‘Something to Talk About’ songwriter Shirley Eikhard dies
Shirley Eckhardt, the singer-songwriter who produced songs for Cher, Emmylou Harris, Ann Murray, Chet Atkins and won a Grammy for Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 hit “Something to Talk About,” has died. He was 67 years old.
Eichard died Thursday at Headwaters Health Care Center in Orangeville, Ontario, of complications from cancer, publicist Eric Alper said.
The wonderful blues-rock song “Something to Talk About” was written in 1985 and Eckhardt offered it to Murray and other artists, all of whom refused to record it. Then, years later, Wright left a message on Eckhardt’s phone saying he had recorded it. Wright said he later discovered the song in a demo Eckhardt had sent and admired it.
The song was the first single from Raitt’s 1991 album Luck of the Draw and spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 5. The song earned Raitt Best Pop Performance at the 1992 Grammy Awards and was also nominated. In the record category of the year
On Grammy night, Wright made sure to thank Eichard, taking to Twitter after Eichard’s death to say she was “deeply saddened” and writing, “I will be forever grateful for our beautiful connection and friendship.”
Eckhardt won Juno Awards for Best Female Country Artist in 1973 and 1974 and won several BMI Awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2020. His last album was “On Your Way” in 2021.
During his career, Eichard released 18 full-length albums between 1972 and 2021 and taught himself to play guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, chromatic harmonica, sax, banjo, and mandolin.
At age 15, Eckhardt’s song “It Takes Time” was recorded by country singer Murray in 1971 and later became a hit in his native Canada. Eichard released his debut album the following year in 1972. The title track of Atkins’ 41st studio album, “Pickin’ My Way”, was one of Eckhardt’s first hits.
He also composed the frenetic dance track “Lovers Forever” with Cher for the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, but the track did not make the final score. They collaborated again on “Born With the Hunger” from Cher’s 2000 album, Not.com.mercial.
Eichard sang the theme song for Stanley Kramer’s 1976 film The Dominoes, starring Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen, as well as the theme song for The Misadventures of Ayn Rand in 2000.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
This story was originally published December 17, 2022, 10:29 am.