UNC music cataloger Jill Shires spends her days bringing order to the Library’s immense collections of music scores and recordings.
But Ph.D. student Chris Reali recently uncovered a bit of R&B fame in Jill’s past. As a teenage flutist, Jill played backup on the The Tams’ 1964 hit “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?”
The Chapel Hill News profiles Shires in the March 25 article “UNC music librarian made R&B history’s liner notes.”
Shires was recommended for the gig by her high school band director. She wound up making history, the paper notes, for her “brief but emblematic role as a white musician backing up black performers in a fully integrated recording studio in 1963 Alabama.”
You can hear Jill with the Tams on YouTube.
“The first thing I did was the opening,” she told The Chapel Hill News. “I improvised – which I do now – but back then I just didn’t. I guess I was just in the spirit of it and just having a good time. I don’t remember a lot of takes.”
- “UNC music librarian made R&B history’s liner notes” (The Chapel Hill News, March 25, 2014)
- Listen: “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?” (on YouTube)