Jackie DeShannon life and biography

Jackie DeShannon picture, image, poster

Jackie DeShannon biography

Date of birth : 1942-08-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Hazel, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2023-08-21
Credited as : singer and songwriter, female artist, rock 'n roll era, hit songs, Flower Power era, 1960s music

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Jackie DeShannon: A Remarkable Journey through Music and Songwriting

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

Jackie DeShannon, an accomplished American singer-songwriter, emerged as a prominent figure in the music industry, leaving an indelible mark on the soundscape of the 1960s and beyond. Born Sharon Lee Myers on August 21, 1941, in Hazel, Kentucky, she was destined to become a pioneering force in the realm of music. Growing up amidst a diverse range of musical influences within her family, DeShannon's inherent talent and passion for music began to shine from an early age. Her father's country melodies, her mother's bluesy tunes, and her grandmother's Irish folk songs provided her with a rich tapestry of inspiration.

DeShannon's journey into the world of music started when she was just a child, singing on local radio stations and captivating audiences with her country-infused vocals. By the time she was a teenager, she had her own radio show in southern Illinois, solidifying her reputation as a young prodigy with a promising future.

The Evolution of Jackie Dee:

Transitioning from her early country roots, DeShannon embraced the rockabilly wave that swept the music scene during the late 1950s. With her unique blend of country and rock 'n' roll, she caught the attention of the music industry and signed with Gone Records. Under the name Jackie Dee, she released tracks like "I'll Be True" and "How Wrong I Was," showcasing her ability to convey heartache with a country flair.

DeShannon's aspirations led her to cross paths with rock 'n' roll icon Eddie Cochran, who encouraged her to make a bold move to California. Following his advice, she embarked on a journey that marked a turning point in her career. Her transformation into Jackie Shannon saw her delivering a dynamic rendition of Elvis Presley's "Trouble," solidifying her status as a rock 'n' roll powerhouse.

Creative Exploration and Songwriting

As her career evolved, Jackie DeShannon not only demonstrated her prowess as a vocalist but also revealed her innate talent for songwriting. Her partnership with songwriter Sharon Sheeley yielded a stream of hits for other artists, including Bobby Vee, Troy Shondell, and Brenda Lee. DeShannon's compositions found their way into the hands of industry heavyweights, resulting in an impressive catalog that shaped the musical landscape of the time.

Collaborating with the Wrecking Crew, an esteemed group of Los Angeles musicians, DeShannon recorded remarkable demos that showcased her versatility and artistic vision. Despite her undeniable talent, her solo records faced commercial challenges, often finding greater success when covered by other artists. Notable covers of her songs include Patsy Cline's rendition of "Faded Love" and the Searchers' take on "Needles and Pins."

Chart-Topping Success and Lasting Legacy

Jackie DeShannon's breakthrough came with the poignant ballad "What the World Needs Now Is Love." The incorporation of an African American gospel chorus on a white pop record proved innovative, and the song's message resonated during the transformative 1960s. Achieving chart success, it solidified DeShannon's place in music history and showcased her ability to connect with mass audiences.

Despite facing challenges in following up her major hits, DeShannon continued to leave her mark on the music industry. Her collaboration with Burt Bacharach and Hal David yielded the memorable "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," a song that became her biggest seller and earned multiple Grammy Award nominations. DeShannon's influence extended to acting as well, with appearances on television shows and movies that added to her dynamic presence in the entertainment world.

A Timeless Impact and Continued Legacy

Jackie DeShannon's legacy endures, and her impact continues to be felt in the music industry. Her role as a singer-songwriter and trailblazer paved the way for future generations of artists. Through the years, DeShannon's songs have been covered by numerous performers, and her influence remains strong across genres.

In the modern era, DeShannon's music retains its timeless appeal, resonating with audiences both new and old. Her songs continue to be celebrated, sampled, and covered, testifying to their enduring relevance. DeShannon's contributions to the music world have earned her recognition and accolades, including her induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

As a true musical visionary, Jackie DeShannon's journey from her early radio days to her chart-topping hits and lasting compositions serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists. Her unwavering dedication to her craft, her ability to connect with audiences, and her pioneering spirit have solidified her place as a true icon in the annals of music history.

Selected discography of Jackie DeShannon:

Studio Albums:
"Jackie DeShannon" (1963)
"Breakin' It Up on the Beatles Tour!" (1964)
"Don't Turn Your Back on Me" (1964)
"This Is Jackie DeShannon" (1965)
"In the Wind" (1965)
"Are You Ready for This?" (1966)
"New Image" (1967)
"Laurel Canyon" (1968)
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (1969)
"To Be Free" (1970)
"Songs" (1971)
"Jackie" (1972)
"Your Baby Is a Lady" (1974)
"Quick Touches" (1976)
"You're the Only Dancer" (1977)
"Together" (1978)
"Gotta Get Organized" (1979)
"You Know Me" (2000)
"When You Walk In The Room" (2011) (Greatest songs newly recorded)

Compilation Albums:
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart: The Best of Jackie DeShannon" (1990)
"What the World Needs Now: The Definitive Collection" (2007)
"Keep Me in Mind: The Complete Imperial and Liberty Singles, Vol. 3" (2010)
"Stone Cold Soul: The Complete Capitol Recordings" (2011)
"Break-A-Way: The Songs of Jackie DeShannon 1961-1967" (2019)

"Needles and Pins" (1963)
"When You Walk in the Room" (1963)
"What the World Needs Now Is Love" (1965)
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (1969)
"Bette Davis Eyes" (as covered by Kim Carnes, 1981)
"Breakaway" (as covered by Tracey Ullman, 1983)

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