Shelley Fisher

A Motherless Child

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A MOTHERLESS CHILD is the life story of Entertainer, Songwriter, Actor and Educator Shelley Fisher from a two-month old baby boy in racially segregated 1942 Mississippi, whose mother died as the result of untreated complications of childbirth. Raised by an abusive pseudo religious Grandmother until she chases him through the cornfield with a shotgun.

After moving to the West side of Chicago at age twelve and facing a neighborhood bully he becomes totally immersed in some dangerous street gang activity. To escape the streets he joins the Air Force at age sixteen by changing the year on his birth certificate with the help of a community social worker. Shelley returned to Chicago after just four months with an Honorable Discharge to join a traveling magazine crew supervised by one of The Tuskegee Airmen selling periodicals to celebrities such as Chuck Berry, The Isley Brothers and Jazz great Sarah Vaughn.

Back in Chicago he and two other low level criminals rob an illegal numbers operation and a high stakes poker game after which he ends his criminal life and enrolls at the Crane Jr. College to be mentored by Music Teacher James L. Mack and discovered his musical talent. There he would meet and work with some of the finest musicians of the era including several who were part of Chess-Cadet Records. Fisher paid his dues in the ‘Windy City’ sharing billings with Eartha Kitt and Stevie Wonder and co-found the Aries Record Company. He chooses to perform in Oscar Brown, Jr.’s musical production Summer In The City over a secure career at Johnson Publishing Company before going to Hollywood to pursue his dream.

He would find success in Hollywood landing a co-starring role in a motion picture, playing piano and singing in some of the finest lounges like The Sportsmen’s Lodge, having his music recorded by Lou Rawls and on Motown Records. Then he would become romantically involved with the wealthy widow of a famed songwriter and work to create a multi-million-dollar Audio-Visual center, but cocaine and betrayal leads to an almost fatal encounter with the LAPD. Following an emotional breakdown Shelley realizes that unless he totally abandons his playground and playmates in Los Angeles he will not live to realize his dream and returns to Chicago to successfully teach the Blues as a cultural heritage in two public schools located in the infamous Cabrini-Green neighborhood.

Fisher shares his personal involvement with Maurice White and members of the original group Earth, Wind & Fire in its formative period. He shares his experiences after leaving Hollywood to work and reside abroad for twenty-three years in Canada, Japan and Europe composing and performing on-camera his original music the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palms Award winning film Calliope.

In 2000 he returned to the United States and fulfill a dream to perform in Las Vegas at the MGM-Mirage Resort for three consecutive years. But in 2004, while en route to the Las Vegas airport, Shelley suffered a hit and run automobile accident and died twice in one day. Left with a severely injured left forearm, he loses the ability to play the piano but after a long recovery period and eight surgeries he reinvents himself as a stand-up vocalist, performing on cruise ships and major concerts in Japan.

In 2013 Fisher was inducted into The HistoryMakers an organization that documents the contributions of prominent African-Americans from President Barrack Hussein Obama to Poet Laureate Maya Angelou. He has received Letters of Commendation from United States Senators (Harry Reid and John Ensign) of both political parties for his contributions to the Las Vegas community. His is a story of overcoming life’s obstacles to make contributions to the young and to the older members of society. Shelley Fisher remains active in the Entertainment Industry and as a motivational-inspirational speaker.

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