Canadian Singer-Songwriter Shirley Eikhard Dies At 67
Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Eikhard, whose song “Something To Talk About” earned Bonnie Raitt a Grammy, died Thursday. She was 67.
According to a statement on her official website, Eikhard died at Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ont. due to “complications from cancer.”
Eikhard, who could play many instruments, penned hundreds of songs and released 18 albums between 1972 and 2021, had early hits in Canada like “Something in Your Face,” as well as her covers of Sylvia Tyson’s “Smiling Wine” and Christine McVie’s “Say You Love Me.”
Eikhard won JUNO Awards in 1973 and 1974 for Best Country Female Artist.
Songs written or co-written by Eikhard were recorded by Canadian artists like Anne Murray (“It Takes Time”) and Alannah Myles (“Kickstart My Heart”) as well as Cher (“Born with the Hunger,” “Lovers Forever”), Emmylou Harris (“Good News,” “Maybe Tonight”) and Chet Atkins (“Pickin’ My Way”).
Her greatest success came from “Something To Talk About," a song she wrote in 20 minutes while living in Nashville in the mid-1980s and intended for Murray, who titled her 1986 album Something To Talk About despite not taking the song.
"Six years go by I come home on a winter's night ... and I play my answering machine and Bonnie Raitt is on my machine playing me her version of the song," Eikhard recalled on The Morning Show in 2020. "It was a dream come true for me to have Bonnie record my song."
Raitt put the song on her album Luck of the Draw and it was a Top 5 hit in the U.S. and Canada. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020.
Eikhard sang "Something To Talk About" as the theme song of the short-lived Designing Woman spin-off Women of the House in 1995. It was also sung by Will Ferrell in his 2008 comedy Step Brothers and was used in the film Something to Talk About starring Julia Roberts.
Eikhard was born in New Brunswick but moved to Ontario as a child with mother June (“Canada’s First Lady of the Fiddle”) and her father Cecil, a country musician.
In 1969, she took part in the New Songwriters Workshop competition at the Mariposa Folk Festival on Toronto Island (she returned to the festival as a performer in 1990 and 1992) and quickly became a staple on homegrown TV shows.
According to a statement on her official website, Eikhard also had a passion for painting and was an environmental activist and animal lover.
“She was incredibly well-read on many subjects, and had a wicked sense of humour,” it reads. “Our Shirley was a lovably eccentric pioneer woman; anyone who met her felt the gravitational pull of her indomitable spirit and she was treasured by so many.”
Eikhard's longtime partner Lola Osborne died in August 2021 at 68.
“We just hadn't finished knowing you,” the statement continued. “You are such a loss to the world of music, but even a more profound loss to those of us who knew and loved you; but like celestial stars, your beautiful light will shine on.”
Listen to music from Shirley Eikhard