Shirley Kelia Walker
“Na ‘Opiopio Ho‘oulu.”
Inspire the Youth.
Shirley Kelia Walker began her singing career, performing with the Aiea Swinging Singers. One of her finest memories was dancing with Darrell Lupenui and studying music under Mrs Edwina Siu at the age of 15. She was the niece of famous singer and song writer, Albert Nahale’a, and his influence made Hawaiian music a big part in her life.
Shirley developed a strong soprano voice in her youth over the years, and by the time she was 18 years old, she played the lead character with Kathy Paulo, in “White Snake,” a Chinese opera where she learned to sing in Chinese. By 1973, she began training with the American Conservatory Theatre of Arts and given the opportunity to travel all over the world as an entertainer.
She also had the pleasure of singing with the Royal Hawaiian Band, the Ohta San Show, Charles K.L. Davis, the Carol Kai show and Iva Kinimaka. In 1980, she decided to go solo in a totally different direction and performed with her own rock band for the next 10 years, called “Shirley Walker and the Torpedoes.”
At the same time she worked with Steven Sakaue who wrote TV commercials and did all the voiceovers for Audio Media. By 1990, Shirley Walker won Country Singer of the year and was invited to sing in Australia.
Coming back to Hawaii, she started singing at the International Market Place, and stayed for over 25 years which made her one of the longest entertainer to work there. At the same time she went back to school to get her Bachelors in Premed, and a Master in Education for Math. Today Shirley is still singing and teaching for the Department of Education.