|Graeme "Shirley" Strachan|
|Birth name||Graeme Strachan|
|Also known as||"Shirley" Strachan|
|Born||2 January 1952|
|Died||29 August 2001(aged 49)|
|Genres||Rock and roll, progressive rock, pop music, glam rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, television presenter|
Graeme "Shirley" Strachan (2 January 1952 – 29 August 2001) better known as Shirley Strachan was an Australian singer, songwriter and radio and television presenter. He is best known as the lead singer of the 1970's rock group Skyhooks.
Born in Malvern, Melbourne as Graeme Strachan, in 1952 he was an avid surfer, and his nickname "Shirley" was given to him by his surfer friends because of his long, sunbleached and very curly hair, referring to Shirley Temple. He was educated at Mount Waverley Secondary College and before his entertainment career was a professional carpenter .
Strachan pursued a solo singing career during his time with Skyhooks and released a number of records, the most successful of which was his cover of "Every Little Bit Hurts" in 1976. He left Skyhooks in 1978 and then worked as a radio and television presenter. He became known to a new generation as the host of children's television series Shirl's Neighbourhood in the early 1980s. In the 1990s he was a regular presenter on home makeover program Our House where he resurrected skills from his pre-Skyhooks carpentry trade. He was also instrumental in several Skyhook reformations during the 1980s and 1990s.
Strachan was killed in a helicopter accident on 29 August 2001. He had been a fixed wing pilot for many years and had been undergoing training for a helicopter pilots licence, with a view to buying a helicopter and taking friends and family on surfing safaris. On a solo flight near Mount Archer in clear weather and inexplicably off the course planned by his instructor, Strachan encountered mountain turbulence which caused the rotor of his Bell 47G to sever the tailboom, crashing the helicopter onto a mountain slope.
A beachside funeral was attended by Strachan's family and friends, including Skyhooks guitarist Red Symons and radio colleague Gary Belcher. His ashes were scattered into the sea from a helicopter by his wife, Sue.
Radio 4MMM, Strachan's former employer, held a day-long on-air tribute to him on the day after his death. Old archived audio was played on air.
- "Every Little Bit Hurts/Cruisin' Out With You" - 1976
- "Tracks of My Tears/Missing You" - 1977
- Mr Summer/Song For a Friend - 1978
- Christmas in the Neighbourhood/Christmas Children - 1979
- Nothing But The Best/Your Love -1979
- It's All Rock 'n Roll To Me - 1980
- Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop - 1978
- An Australian Rock Discography - Chris Spencer -1990 - Moonlight Publishing
- The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop - Ian McFarlane - Allen & Unwin, Sydney - 1999
- Graeme Strachan at the Internet Movie Database
- Tribute from Dave Warner
- Skyhooks Homepage
- Memorial service image - Newspix
- Tribute page