In August of 1988, seven callers got together and formed a record label
to record square dance music. Don McWhirter, David
Mee, Lee Schmidt, Red Cullop,
Tim Pepper, Dennis Young and Pat
Carnathan wanted square dance music that was more modern. It
took a few years for the Shakedown style to develop, but the motto at
Shakedown is "Be true to the song". In other words, the singing call
should sound just like the original tune. No repetitive, monotonous
boom-chuck rhythms, no modifying the verse-chorus structure, etc.
There have been a few changes in personnel over the years. Red, Lee and Don retired from Shakedown and Michael Kellogg, Vic Kaaria and Bronc Wise were brought on board. For a while, Shakedown Records performed live music shows around Southern California.
A square dance record label is a lot of work. In June of 1998 Shakedown Records went into hiatus. The remaining Shakedown staff was kind enough to let Pat Carnathan take over sole control of the label in the Fall of 2000. Pat made the decision to cease selling vinyl records and sell new Shakedown tunes via digital Internet download. Shakedown Records was the first label to make it's entire inventory available for download. Pat, along with Bill Heyman of Hanhurst's Tape & Record Service, literally pioneered the sale of square dance music in this fashion
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