Derek Shulman

Last updated

Derek Shulman
Gentle Giant.jpg
Shulman playing the Shulberry with Gentle Giant at Yale University
Background information
Birth nameDerek Victor Shulman
Born (1947-02-11) 11 February 1947 (age 72)
Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Progressive rock
Occupation(s)Musician, Music executive, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, saxophone, recorder, bass, percussion, keyboards, Shulberry
Years active1966–present
Associated acts Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, Gentle Giant

Derek Shulman (born Derek Victor Shulman; 11 February 1947 in the Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish musician and singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record executive. From 1970 to 1980, he was lead vocalist for the band Gentle Giant. [1]



Shulman began his recording career as the singer of British pop band Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, with Pete O'Flaherty, Eric Hine, Tony Ransley, and his brothers Phil Shulman and Ray Shulman. Recording in the late 1960s for Parlophone Records, the band struggled with creative difficulties after experiencing some commercial success with several top 40 hits, including the top 10 hit "Kites". The band finally dissolved in 1969.

The three brothers went on to form progressive rock band Gentle Giant with guitarist Gary Green, keyboardist Kerry Minnear, and drummer Martin Smith (later replaced by Malcolm Mortimore, who was himself replaced by John Weathers). In Gentle Giant, Shulman became known as a dynamic frontman in the live environment and recorded twelve albums with the band over ten years. While the band secured a loyal following of fairly devout fans, they never experienced wide commercial success and, with their popularity waning slightly in the late 1970s, they disbanded after the release of the 1980 album Civilian . Like his band members, Shulman was quite adept on several instruments, including saxophone, recorder, bass, clavichord and their own Shulberry, an electric 3-stringed ukulele.

Record executive

Following his recording career, Shulman became a prominent record executive. [1] Starting as an A&R representative at PolyGram Records, where he rose to the ranks of senior vice president, he signed Bon Jovi, Dan Reed Network, Cinderella, Kingdom Come, and Enuff Z'nuff among many others. In 1988, he became president and CEO of Atco Records, where his first signing was blues rock band Tangier, followed by progressive metal band Dream Theater and Pantera. He also re-established the careers of AC/DC and Bad Company, both of whom sold multi-platinum albums under his watch. He then went on to become president of Roadrunner Records overseeing signings like Slipknot and Nickelback. In March 2010, Shulman established a new venture with international music impresario Leonardo Pavkovic called 2PLUS Music & Entertainment.



With Simon Dupree and the Big Sound
With Gentle Giant

UK singles

With Simon Dupree and the Big Sound
With Gentle Giant

Related Research Articles

The Action were an English band of the 1960s, formed as The Boys in August 1963, in Kentish Town, North West London. They were part of the mod subculture, and played soul music-influenced pop music.

The Hollies English pop group formed in Manchester in the early 1960s

The Hollies are a British rock group best known for their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. The Hollies became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and into the mid 1970s. The band was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1962 as a Merseybeat-type music group in Manchester, although some of the band members came from towns further north in East Lancashire. Graham Nash left the group in 1968 to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Tom Wilson (record producer) American record producer

Thomas Blanchard Wilson Jr. was an American record producer best known for his work in the 1960s with Bob Dylan, the Mothers of Invention, Simon & Garfunkel, the Velvet Underground, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Eddie Harris, Nico, Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Blues Project, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and others.

Gentle Giant English progressive rock band

Gentle Giant were an English progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was known for the complexity and sophistication of its music and for the varied musical skills of its members. All of the band members, except Malcolm Mortimore, were multi-instrumentalists. Although not commercially successful, they did achieve a cult following.

Sheldon Talmy is an American record producer, songwriter and arranger, best known for his work in London, England, with the Who and the Kinks in the 1960s, with a role in many other English bands including Cat Stevens and Pentangle. Talmy arranged and produced hits such as "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, "My Generation" by the Who, and "Friday on My Mind" by the Easybeats. He also played guitar or tambourine on some of his productions.

Simon Dupree and the Big Sound were a British psychedelic band formed in 1966 by brothers Derek Shulman (vocals), Phil Shulman, and Ray Shulman ; also known for their later prog rock band, Gentle Giant.

<i>Octopus</i> (Gentle Giant album) 1972 studio album by Gentle Giant

Octopus is the fourth album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant, released in 1972. It was the band's last album with founding member Phil Shulman and the first with new drummer John Weathers, who would remain with the band until their dissolution in 1980. Octopus remains a highly regarded example of the progressive rock genre and is generally considered to represent the start of the band's peak period.

<i>The Power and the Glory</i> (Gentle Giant album) 1974 studio album by Gentle Giant

The Power and the Glory is the sixth album by the British progressive rock group Gentle Giant, released in 1974. Contrary to popular belief, the title of the album and its many lyrical themes were not inspired by author Graham Greene's novel of the same name, although Derek Shulman was aware of Greene's novel. Guitarist Gary Green has cited this album as his favourite by the band.

<i>Acquiring the Taste</i> 1971 studio album by Gentle Giant

Acquiring the Taste is the second album of English progressive rock band Gentle Giant, released in 1971. It was the final album by the band to feature original drummer Martin Smith.

<i>In a Glass House</i> 1973 studio album by Gentle Giant

In a Glass House is the fifth album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant, released in September 21, 1973. The album is allegedly a concept project based on the aphorism "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". The record begins and ends with the sound of breaking glass. It is the first album released by the band following the departure of Phil Shulman.

<i>Free Hand</i> 1975 studio album by Gentle Giant

Free Hand is the seventh album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant. It was released in 1975.

<i>The Missing Piece</i> (Gentle Giant album) 1977 studio album by Gentle Giant

The Missing Piece is the ninth album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant which was released in 1977. After the Interview tour this return to the studio marked a change of direction for the band with the first side of the album exploring different musical directions than the band was previously known for, including pop music and punk rock, while the second side was more in the vein of their signature progressive rock style. This was the last Gentle Giant album to chart in the United States.

<i>Giant for a Day!</i> 1978 studio album by Gentle Giant

Giant for a Day! is the tenth album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant which was released in 1978. The band's previous use of counterpoint and medieval-themed arrangements was not present on this recording. This album features a pop rock sensibility, instead of their usual progressive rock sound. Unlike the previous albums, the band did not make any tour or concerts to support this album. From the album only the title track was ever played live by the band during its final tour supporting the Civilian album.

<i>Scraping the Barrel</i> 2004 box set by Gentle Giant

Scraping the Barrel was the second of two box sets of the English progressive rock band Gentle Giant, released in 2004.

Raymond Shulman is a Scottish musician, and the youngest of three brothers in progressive rock band, Gentle Giant.

John Weathers Welsh musician

John Patrick 'Pugwash' Weathers is a drummer, best known for playing with the progressive rock band Gentle Giant.

Philip Arthur Shulman, is a Scottish musician who was a member of the progressive rock group Gentle Giant from 1970 to 1973 and performed on their albums Gentle Giant, Acquiring the Taste, Three Friends, and Octopus.

Kites (song) single

"Kites" is a ballad written by Hal Hackady and Lee Pockriss. It was first recorded by the Rooftop Singers as their last single in 1967.

<i>Live at the Bicentennial</i> 2014 live album by Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant Live at the Bicentennial 1776-1976 is a live album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant recorded in Hempstead, New York on July 3, 1976. The CD was released by Alucard Music in 2014.


  1. 1 2 Elder, Bruce. "Biography: Gentle Giant". Allmusic . Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  2. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 173. ISBN   1-904994-10-5