Shirley Kennedy is the President of SJK Public Relations, LLC, where she works as a publicist and manages blues/roots/rock group Tyler Preston Trio (Madison, WI). She is also a founding member of Opus Entertainment Agency, which provides bookings to various artists. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with an emphasis on Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and an MBA in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Shirley became involved in the entertainment industry by writing articles about American Idol for The National Ledger, where she was touted as the south’s premier writer on the show. Shortly thereafter, Shirley began interviewing blues artists, which articles were published by Jazz Quad. Shirley was honored by inclusion in the liner notes of “Elliott Yamin”(Hickory Records), the largest selling independent CD in SoundScan history with the highest debut in the Billboard Top 100. She has since been included in the liner notes of the re-release of “Contradictory” by Lucas Cates (PopBomb Records), “These Parts Unknown” by Mike Droho (Ruff Roads Records), “All The Pieces” by the Lucas Cates Band (LucasCatesMusicBMI), “And The World Makes Sense Again,” by Mike Droho and the Compass Rose (Worthwhile Records), “Broken Glass,” by Ordain (Syphon Records), and “10:49,” by Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo, which went on to earn two second-round Grammy nods.
Shirley is a member of the Blues Foundation. She has served as a panelist at The Cutting Edge Music Business Conference (2008/2009) and the Atlantis Music Conference (2008). Shirley returned to Cutting Edge in 2010 as the press panel moderator and put together an impressive groups of panelists, including Todd Weiss, a Pennsylvania journalist; John Luttrell, host and owner of Fulltime Blues Radio; Bob Baker, an internationally renowned publicity and marketing expert; and Tom Barnas, Segment Coordinator for WGN-9 in Chicago. She made her first appearance at the Dewey Beach Music Conference as part of the “Your Online Presence, Marketing Tools & Social Networks” panel and participated in the mentoring session.