame)
Download 03_golden_cd_1_track2f.mp3 (The Umpire, The Umpire)
Carl the Cabbie