Jackie DeShannon, real name Sharon Lee Myers, (born August 21, 1944) is an American singer/songwriter with a string of hit song credits from the 1960s onwards. She was one of the first female singer songwriters of the rock 'n' roll period.
DeShannon was born the daughter of musically inclined farming parents, Sandra Jean and James Erwin Myers, DeShannon was introduced to singing country tunes on a local radio show at the age of six. By the age of eleven, DeShannon was already hosting her own radio program. When life on the farm became too difficult, the family moved to Aurora, Illinois, her mother's home town. After a year, they moved up the Fox River to Batavia, Illinois, where Sharon attended high school.
Recording under various names such as Sherry Lee, Jackie Dee, and Jackie Shannon, she had little success. However, her interpretations of country songs "Buddy" and "Trouble" gained the attention of Eddie Cochran who arranged for her to travel to California and meet singer-songwriter Sharon Sheeley, who formed a writing partnership with DeShannon in 1960. The partnership produced hits such as "Dum Dum" for Brenda Lee and "I Love Anastasia" for The Fleetwoods. The latter was named after one of her good friends in high school.
In 1960, DeShannon signed with Liberty Records. She made the WLS Chicago survey with "Lonely Girl" in late 1960. A string of mostly flop singles followed, although "The Prince" bubbled under at #108 in the United States in early 1962, and "Faded Love" (#97 in February 1963) became her first U.S. Hot 100 hit, albeit just barely .
She broke through a little more solidly singing "Needles and Pins" and "When You Walk in the Room" later in 1963. Both reached the lower rungs of the U.S. pop charts, but were substantial top 40 hits in Canada, where "Needles and Pins" made it all the way to #1. "Needles and Pins" and "When You Walk in the Room" later became U.S. and UK hits for The Searchers.
DeShannon recorded many other singles that encompassed teen pop, country ballads, rockabilly, gospel, and Ray Charles-style soul that didn't fare as well on the charts. During these years it was her songwriting and public profile rather than her recording career that kept her contracted to Liberty Records. DeShannon dated Elvis Presley and formed friendships with The Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson. She also co-starred and sang with Bobby Vinton in the teen surf movie Surf Party.
|Jackie with Jimmy Page|
|Jackie with Bobby Vee|
DeShannon continued writing and recording but it was not until 1969 that she scored her next biggest smash single and album, both entitled "Put a Little Love in Your Heart". The single "Love Will Find A Way" from the same album was also a moderate hit. Switching to Atlantic Records in 1970 and moving to Los Angeles, DeShannon recorded the critically acclaimed albums Jackie and Your Baby Is A Lady, but they failed to produce the same commercial success as previous releases. DeShannon has been married to singer/songwriter and film composer Randy Edelman since 1977. They have one son, Noah (born 1978).
While DeShannon has not produced any further Top Ten singles of her own, her songs have been covered by other artists who have in turn converted them into hits. She is currently an entertainment broadcast correspondent reporting historical anecdotes and current Beatles band members' news for Breakfast with the Beatles on Sirius XM Satellite Radio on the weekends. (Info edited from Wikipedia)