Shirley met her husband at 14 , she married at fifteen and gave birth to 7 children. She has many grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great, great grandchildren. Many of her grandchildren have expressed themselves through music due to Shirley's influence.
Life wasn't easy for Shirley as a working mother. When she was in her 50's, she started putting all her hardships and sadness into writing songs . With her natural musical abilities, she worked out melodies on her keyboard and tirelessly wrote lyrics. The first songs she ever wrote were far too sad as she was trying to explain to her family, whom she loves so much, some of the reasons life was so hard for them. The only singing she had done up to this time was to her children and at house parties once in a while.
She has now written well over 150 songs and was very fortunate to be able to perform at functions in Arizona with performers like Charlie Ryan who wrote and sang hot rod lincoln. Charlie performed on the big stage in Nashville, Tennessee at the Grand Ole Opry.
Shirley and Ben, her current husband, are long time members of Westbank Country Opry and actually of the first to join when they performed at Ricky Rascals in the same locality where the Westbank Library is now located. Shirley cannot read or write a note of music, everything is by ear, but plays the keyboard used to record her songs which Lavern Panich then puts the finishing touches on. Her range is not what it once was, she still loves performing now and then, as she retired in 2011, with the Westbank Country Opry band backing her up.
While she does miss going south in winter, where there was music all over, all the time, where she was welcomed to join in, her best times have been with Westbank Country Opry. This wonderful group, wonderful audience and the wonderful musician that brought this all to her little town, namely Lavern Panich, has provided many memorable years of enjoyment for Shirley and her love of music.
Buy Shirley's CD at the Opry Shop.