Jackie DeShannon (Sharon Lee Myers)
Photos with Jackie DeShannon
BiographyHazel, Kentucky, USA
The extremely talented, prolific and versatile Jackie DeShannon was one of the first successful female singer/songwriters to hit the rock and pop music scene back in the '60s. DeShannon has done music in such diverse genres as folk, orchestral pop, gospel, country, and rock 'n' roll. Jackie was born Sharon Lee Myers on August 21, 1941, in Hazel, Kentucky to Sandra Jean and James Erwin Myers. Her father was a barber in Batavia, Illinois, where she attended high school for two years. Read more... radio show. In 1957, Jackie recorded a rollicking tribute to her musical idol, Buddy Holly, called "Buddy." Jackie befriended rockabilly singer Eddie Cochran, who convinced her to move to California. DeShannon formed a songwriting partnership with Cochran's girlfriend, Sharon Sheeley; they wrote "Dum Dum" for Brenda Lee and "Breakaway" for Irma Thomas. The British rock group, The Searchers, scored big hits with their covers of DeShannon's "Needles and Pins" and "When You Walk in the Room". Jackie performed with The Beatles during their first US tour. In the fall of 1964, DeShannon went to London, England and recorded four songs with Jimmy Page which included the rousing "Don't Turn Your Back on Me". DeShannon wrote the hit song "Come and Stay With Me" for Marianne Faithfull. Jackie collaborated with Randy Newman on such songs as "Hold Your Head High" and "Did He Call Today Mama". DeShannon scored her first major breakthrough hit with "What the World Needs Now Is Love"; this song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Jackie had another substantial success with "Put A Little Love in Your Heart". Among the artists who have done covers of DeShannon's songs are Tracey Ullman, Annie Lennox and Al Green (they did a duet on "Put A Little Love in Your Heart"), Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Pam Tillis, and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Kim Carnes scored a massive Number One hit with "Bette Davis Eyes", which Jackie co-wrote with Donna Weiss. DeShannon's songs have been featured on the soundtracks for such movies as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Who'll Stop the Rain (1978), "In Country," Forrest Gump (1994), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) and RV (2006). Jackie made a brief foray into acting in the mid 60s; she appeared in the films Surf Party (1964), Intimacy (1966) and C'mon, Let's Live a Little (1967). Moreover, DeShannon made guest appearances on the TV shows The Virginian (1962), The Wild Wild West (1965), My Three Sons (1960) and The Name of the Game (1968). DeShannon is married to singer/songwriter and film music composer Randy Edelman. Jackie was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 17, 2010.