CALVIN SHIELDS Calvin A. "Eagle Eye" Shields passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010. He was born April 28, 1924, in Jacksonville, Fla. He is survived by his son; a sister; and a host of grandsons, granddaughters, nieces, nephews and special friends. For decades, he was recognized, honored and respected by the music world. Calvin lived in Las Vegas for 42 years. At the age of 21, Calvin decided to follow in his father's footsteps, but instead of the piano, he decided to play the drums - but it wasn't his first choice. He loved to joke about how his musical career began. "I went in as a trumpet player and came out a drummer," he laughed and said. In 1945, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. From 1945 to 1956, he traveled from Florida to New York performing with big bands. He landed a few gigs at the Cotton Club and sat in on a few recording sessions at King Records. He joined Tiny Bradshaw's band, who at the time, was best known to the world as the "King of Jitterbug." Later, he played with the Billy Williams Quartet and traveled the world - Japan, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Canada and Switzerland. He formed, "The Calvin Shields All-Star Band," and played nightly at the Carver House, located on the westside (D and Jackson). He then joined famed singer/actress, Della Reese's band at the Flamingo Hotel. From 1967 to 1973, he traveled from New York to Las Vegas with Ms. Reese. From 1978 to 1984, he became the music director and drummer for Redd Foxx, appearing at hotels such as the Sahara, Landmark and the Hacienda. He was a member of the Valley View Golf Club, the Jazz Society and Second Baptist Church. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at Davis Funeral Home, 2127 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89102. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at Second Baptist Church, 500 W. Madison Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89106.
Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jan. 7, 2010.