A Stony Plain Artist’s bio
Canada’s “country sweetheart” brings a new edge to her music as rock producer Keith Olsen adds to the magic of There Will Come a Day.
“If Shania Twain is Canada’s superstar, then Shirley Myers is Canada’s sweetheart.” That’s the opening line of a major feature story that ran in a Canadian country music magazine. And it’s right, too. Only problem is, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.
It doesn’t tell you how committed, how focused, how hard working this woman is. It doesn’t tell you that, when she sings, there’s real steel in her voice: the vocal edge that says “This is a song I believe in, this may be a song that’s sheer fun, but it’s one that’s important to me.”
So, there’s more to this open, friendly, beautiful, and warm-hearted woman than you’ll see at first glance, but you’ll hear it when she sings.
And Shirley Myers comes by it honestly. Born and raised in New Brunswick, she first started to sing when she was three, sitting on her daddy’s knee. By the time she was four she and her sister were on stages around the province. It helped, of course, that her father — Gerry Myers — was a well known country singer in Canada’s Maritime provinces, and the star of The Bunkhouse Boys’ television show in the ‘50’s and ‘60s.
As she grew up, she learned guitar, played drums, and honed a warm, emotion- laden voice. In 1988 she got her first big break – the Canadian Country Music Association’s Talent Search with a $10,000 first prize. She toured, endlessly, throughout the Maritimes and various parts of Canada. She played on all the major Canadian music TV shows.
A turning point In Nashville
Teaming up with fellow Maritimer, Peter Leggett, who was establishing a management firm in Nashville, was a turning point. Leggett opened every door he could in Nashville, and people began to take notice. Suddenly there were opening slots for George Jones, Terri Clark, John Michael Montgomery and Tracy Lawrence.
The next big break was her title song Let It Rain — it turned into a Top 10 record, and was one of the most-played songs on country radio in Canada in 1997 earning her a Juno nomination. The release of There Will Come A Day, her second album on the Stony Plain, distributed in Canada by Warner Music, is already grabbing an unprecedented degree of interest.
A rock producer finds a country “voice”
The involvement of producer Keith Olsen, who’s worked with artists as varied as Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Foreigner, the Grateful Dead and Whitesnake – and helped sell more than 100 million albums. Those who remember another Canadian singers success after her second album was guided by a “rock producer” may well see some parallels. For Shirley Myers, the experience was rewarding; “Keith’s got a great sense of humor, he never intimidates you, he’s never negative, and he helps you deliver your very best work,” she says.
The relationship between singer and producer happened after Olsen heard Let It Rain in her management company’s office. “I was amazed by the voice on that record,” he told interviewers later. “I wanted to work with her because she has such fantastic potential.”
And so, finally, Shirley Myers may indeed be on the brink of the success she’s worked so hard for so long. Already, radio play is breaking on the first single and summer tour schedule is busier than it’s ever been.
“There’s a lot of catchy, fun songs on this record,” Shirley says. “There’s fun stuff, and some songs that could cross to pop radio formats. But my background is country; always has been, always will. And these songs are what I’ve been building my career towards, all these years.
“I’m so glad they’re finally here!”