Shirley Lewis was born in Sicklerville, New Jersey on February 25, 1937. She performed professionally since early childhood with her father and brothers as the Lewis Gospel Singers. She sang throughout her youth and after high school became an accountant, singing in church on the weekends. The music won out over the numbers and she traveled to Las Vegas, San Francisco and ended up in Vancouver British Columbia in 1972. She sang in a show at Isy's Supperclub in a revue called, "Black is Beautiful." She then held a residency at club New Delhi for a four year run. Shirley continued her mutual love affair with Canada, touring throughout the country until 1985.
Lewis moved back to the states to be closer to her family in the mid-80s, settling in the Boston area. She has been a Boston based singer since that time, recording and touring all along. Shirley Lewis is a gifted vocalist who sings from the heart, like many of her fellow Jersey and Philadelphia R&B singers. The is more concerned with the feel of her performance than the technicality of it. That's a tradition that goes back a long way. Some of today's music students can take a lesson from that approach.