Roy Shepard was around the Cincinnati area country and bluegrass scene from the 1950s into the 1970s. He named his group the Tri State Singers to reflect Cincinnati’s location on the border of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Although he made a number of records, he may be best remembered for two that he made with his young daughter, Becky; “Be Good to Mommy” which was the first record issued on Roy’s Ark record label and “Air Mail to Heaven” issued on Ark’s subsidiary label Tela-Star.

In 1960, he recorded several gospel EPs on Starday and in 1961, a gospel EP on Rusty York’s brand new label, Jewel. In 1961 he founded his own label, Ark, that operated through 1967 and issued approximately 125 records, which included a handful of LPs, all of which were country, gospel, and bluegrass. Several of the records were issued with picture sleeves which was not a common practice for local record labels. His longtime partner in Ark was guitar player Bill Lanham who had been playing with Jimmie Skinner. In 1963 he established the Ark subsidiary, Tela-Star which apparently only lasted one year.

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