Late in 1988 a girl makes her singing debut in a country hotel. Amid the noise, the drinkers and the heat, Sharon Benjamin’s voice reaches out for the first time to the people of the Australian heartland, an audience she will eventually come to capture in word and song.
1993 brought the release of ‘Something For Everyone’, her debut. Intended for sale only at live shows, Sharon’s songs were picked up by radio right across Australia. It’s worth a mention too that this recording was a cassette release. In ’97 Sharon and husband Mark Hillier formed a duo called ‘Strike Two’ which coincided with the release of an album of the same name, and boasted nine songs penned between the tuneful partners. The debut single ‘Ghost Train’ remained in the Australian Country Music Top 100 charts for over 3 months, reaching an impressive number 8. A second single climbed to number 31.
Sharon’s 3rd release, a 6 track EP entitled ‘As The Crow Flies’ created a flurry of interest in music and radio circles across the country. With five of her most heartfelt compositions, the EP is dedicated to the memory of her late father. With this release, Sharon had the opportunity to go visual for the first time with video clips for the singles ‘Hidden In The Lights’ and ‘What Day Is It?’ which can be requested on CMC.
Sharon’s song writing is gaining her more and more recognition. Her song ‘As The Crow Flies’ was selected as a finalist in the country section of the Unisong International Song Contest for 2004. ‘As The Crow Flies’ was 1 of only 19 Australian songs selected throughout the 12 categories which ranged from country to pop, & children’s to comedy. Sharon also had two of her compositions recorded by fellow entertainer Craig Giles in 2005, one of these songs becoming Craig’s first single which reached top 10 in the Top30 Country Tracks, and No1 on the Mildura Hotfm Top100. Sharon & Craig were also selected as finalists in the Duo section of the Victorian Country Music Awards for 2006. More recently, Australian Country Music Legend ‘Reg Poole’ has just recorded one of Sharon’s songs for and up-coming release.
“Perfect Little World” was released in April 2006. Sharon’s best recording to date, the album features 13 of her compositions ranging in styles to encompass every listener. Debut single ‘High As Heaven’ received National & International radio attention and was on high rotation with many stations. Latest Single ‘Jack Of Diamonds’ is also gaining international airplay recently taking out the number 1 most played radio single in The Netherlands’
The single is currently in the Top 30 Country Tracks as well as the Mildura Hot FM Top 100 Chart. Two songs from the album, ‘Why He Rolls’ and ‘Going Home’ received Honorable Mention awards in the 2006 Unisong International Song Contest.
Her songs are melodic and heartfelt, relative and honest. Perhaps this is why they are now in demand from other recording artists. There is every indication that a whole lot more people are about to hear this lady writer reaching the height of her powers. That can only be good for the listener and for music.