Shirley Matthews was born in Harrow Ontario - she sang in a church choir and at high school dances prior to embarking on a career in music. She moved to Toronto and worked in a Bell Telephone office while singing nights at the age of 19 at the Club Bluenote, and was discovered by an associate of Bob Crewe (who managed the Four Seasons) and so she went to New York to sign a record deal - the resulting debut single "Big Town Boy" by “Shirley Matthews and the Big Town Girls“ was a major hit in Canada - it debuted on the 1050 CHUM chart on December 2 1963 - the same day as "She Loves You" by the Beatles. Here is “Big Town Boy”:
And the flip side “You Can Count On That”:
Her next single (“Private Property” / “Wise Guys“) was not nearly as successful as her first. Her third single consisted of two tracks by producer Bob Crewe: “He Makes Me Feel So Pretty” b/w “Is He Really Mine” - here is that b-side first:
And here is the a-side “He Makes Me Feel So Pretty”:
The following is clip is from CBC-TV's 'Music Hop' in 1965 with “Big Town Boy”. The backing trio are Stephanie Taylor, Diane Miller and Rhonda Silver.
She had one final single (“Stop the Clock'“ / “If Had to Do It All Over Again'“) which tanked and she subsequently quit the music business; she eventually ran a chain of successful racquetball and fitness clubs near Toronto.
Shirley Matthews: 1942 to 2013-01-08