Origin: Armstrong, British Columbia - Gwynne, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Shirley Field has been part of Canada's country music scene for more than six decades, first performing with her Stella-model Sears guitar at rodeos and fairs in Western Canada at age 12; and by age 15 she was hosting her own radio show on CFJC in Kamloops, BC; "The Cowboy's Sweetheart Show", the name inspired by one of her singing idols Patsy Montana.
She soon was performing and recording with famed British Columbia-based artist Evan Kemp & His Trail Riders (including their release on Aragon Records of the song "Here I Am, Here We Are - We Two". Shirley then formed her own first band, The Country Casuals, and in 1950 Shirley Field became the Canadian Female Yodeling Champion at an event staged at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, BC, judged by Canadian country legend Wilf Carter, who became another of Shirley Field's major influences. She soon became a popular entertainer and was added to tours headlined by Marty Robbins and Loretta Lynn, the latter also becoming a close personal friend .
On August 14, 1962 Shirley Field was invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and at the time also guested on Ernest Tubb's Midnight Jamboree show. While in Nashville she recorded her first solo single (at Owen Bradley's famous "Barn" studios) a version of the Elton Britt classic "Chime Bells" b/w her own composition "An Illusion", which she wrote while on tour with Marty Robbins. Additional singles would also be released on the Melbourne label.
In 1963, Shirley Field moved to Ontario and signed a recording contract with Rodeo/ Banff Records. She released two albums on the label-- "The Two Sides Of Shirley Field" (Rodeo-RBS-1186), which featured the single "Shattered" b/w "Evening Shadows"; followed by the album "Yours Sincerely" (RBS-5309). At the time Shirley Field was promoting her records heading-up the all-girl band, The Dartels, which also included her sister Judy. While on the road Shirley crossed paths with Nova-Scotia-born singer Billy French (who was performing at the time in the group Pink Derby & the Wanderers). After a brief courtship, Shirley and Billy French were married (her second time); and they left their respective touring bands to form their own duo. They recorded a 1972 duet album "Together" released on Periwinkle Records (PER-7306).
The duo (and the marriage) ended and Shirley Field returned to British Columbia, where she continued to pursue her music career, performing her love of traditional "cowboy" music and her now world-renowned Yodeling talents. When a third marriage of some 15 years came to an end, Shirley immersed herself even deeper into her Yodeling work, earning many awards for her talents, including The Will Rogers Yodeler Of The Year in 1999, and induction into the British Columbia Cowboy Hall Of Fame. By the late 1990's Shirley had moved to a ranch in Wynne, Alberta, and married Fred Frederickson her "first love", from her teen years back in British Columbia, and settled in to enjoy the cattle and horse ranch and continue singing and yodeling at special events throughout Western Canada. Shirley celebrated her good fortune with the release of the 2001 CD "Together Again".
In addition to the early career releases on Rodeo/Banff and the duet album with Billy French, Shirley Field's recording career has included numerous cassette and CD albums, filled with cowboy and yodelling tunes; as well as a CD/Book with the late Rudy Robbins, of Instructional material on these musical genres.
Shirley Field was inducted into the British Columbia Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2006. She has also been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Alberta Women Of Country Music organization. Shirley Field's life story was featured in the 2000 CTV-aired documentary, "Memory Trail".
TRIVIA NOTE: Shirley Field's favourite sport was skiing and as a tribute to the sport she recorded the single, "Ski Rock" b/w "We're Going Skiing" released on Melbourne Records.
Shirley Field was born in Armstrong, British Columbia. Primarily a country artist, she began her career recording with Evan Kemp and his Trail Riders on the Aragon label before she formed the Country Casuals with herself as lead vocalist.
Shirleys favorite sport was skiing. As a tribute to the sport, and to capitalize on rock and roll musical trend of the era, which included songs about surfing and hot rods, Shirley recorded Ski Rock b/w Were Going Skiing on the Melbourne label. The song became popular on the ski slopes of western Canada and was used as the theme song for many a ski lodge.
Shirley went on to become a renowned country yodeler, gaining recognition across both Canada and the US. She was once the star of the CFJC Kamloops radio show, The Cowboys Sweetheart, has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, and toured extensively in Canada and the US with the Shirley Field Show. She was first honored as Canadas Female Yodeling Champion in 1950 and was given an international yodeling award in 1993. In 1998 she received a special award for performing more than 50 years. Shirley now resides in Gwynne, Alberta and can still yodel in top form. She has given yodeling lessons to many budding performers and through her efforts the art form shall continue.