Robert Shankin Is Appointed to 802 Executive Board

Volume C, No. 1January, 2000

The Local 802 Executive Board voted on Nov. 9 to appoint Robert Shankin to fill the vacancy on the Executive Board created by the resignation of Lou Bruno.

Shankin, a drummer, was born and raised in Philadelphia and studied at the Juilliard School, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. He has worked in night clubs, hotels, club dates, Broadway, television and the recording field. He has spent much of his career accompanying singers – including Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Anthony Newley, Henry Mancini and Michel Legrand – and is currently working with Eartha Kitt.

He has been a member of Local 802 since 1963. Shankin told Allegro that he became involved in the Musicians’ Voice campaign to reform the local in 1967, after becoming acquainted with Murray Rothstein, one of the founders of the reform movement. “He had a profound influence on me.” He has been active in the Members’ Party since its founding.

Shankin was named to the Trial Board in 1993. He told Allegro that his efforts on the board will be focussed on helping the union to continue its high level of commitment to the membership. One key, he believes, is continuing 802’s efforts to build greater solidarity among the different working groups. “Musicians work in so many different fields, and sometimes they seem disconnected,” Shankin said, “but they’re really not. We all depend on one another; we’re all interconnected.”

He is committed to reinforcing the administration’s current efforts to increase and broaden our membership, and to offer musicians “real and substantial reasons to be a part of Local 802,” Shankin said. “Because this is not a casual club – it’s really a very important aspect of being a professional musician.”