“Who’s Number One?”
That question was asked almost every Thursday for fifteen years by my boss, my mentor and my friend, Ed Shane.
Now nine times out of ten, it was asked in a joking manner because he knew we weren’t close to being done entering radio station reports into our database for the weekly Texas Music Chart but we could count on that question along with his grin.
Ed Shane was an incredible visionary. He started in radio when he was very young in Atlanta. His career took him to Chicago, LA and eventually to Houston. In the late 70s, he and his wonderful wife/business partner Pam Shane began a radio station consulting firm, Shane Media Services. They have helped countless numbers of radio stations and their peeps across the country learn more about how they can better themselves for their stations. Ed also wrote several books for the industry that were used in different college courses.
In 1997 I was lucky enough to go to work for them as their secretary. I had been in radio in Austin for a short time so I knew a little, but when I went to work for them, I quickly learned an incredible amount about the radio and music industry.
Ed had the idea for the Texas Music Chart in early 2000 after seeing Roger Creager and Pat Green perform. After explaining to me his vision, we quickly went to work contacting radio stations in Texas and asking if they would be interested in being a part of the radio panel. We had 30 stations who said yes immediately because they knew there was a deep love for this type of music! It wasn’t long before we also started Best in Texas Music Magazine, a magazine to help give focus to all of the great artists in the scene.
Many an artist has told us that if it wasn’t for the Texas Music Chart, their career might not have been as successful. And that ladies and gentleman, HAS to be because of Ed Shane and his vision.
One of the things Ed insisted on was that I was the “face” of the chart and magazine. And there’s no way I would have, had it not been for Ed and Pam’s support and confidence. It was an honor and privilege to represent and work on something that has been so important to so many in the scene for over 15 years. And to work with people that were some amazing role models made it an incredible experience.
And even though I left the TMC/BIT in 2014 to be a stay at home mom and part time blogger, I can honestly say that I learned some amazing things from Ed including some major life lessons. Things like “try to think before you speak” (THAT was/and still is HARD), “don’t let the assholes get you down,” (and boy, there were some doozies in this scene), and “always do what’s right. You will be remembered for it much longer than you can imagine.” Wow. That last one really seems to resonate even stronger with his passing and seeing the outpouring of respect and love on social media about Ed.
The last few days I’ve been remembering all the wonderful quirks about this man. Like his obsession with keeping EVERY THING. And even though we all gave him a bad time about that, deep down we were always grateful when we were looking for something and he had it….even if it was 8 years old! 🙂
Conversations with Ed were always interesting. He was so well versed in so many subjects but my favorite discussions were about his past experiences in the music business whether it was about hanging out with the Allman Brothers or his dealings as a manager of a black gospel group in the 60s. I kept telling him he needed to write those stories down…
And on the rare occasion when he indulged in something sweet, it was always fun to watch him bounce off the walls from the sugar rush!
I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful it was to be able to say goodbye to him the day before he passed. He may not have known I was there (or maybe he did) but it did me good to be able to tell him how much I appreciated and loved him.
Ed Shane was a great man and a wonderful boss and I will forever be indebted to him for the things I learned. He was also an incredible friend to me and my family. And it breaks my heart to know I won’t talk to him again until I get to heaven. Until then, I will miss him terribly. If you knew him, you know why.
There’s a great photo slideshow at www.TexasMusicChart.com of Ed and the people who loved him.