Vonda Shepard Overview

Vonda Shepard (born July 7, 1963) is an American pop/rock rock music singer. She appeared as a regular in the television show Ally McBeal from seasons 1-5 in which she played a resident performer at the bar where the show's characters drank after work. She plays piano, guitar, and bass.

 
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Vonda Shepard was born in New York but her family relocated to California when she was a child. She played piano from an early age. Her father is Richmond Shepard, a mime and improv actor. Vonda has three sisters: Armina, Rosetta (now Brianna) and Luana.

After performing as a backing singer for many years she was eventually given her own recording contract. Shepard's first chart appearance was in 1987 when she recorded a duet with Dan Hill entitled "Can't We Try". Before this she tried out for the part of Michael J. Fox's Michael J. Fox sister in Light of Day but lost the part out to Joan Jett. She was also poised to sing on Peter Cetera's Peter Cetera duet "The Next Time I Fall" but he picked Amy Grant instead. She released her first self-titled album in 1989 with little fanfare. The album did yield one chart single, "Don't Cry Ilene", a mid-tempo, piano-driven jazz-R&B flavored song dealing with the break-up of a relationship between a black woman and a white man, arising from adult peer pressure. The track is sung from the perspective of the woman's white female friend, who harbors a desire to have the man for herself, but keeps her distance out of respect for her friend. The song peaked at Number 17 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks.

After her third album, Shepard was signed up to appear on Ally McBeal after being spotted by the show's creator David E Kelley. While on the show she recorded two full soundtrack albums and was featured on two other Ally McBeal compilations. The songs Shepard recorded for Ally McBeal soundtrack albums were mainly covers of old songs with lyrics that paralleled what was happening in the title character's life onscreen. Since appearing in the show, Shepard has released two more studio albums and a live album.

Shepard has been married to music producer Mitchell Froom since 2004; they had their first child, Jack Froom, on 15 April 2006.
Albums

* Vonda Shepard 1989 US: Reprise Reprise Records /Warner Bros. Records, licensed to Vesper Alley Records in 1998
* The Radical Light 1992 US: Reprise Reprise Records /Warner Bros. Records, licensed to Vesper Alley Records in 1998
* It's Good, Eve 1996 US: Vesper Alley Records / UK: Epic Records
* Songs From Ally McBeal 1998 US: 550 Music/Epic Epic Records /SME Records Sony Music Entertainment / UK: Epic Records Number 3 /Spain: Number 1
* By 7:30 1999 US: Jacket Records / UK: Epic Records Number 39
* Heart And Soul: New Songs From Ally McBeal 1999 US: 550 Music/Epic Epic Records /SME Records Sony Music Entertainment / UK: Epic Records Number 9
* Chinatown 2002 US: Jacket Records / UK: Edel Music
* Live: A Retrospective 2005 US: Jacket Records
* From the Sun 2008 US: Redeye Distribution
* The Best of Ally McBeal - The Songs of Vonda Shepard / Sony Legacy / October 6, 2009


Compilation soundtracks

* Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas 2000 US: 550 Music/Epic Epic Records /SME Records Sony Music Entertainment / UK: Epic Records
* Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life Soundtrack 2001 US: 550 Music/Epic Epic Records /SME Records Sony Music Entertainment / UK: Epic Records
* The Best of Ally McBeal - The Songs of Vonda Shepard / Sony Legacy / October 6, 2009


Charted singles (USA)

* "Can't We Try" (duet with Dan Hill) - Pop Number 6, Adult Contemporary Number 2, 1987
* "Don't Cry Ilene" - Adult Contemporary Number 17, 1990
* "I Shy Away" - Adult Contemporary Number 37, 1990
* "Searchin' My Soul" - Pop Number 16 (airplay only), Adult Contemporary Number 22, 1998
* "Baby, Don't You Break My Heart Slow" (duet with Emily Saliers) - Adult Contemporary Number 21, 1999

NOTE: "Searchin' My Soul" was not released as a commercial single and was therefore not eligible for the Billboard Hot 100 per chart rules at the time of its release. However the song charted at Number 16 on the airplay Hot 100 Airplay Chart chart.


Singles from the Ally McBeal soundtracks

* Searchin' My Soul Number 1 Spain
* Hooked On A Feeling Number 7 Spain
* Maryland
* Tell Him Number 29 Spain
* Read Your Mind
* This Old Heart Of Mine
* Baby Don't You Break My Heart Slow (with Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls)
* Someday We'll Be Together
* Confetti
* Love Is Alive (with Anastacia)
* Chances Are (with Robert Downey Jr.)
 

 

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Vonda Shepard
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