Tom Shipley of Brewer & Shipley Interview
MICHAEL BREWER & TOM SHIPLEY began their careers as solo folk artists on the coffee house circuit in the early 1960s. Both native mid-westerns (Oklahoman and Ohioan respective to their billing), they first met in 1964 at the Blind Owl coffee house in Kent, Ohio. It would be three more years before they would team up, and during those three years the two crossed paths at clubs on the folk circuit, and each tried their hand in other musical collaborations that didn’t pan out. DOWN IN L.A. In 1965 Michael Brewer migrated to Los Angeles following the emerging west coast music scene. His initial duo Mastin & Brewer signed a record deal with Columbia Records but after the group imploded before finishing their record, Brewer eventually accepted a job as a staff songwriter at Good Sam Music, a publishing offshoot of the newly formed A&M Records. Around this time, Tom Shipley arrived in L.A. and looked up his acquaintance from the folk circuit. Tom rented a house around the corner from Michael’s house, and soon they began writing songs together. When Shipley was subsequently hired as staff writer for A&M in 1967, their partnership began as a songwriting collaboration.