Last updated April, 2001
Birmingham folk singer Shirley Kent began her career early, singing in various clubs throughout the Midlands from the age of 15. She had become a regular act at the Opposite Lock Club in central Birmingham by the mid 1960's, a venue that mainly featured jazz performers. In 1966, she was selected to record two songs for a charity record that was organized by the Keele University Students Union and released under the title The Master Singers And Shirley Kent Sing For Charec 67. On the recordings she performed solo with only her acoustic guitar as a backing.
By 1969, Shirley Kent had joined a Birmingham group called The Ghost who were known as one of the earliest "progressive" rock bands (see The Ghost). Although her "folk" style of playing was at odds with the groups' hard format, The Ghost released a single and album that has come to be regarded as semi-legendary on the progressive scene. However, after only a year with the group, Kent left to resume a solo career which culminated with the release of her acclaimed Fresh Out album in 1975 with her using the alias of Virginia Tree.
By the late 1970's, Shirley Kent had discontinued her performing career but has since been involved in the formation of various small independent record labels and has written instructional books for singers and songwriters. She still performs occasionally around Birmingham to this day.
Shirley Kent 1960's Record Releases
Extended Player: (features 2 songs by Shirley Kent)