Leroy Shield Before He Joined the Victor Talking Machine Company.

by Albert Haim

From http://www.leroyshield.com/  (website replete with great information about Shield).

Leroy Shield played piano, led radio orchestras, penned semiclassical works, and, for a few years in the 1930s, wrote music for Hollywood. He was the uncredited composer of the music in Hal Roach's "Little Rascals" and "Laurel & Hardy" films.

We discussed Leroy Shield a few times in the forum. Here is the connection between Leroy and Bix.

Leroy Shield was music director for the following Bix sessions.

Jan 28, 1927. Jean Goldkette. Proud of a Baby Like You, I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.

Sep 15, 1927. Jean Goldkette. Blue River, Clementine.

Nov 18, 1927. Paul Whiteman. (Whiteman was recording director, Shield was present). Washboard Blues.

Jan 5, 1928. Paul Whiteman. (Whiteman was recording director, Shield was assistant). O YaYa, Dolly Dimples. 

I present here some information about Leroy Shield. First official documents. He was born Le Roy Bernard Shields in Waseca, MN on Oct 2, 1893. Here is the 1900 US Census with a listing of the Shields family in Waseca, MN.

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By 1910, the Shields had moved to Belle Plaine, IA, about 100 mile east-northeast of Davenport. Here is the 1910 US Census for Belle Plaine, IA.

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The WWI Draft Registration card.

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At this time, Leroy was a piano teacher at the Bliss School of Music in Oak Park, IL, about 10 miles east of Chicago.

From the Oak Leaves, the main newspaper in Oak Park, Nov 23, 1912.



234 North Kenilworth Avenue

Piano, Voice, Violin, Harmony, Ensemble, Pipe Organ, Flute,

Dramatic Art

Established in 1902. Entire building devoted to the school.

Situated in same block with Scoville Institutefirst block West of Lake Street. PHONE 690

There are lots of items about Leroy Shield in the Oak Leaves in the nineteen teens. Here is a selection.

May 20, 1916.

Country Club Musical Program

An enjoyable musical program was

given at the Oak Park Country club on

Tuesday evening by Alexander Gray,

baritone, and Leroy Shield, pianist.

Each artist possesses exceptional ability,

and their respective numbers were

thorougly appreciated by the members

present. The program was as follows:


Hunting Song Mendelssohn

Etude in D flat Liszt

Black Key Etude Chopin

Arabesque Debussy

Mr. Shield


Ah! non mi ridestar ! (Werther) Massenet

Ich und Du Flock

Das Kunst Vergessenheit Hildach

Mr. Gray


Song MacDowell

TranscriptionBlue Danube Schultz-Evler

Mr. Shield


The Young Warrior Burleigh

In an Old Fashioned Town Squires

The Wind Speaks Grant Schaeffer

If You Would Love Me MacDermid

Mr. Gray


Jay C. Freeman of the social committee

arranged for the evening's musical

entertainment, which was preceded by a

table d'hote dinner and followed by informal


Nov 24, 1916.

Bliss School Faculty Concert
The annual faculty concert of the

Bliss School of Music will be held this

year at the Colonial club Monday evening,

October 23.

Edwin Schneider, who will be in Chicago

the previous Sunday for the Mc-

Cormack concert, expects to be present,

and if so, will play the second Saint-

Saens Concerto, with Anna Marion


Day Williams, a cellist who ranks as

one of the best in the middle west, will

play a Chopin etude arranged for cello.

Florence Hallberg, a new member of

the faculty, will make her first appearance

in Oak Park at this concert. Miss

Hallberg has a mezzo soprano voice of

rare quality, which will be heard to advantage

in "Endymion" by Liza Lehmann.

Leroy Shield will play the A flat

Chopin Polonoise. Manilla Cudworth

will read Anatole France's "The Man

Who Married a Dumb Wife."

Beatrice Henry is to assist in a

Beethoven trio.

Jul 29, 1916

Leroy Shield Wins Prize

Leroy Shield of the faculty of the Bliss

School of Music is the winner of a prize

which is offered each year by the Amateur

Musical club to young pianists of

Chicago. The prize this year is the opportunity

of playing at RaviniaPark.

Mr. Shield appeared Friday evening,

July 28, on the Ravinia program, and

elected to play "The Beautiful Blue

Danube," by Strauss-Tausig, which solo

won him this distinction.

Sep 9, 1916.

Leroy Shield Returns

Leroy Shield has resumed his teaching
at the Bliss School of Music, after a
busy summer spent in various activities
pertaining to his profession.
Ravinia park and the Country club at
Lake Geneva were among his important
engagements. He appeared a number of
times at the latter.

Similar articles were published in 1917-1919.

In 1920-1923 Leroy Shield was the accompanist to soprano Eva Gauthier and was all over the US.. Several newspaper articles mention the Eva Gauthier concerts and have high praise for her accompanist, Leroy Shield. This from the Galveston Daily New, Nov 5, 1920.  

Leroy Shield. Miss Gauthier's accompanist,
shared In the hearty welcome
extended the charming artist,
and was well. received in his renditions
of several masters.

I have seen announcements of concerts by Gauthier and Shield in Madison, WI, Oakland CA and New York.

From the New York Times, Oct 21, 1921, concert in Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Leroy Shield played the accompaniments, some of them of uncharted difficulty, with skill; and was also given a chance with a piano solo in Taileffer's "Pastorale."


It is clear that up to about 1923, Leroy Shield principal activities were in classical music, as a piano teacher and an accompanist for singers.


Here is a radio program by Roy Shield and Company over the NBC network on Saturday nights.


Posted on Jul 2, 2012, 9:07 AM

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