Whistling granny from Leicestershire makes charity CD

A Leicestershire granny and world champion whistler has made a CD for our hospice.

Sheila Harrod (78) is part of duo Whistling Keys with renowned concert pianist, Professor Mark Briggs. Together they have played to audiences all over the world and now, they have produced our charity CD.

Sheila, started whistling at the age of 13, when she would sit in her bedroom playing 78rpm records on a wind-up gramophone, she was transfixed by the music of whistler, singer and yodeller Ronnie Ronalde, who was world renowned in the 1950s and 1960s.

Having heard her whistling, Sheila’s parents showcased their daughter’s talents at a working men’s club and she has never looked back. Known as young Sheila, her stage name became Sheila Young and she performed at venues in the UK and further afield including Cyprus, Spain and Mexico.

“The first time I was on TV, I was sat on a horse’s back whistling. Whistling was a very big thing in the 50s,” said Sheila. “Whistling has been my life. I love to perform and I have been very lucky to have met so many stars and been on many TV shows.

“In the 90s, I performed on the James Whale show and a young lad who was the runner said, “I am going to have my own show and you’ll be on it”. A year later I got a call from him, that lad was Graham Norton and I appeared on his show.”

Grandmother Shelia, who took the crown of World Whistling Champion in Berlin in 1995, said it had been on her bucket list to use her talent to help our charity.

She has been whistling for 66 years and once appeared as a contestant on the modern version of TV show Blankety Blank, presented by Bradley Walsh. Winning the top prize enabled Sheila and Mark to make their charity CD recording for us.

Mark, of Derbyshire, is an Ambassador for Yamaha and Bösendorfer. He played for Phantom of the Opera during its first month on stage and has worked with stars including James Last, Michael Ball and Tony Bennett, as well as playing to a sell-out audience of 98,000 in the Dome Stadium in Tokyo.

The CD is priced £10, including p&p, in England, and includes songs Over The Rainbow, One Voice and You’ll Never Walk Alone. All proceeds to go directly to our charity. For a CD, contact [email protected]