Pettibone, Shep

Born 10 July 1959, Shep Pettibone started his career as an employer in a record shop, working nights as a DJ. In this capacity he started experimenting, building his own Mastermixer in the late 1970’s (the first digital sampling keyboard ‘The New Emulator’ was only made in 1983!). In the early 1980’s he started working on the New York radiostation 98.7 Kiss FM (WKRS), broadcasting his ‘Mastermix Danceparty’ on Saturday evening in prime time, introducing a new methodology by segueing records to build “sequences”, almost like movements in classical music.

It was a parallel development to hip hop’s scratching and DJ innovations, which were undoubtedly an ongoing influence. Afterwards he moved into a musical area which is probably best described as disco, reviving the sounds of Loletta Holloway to great success, ensuring his status as an in-demand mixer for large budget studio sessions.

His big breakthrough came in 1986 when he remixed the Pet Shop Boys’ song ‘West End Girls’. Shortly after that he produced Madonna’s remix album ‘You Can Dance’. In 1988, he remixed Kim Wilde’s You Came, released on 12″ in Europe and on 7″ in Canada and the United States.

Amazingly, Pettibone stepped away from the music business in the late 1990s. “I’d kind of had enough of music at that point,” he said. “I’d been doing it for 15 years.” He currently owns The Empress Hotel and Paradise Night Club in Asbury Park, New Jersey.