Shelby Sumpter Singleton, Jr.

Shelby Sumpter Singleton, Jr. was a record producer and executive. In 1960 he achieved first hit single, Brook Benton's recording of "The Boll Weevil Song", which became a #2 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the following year. Singleton spent nine years at Mercury and its sister label Smash Records during which he was involved in producing many hit records, including "Walk On By", Leroy Van Dyke; "Ahab the Arab", Ray Stevens; "Wooden Heart", Joe Dowell; and producing acts such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Roger Miller, Charlie Rich, Dave Dudley and Brook Benton.

In 1962 Singleton bought the master recording of "Hey Paula" by Jill and Ray, originally released on LeCam Records. He changed the duo's names to Paul & Paula and issued the song on Mercury's newly acquired label, Philips. The song spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1966 Singleton resigned from Mercury and formed several music labels, including SSS International and Plantation Records, achieving his first #1 hit in 1968 with "Harper Valley P.T.A." The following year he purchased Sun Records from Sam Phillips, including its rock and roll catalog. Singleton was on the nominating committee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.