Shirley (Rose) Eikhard, born in Sackville on November 7, 1955, is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. She is the daughter of renowned fiddler June Eikhard (born Marguerite June Cameron, Moncton) and country musician and bassist Cecil (Arnold) Eikhard.
In 1963, the family relocated from the Maritimes to Oshawa, Ontario. At the age of 11, Shirley Eikhard began playing guitar and writing songs. After debuting at a fiddlers’ contest in Cobourg, Ontario at the age of 12, she went on to perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival and on CBC TV’s Singalong Jubilee. Capitol Records signed her when she was just 14 years old.
In 1970, US guitarist Chet Atkins recorded her instrumental piece “Pickin’ My Way,” which became the title track of his LP. Eikhard was often compared to Anne Murray, who recorded an early Eikhard song, “It Takes Time,” which became a modest hit in 1971.
In 1985, Eikhard traveled to Nashville and wrote 16 songs in just six weeks. In 1987, she released her first Eika recording, aptly titled “Taking Charge,” in which she wrote, co-wrote, produced, arranged, and performed all the songs. She continued touring in Canada, but stopped performing in nightclubs after 1986 due to a severe cigarette smoke allergy.
After a conversation with Hal David, Eikhard focused on songwriting. She gained recognition for her songwriting talents, with her songs recorded by American singers like Kim Carnes, Cher, Rita Coolidge, Emmylou Harris, the Pointer Sisters, and Bonnie Raitt. In 1991, Raitt’s successful release of Eikhard’s “(Let’s Give Them) Something to Talk About” won a Grammy award, significantly boosting Eikhard’s financial and professional standing.
Eikhard has also written songs with various artists and sung on numerous recording sessions. In the early 1990s, she composed two scores for Toronto playwright George F. Walker, with one of them, Escape from Happiness, winning a Dora Mavor Moore Award for sound design in 1992. Later that year, she received BMI songwriter citations for “Something to Talk About.”
Eikhard released the critically acclaimed album “The Last Hurrah” in 2000, followed by “Tomorrow Is a Lonely Place,” which won first prize in the jazz category at the 2001 USA Songwriting Competition. In the same year, she produced and engineered “End of the Day,” a predominantly instrumental album showcasing her talents as a multi-instrumentalist and instrumental writer. Her subsequent release, “Stay Open,” further demonstrated her ability to write, produce, and perform in various styles.
In 2003, Eikhard received a SOCAN Classic Award for “Something to Talk About.”
- Shirley sang the theme song for Stanley Kramer’s THE DOMINO PRINCIPLE (1976) which starred Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, Richard Widmark, Edward Albert and Eli Wallach.
- Theme song sung for THE PASSION OF AYN RAND (2000) starring Helen Mirren, Peter Fonda and Eric Stolz.
- Theme song sung for WOMEN OF THE HOUSE, a CBS television series (1994) featuring Teri Garr and Delta Burke.
Awards and Recognition:
- 1973: winner, Juno Award for Best Country Female Artist
- 1974: winner, Juno Award for Best Country Female Artist
- 1992: nominee, Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year
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