Who is Bill Shirley?

Some people think that Shirley is an uncommon name. It’s not. You come across many more less common names when you’re going about your life. It’s more common than less (being in the 43rd percentile of last names in the US – it’s a bit more common in Texas)

Last time I checked the Houston phone book (which was admittedly a while ago), there were nearly thirty Shirleys and I didn’t know any of them.

Of course, William is a very common name (fifth most common in the 1990 US census).

Almost twenty years ago I met via the internet a guy named Shirley, and then his brother Will. They lived outside of London, were a few years younger than me, and were both in computer work for a living. I always hoped to visit them, but never did. I’ve lost track of them.

Bill Shirley (1921 – 1989) was an actor and singer and singing voice of Prince Philip in Sleeping Beauty (1959).

I was humored at the commentary an author at the American Chronicle had on one of his movies (emphasis mine):

In the 1950s “I Dream of Jennie,” the movie about the life of Stephen Foster, delighted many movie goers. It can now be found on DVD by Digiview Productions. Bill Shirley played the role of Foster. It is void of vulgar language and nudity and probably would not be made today. – Calvin Johnson, June 2008

There was an ex-Marine helicopter pilot Bill Shirley who ran for City Counsel in League City (just south of Houston) back in 2003. I asked some friends who aren’t beyond it to pilfer me a sign. All the big ones were gone instantly after election day (an indication he was planning on maybe running again). They did find a small flyer and I had it hanging on my wall when I worked at the law firm.

There are plenty of other of Bill Shirleys that have been popping up on the Internet recently. Here’s a review of a few…

Seems there’s a Bill Shirley in the Vermont area with knowledge and/or interest in demolition/explosives. Or perhaps safety, he seems to be able to quote OSHA codes readily.

Bill Shirley recently became the Chairman of the Augusta County Virginia Republican Party. It sounds like there was a bit of shaky voting going on, but that’s not new in local politics. He retired in 2000 from teaching English and coaching at Buffalo Gap and lives in Churchville. He won on a unanimous 44 votes, quite a bit fewer than the 100+ the two previous candidates received. Photo here.

Belle Rose (great name) comments that he’s a nice guy, but a bit “bent to the right”. After the election, they celebrated at Dairy Queen! (with photos)

Seems there might be another Bill Shirley coach in Virginia running a quarterback camp.

Yay for Bill Shirleys! Of course, that’s not exactly my name, just one of the names I am known by.