Thoms was born in 1925, in Toowoomba, Queensland and was raised in a family of seven children. She began her career singing and yodelling songs by Tex Morton and Harry Torrani, and won a Bundaberg talent quest with Torrani's Mockingbird Yodel. In 1941, aged 16, with what is now EMI Records she became the first female solo act to record country music in Australia, as well as the first Queenslander to be featured on disc. This first batch of songs included ""Faithful Old Dog". She went on to tour Australia and New Zealand, entertaining the troops during World War II and writing songs. Thoms became known by the title of Australia's Yodelling Sweetheart. She later toured with Sole Bros Circus and met her first husband John Sole. The couple had a son, Peter and Thoms stepped away from show business, however John Sole died prematurely. In 1970, Thoms came out of retirement to appear on the Captain Cook Bicentenary Show in the Tamworth Town Hall and briefly revived her career with album releases in 1970 and 1972.
Her most popular and best selling recordings were "The Faithful Old Dog", "Where The Golden Wattle Blooms" and "Yodelling in the Moonlight".
Honours and awards
Australian Roll of Renown
The Australian Roll of Renown honours Australian and New Zealander musicians who have shaped the music industry by making a significant and lasting contribution to Country Music. It was inaugurated in 1976 and the inductee is announced at the Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth in January. Thoms was the fifth artist and first woman to receive this honour)
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1980||Shirley Thoms||Australian Roll of Renown||inductee|
- Australian country music
- "A Tribute to Tex Morton". Historyofcountrymusic.com.au. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "The Australian Bush Balladeers Association". Bushballadeers.com.au. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "Female pioneer honoured in bronze". Tamworth City News. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Roll of Renown". Tamworth Country Music Festival. Retrieved 29 October 2020.