Warsaw Resident Brings Down The House At State Fair Idol Competition

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Eighty-one year old Shirley Green of Warsaw was named the first place winner at the Missouri State Fair Idol contest on Sunday.  While Shirley has been singing all of her life, she was not expecting to win.
“I told my friends that I would go up there and sing in the first round but I was sure that I wouldn’t make it past the first round, then I went on to the next round and I was just so surprised when I was selected for the finals,” said Shirley.  “I could not believe I had won.  I mean, me up there with all those talented younger women.”
Shirley had recently won first place in the Voice of Katy Trail contest so her friends urged her to enter the Missouri State Fair Idol contest.  In fact, Shirley hadn’t been to the State Fair in years, but this year she went three times.
Shirley grew up in Climax Springs and spent her early childhood singing in her father’s church in Climax.  “My daddy (Guy Jones) sang and played the guitar in church,” Shirley said.  In fact one of her first public appearances was singing with her sister Kathryn on KWTO in Springfield.  Shirley remembers they sang the gospel tune, “Heaven”.
Shirley attended school in Climax, however, she quit school before graduation and was married at 15. She and her husband Roff Green would raise 6 children, 4 sons and two daughters.  They even formed a singing gospel group ‘The Singing Greens’.  The Greens’ daughters (Elaine Robertson and Brenda Denney) are still singing as part of the gospel group ‘Second Generation’.
In fact, Shirley often attends Cowboy Church in Fristoe where her brother Guy Jones, Jr. is the pastor.  She plays the piano for church as well as singing.
“I don’t read music, I play the piano and I sing by ear,” Shirley said.
While Shirley usually sings gospel for the State Fair Idol contest, Shirley sang “I Never Once Stopped Loving You” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man”.
“I received a standing ovation for both of these songs so I decided not to change what I was singing,” said Shirley.
Two of her sons were able to be with Shirley at the finals and they both joined her on the stage after the announcement of her win.  She was also lucky to have many of her friends including Earlene Reser and her sisters at the Idol finals.
“It was the most exciting thing to happen to me in a while so I was beyond excited,” Shirley said.
The mother of six, grandmother of 16 and great grandmother of 19, Shirley still lives on her own in an apartment in Warsaw and still drives herself wherever she wants to go.  In fact she just recently bought a 2017 Jeep to get herself and her friends around.
“I am a real go getter and I intend to keep on having fun as long as I am here,” said Shirley.  “I believe in being happy and I live for today.”