Jackie DeShannon

Band members                             Related acts

- Jackie DeShannon (aka Sharon Lee Meyers) -- vocals


  backing musicians (1968)

- Harold R. Battiste Jr. -- electric piano

- Brendetta Davis -- backing vocals

- Paul Humphrey -- drums, percussion

- Don MacAllister -- backing vocals

- Abe Mills -- drums, percussion

- Mac Rebbenack -- piano

- Craig Tarwater -- electric guitar

- Russ Titlleman -- acoustic guitar

- Ray Trainer -- bass

- Barry White -- backing vocals


  backing musicians (1971)

- Bobby Bruce - backing vocals

- Tony Cohan - backing vocals

- Mike Deasy -- guitar

- Randy Edelman -- keyboards

- Vanetta Fields -- backing vocals

- Brian Garofalo -- bass

- Jerry Jumonville -- sax

- Clydie King -- backing vocals

- Danny Kootch -- lead guitar, percussion

- Russ Junkle -- drums, percussion

- Eric Malmaud - backing vocals

- Shirley Matthews -- backing vocals

- Randy Myers -- backing vocals

- Dick Rossmini -- guitar, backing vocals







- The Cajuns with Jacque Shannon

- Jackie de Shannon

- Jackie Dee

- Sherry Lee

- Jackie Shannon





Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Tiitle:  New Image

Company: Imperial

Catalog: LP-9344

Year: 1967

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1173

Price: $10.00



Just speculation on my part, but 1967's "New Image" found Jackie DeShannon's record company seemingly interested in repositioning the singer from folk-oriented performer to adult contemporary chanteuse.  Produced by Calvin Carter, the album all but abandoned any attempt to showcase DeShannon's talents as a writer.  With the exception of two DeShannon originals ('Where Does the Sun Go' and 'That's the Name of the Game'), the collection surrounding her with a questionable mixture of lush, over-orchestrated ballads ('The Carnival Is Closed Tonight ' and 'The Wishing Doll') and equally appalling MOR-pop dreck.  Surrounded by such aural muck, DeShannon simply didn't have a fighting chance and while she occasionally made a valiant effort to surface (the atypical rocker 'Time' and her own 'Where Does the Sun Go''), she certainly didn't sound very committed to the project, singing most of these twelve tunes in a low, largely emotionless moan.   Come to think about it, DeShannon didn't look all that happy on the album cover which was probably a pretty good warning to stay away.   


"New Image" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Come On Down (From the Top of the Hill)   (Bromley - Cleminson - Cooper)- 2:23

'Come On Down (From the Top of the Hill)' opened the album with a hideous country-tinged pop tune.   The only nice thing you can say about this one was that the harmonica accompaniment was okay and the song was short.  The fact that it totally sucked didn't stop Imperial from tapping the song as a single.  rating: ** stars

2.) The Carnival Is Closed Tonight   (Sachs - Mandell) - 3:43

Geez, DeShannon goes Broadway ?   Simply unlistenable.  rating: * star

3.) I'll Be Seeing You  (Kahal - Sammy Fain) - 3:04

Well, at least her sappy, over-produced version was better than Engelbert Humperdink's cover.    rating: * star

4.) Sunday Kind of Love   (Belle - Prima - Leonard - Rhodes)  - 3:42

Music for middle class folks who thought they were being sophisticated and happenin'.   Seriously, they weren't.   This was simply dreadful cocktail blues with about as much soul as a chewing gum commercial.  Best thing on this one - the acoustic bass work.   rating: * star   

5.) The Wishing Doll   David Bernstein) - 2:36

Well, her vocal performance was decent on this one, but the rest of 'The Wishing Doll' was one of those hopelessly over-earnest '60s ballads that was ideal for a throwaway movie soundtrack.  In fact, the song was featured on the film "Hawaii".   rating: *** star 

6.) Night and Day    (Porter)- 3:04

So, if you are old enough, you may remember that for a brief time during the mid-'60s American audiences fell in love with Brazilian bossa nova; think along the lines of the delectable Astrud Gilberto and 'The Girl from Ipanema'.  While 'Night and Day' wasn't a great tune, DeShannon at least injected a bit of her vocal power into this one.  rating: *** stars

(side 2)
1.) I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do   (Paul Vance - Lee Pockriss) - 2:47

Cocktail bossa-nova ...  Geez, you would have expected something better from the Vance - Pockriss songwriting team.   Pass.  rating: ** stars

2.) Time   (L. Colley - K. Colley) - 2:28

Easily the most rock oriented tune on the album, in spite of the MOR arrangement, DeShannon's cover of 'Time' was simply killer.   Nice to see her flashing some of the blue-eyed soul power that she had.  rating: **** stars

3.) Proper Girl   (Stone) - 2:43

Interesting pop arrangement, though the MOR backing vocals weren't a great addition.  Unfortunately  DeShannon sounded like she was singing with a bad head cold.  rating: ** stars

4.) Where Does the Sun Go    (Jackie DeShannon)- 3:15

One of two originals, 'Where Does the Sun Go' had some sickly sweet lyrics, but a decent folk-rock-ish melody and compared to most of the album, came off sounding pretty good.  rating: *** stars

5.) That's the Name of the Game   (Jackie DeShannon - Tipton)- 2:18

Bad, really bad stab at big band and organ-propelled jazz.   Was she thinking about doing a Vegas stint with the Rat Pack ?  Skip it.   rating: * stars

6.) Poor Someone   (R.M. Sherman - R.B. Sherman) - 2:40

So why not end the album on a horrible, Andrews Sisters-styled pop tune.   Your grandmother would at least appreciate this chestnut.  rating: * star


Imperial released two singles from the album:



- 1966's 'Come On Down (From the Top of the Hill)' b/w 'Find Me' (Imperial catalog number 66224)

- 1967's 'The Wishing Doll' b/w 'Where Does the Sun Go'  (Imperial catalog number 66236)


Not something most folks will need to own.  In fact, unless you're a DeShannon hardcore fan, I'd suggest you skip this one.




Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Tiitle:  What the World Needs Now Is Love

Company: Imperial

Catalog: LP-12404

Year: 1968

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5426

Price: $10.00


You can't blame Imperial's marketing department for releasing an album with the title "What the World Needs Now Is Love" since the song was Jackie DeShannon's biggest and best known commercial hit, though not necessarily her creative zenith.  One might point out DeShannon enjoyed the original hit back in 1965 (on the "This Is Jackie DeShannon" LP), but with the song gaining renewed attention in the wake of Robert Kennedy's assassination; well you can see the way the marketers were thinking.  In the interests of truth in advertising a more accurate album title might have been something along the lines of "Jackie Sings Bacharach and David" since five of the twelve tracks were penned by those soft rock monsters.  With such a high David-Bacharach component most folks will recognize this isn't a rock album, rather a collection heavy in the MOR pop arena.  That's not necessarily bad since DeShannon had the vocal chops to fight her way through overwhelming arrangements and orchestration that would have drown most singers and actually turn several of these otherwise saccharine songs into decent top-40 pop - 'Everything Under The Sun', 'Windows And Doors' (which sounded like a Dusty Springfield outtake), and the lone DeShannon original 'Where Does The Sun Go?'.  Still, be warned that some of this stuff is pretty lame.  Sitting through tracks like 'So Long Johnny', 'To Wait for Love', 'A Lifetime Of Loneliness', and the painfully sincere 'Little Yellow Roses' (shades of Melanie) took some fortitude.   (Looking at the cover photo I've always wondered how one cleans a crocheted dress ...)  



Imperial also tapped the album for a single in the form of 'Changiní My Mind' b/w 'Itís All In The Game' (Imperial catalog number 66251).


"What the World Needs Now Is Love" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) What The World Needs Now Is Love   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 
2.) You Donít Have To Say You Love Me (Lo Che Non Vivo) (Senza Te)   (V. Pallavicini - Vicki Wickham - Simon Napier Bell - P. Donaggio) - 
3.) Itís All In The Game   (Carl Sigman - Gen. Charles G. Dawes) - 
4.) So Long Johnny   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 
5.) Changiní My Mind   (Myrna March - Garry Illingworth - Ritchie Grassa) -  
6.) Windows And Doors   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 

(side 2)
1.) A Lifetime Of Loneliness   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 
2.) Everything Under The Sun   (Bob Crewe - Gary Knight) - 
3.) To Wait For Love   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 
4.) Where Does The Sun Go?   (Jackie DeShannon) - 
5.) Little Yellow Roses   (Trevor Peacock) - 
6.) Call Me   (Tony Hatch) - 



Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Laurel Canyon

Company: Imperial

Catalog: LP-12415

Year: 1968

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1500

Price: $20.00


So with everyone going L.A. ,why not Hazel Kentucky's Jackie DeShannon?  Produced by Charles Greene and Brian Stone, 1968's "Laurel Canyon" was a timepiece that managed to capture the charms of DeShannon's earlier pop princess persona with her newly found desires to be taken as a serious artist.  To her credit, the throwaway, lush MOR pop tunes that plague much of earlier catalog was all but abandoned this time around in favor of a much more contemporary rock feel.   Support from a strong cast of sessions players including keyboardist Mac Rebbennack, bassist Ray Trainer, and Barry White (on backing vocals), certainly helped.  While the album wasn't perfect, between the five DeShannon originals and a mixture of covers of popular hits (The Band's 'The Weight' and Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love') and lesser known material, it made for one of her stronger and most enjoyable releases.   DeShannon's always had a wonderfully sexy voice and this time it was well displayed on a number of southern soul-oriented tunes including the title track, 'I Got My Reason', and the rocker 'She's My Best Friend'.  Plenty of highlights on this one, but my ears were drawn to the collection's most commercial material - the blue-eyed soul 'Bitter Honey' and her Los Angeles love song 'L.A.'.  


"Laurel Canyon" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Laurel Canyon   (Jackie DeShannon) - 4:03

DeShannon simply had one of the best blue-eyed soul voices out there.  Sure, it was wasted on lots of subpar material, but her loving paean to Los Angeles wasn't one of those wasted efforts.  Mac Rebbennack's pounding piano didn't hurt either.  Imperial released it as the album's second single:




- 1968's 'Laurel Canyon' b/w 'Holly Would' (Imperial catalog number 66342)   rating: **** stars

2.) Sunshine of Your Love   (Jack Bruce - Peter Brown - Eric Clapton) - 3:32

Kind of an odd tune for DeShannon to cover and the arrangement was equally bizarre - seemingly trying to meld the original Cream rock structure with a bit of southern soul.  It didn't exactly work, but the performance had so much over-the-top energy, you had to approve.   I also have to smile every time I hear DeShannon sing the "I'll stay with you till my seeds are all dried up" lyric.  Barry White on backing vocals ?   rating: *** stars

3.) Crystal Clear  (Ray Trainer) - 3:20

Written by bassist Ray Trainer, 'Crystal Clear' was a pretty if hyper-sensitive and ultimately forgettable ballad.   rating: ** stars

4.) She's My Best Friend   (Don MacAllister) - 3:10

Penned by drummer Don MacAllister, 'She's My Best Friend' served to showcase just how good DeShannon could be on a hard rocking tune. The kind of tune Nancy Sinatra could only dream about recording.   rating: **** stars  

5.) I Got My Reason  (Barry White) - 2:49

Yes, it's the same Barry "Love Man" White ...  Wonderful blue-eyed soul with a subtle anti-war lyric  that should have put Delaney and Bonnie to shame.   One of the album highlights.  rating: **** stars

6.) Holly Would   (Jackie DeShannon) - 3:04

Pretty acoustic ballad with some interesting lyrics (how often do you hear e.e. cummings mentioned in a song?), but couldn't match up with the album's stronger tunes.   rating: ** stars

(side 2)
1.) You Really Gotta Hold On Me   (William Robinson) - 2:55

DeShannon's cover of The Miracles 'You Really Gotta Hold On Me' was the album's first major disappointment if only because she simply tried to power her way through the tune.  Imagine Bonnie Bramlett or Tina Turner at their worst and you'd have a feel for how bad this cover was.   rating: * star

2.) The Weight   (Robbie Robertson) - 2:59

I guess the song's Americana vibe was highly attractive to DeShannon, but she really didn't add anything to The Band original   Another track where Barry White was featured on backing vocals.   Liberty tapped it as a single:

- 1968's 'The Weight' b/w 'Splendor In the Grass' (Imperial catalog number 66313)  # 55 pop   YouTube has a clip of DeShannon lip-synching the tune for Cleveland, Ohio Upbeat show.  No idea why Terry Knight introduced her:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHGTSNUypeY   rating: *** stars

3.) Bitter Honey  (Paul Williams - Roger Nichols) - 2:30

Given the right material there's just something magical about DeShannon's voice and that characteristic is seldom displayed as well as when she's given a blue-eyed soul tune.  With almost maniacal backing from Mac Rebbenack on piano, this one rocked the house down.   rating: **** stars

4.) Come and Stay with Me   (Jackie DeShannon) - 3:02

One of five DeShannon originals, 'Come and Stay with Me' was original donated to Marianne Faithful.  Opening up with some sparkling Russ Titlleman acoustic guitar, DeShannon's version was a gorgeous folk-rock ballad that should have been released as a single.  Simply one of the prettiest things she ever wrote.   rating; **** stars

5.) L.A.      (Jackie DeShannon) - 2:43

Based on this love song to the city, you had to wonder why Los Angeles didn't reach out an elect DeShannon mayor, of musical queen for life.  YouTube has a hysterical promo film for the tune.  Be warned neither the sound, nor video quality is great:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNedzErp3Q4   rating: **** stars

6.) Too Close   (Jackie DeShannon - Charles Greene - Brian Stone) - 4:17

Co-written with producers Greene and Stone, 'Too Close' was the real thing - hardcore Southern blues that groups like Delaney and Bonnie would have given their eyeteeth to have written and recorded.   rating: *** stars


Unfortunately, with Imperial management totally uninterested in DeShannon's career, the album didn't sell worth squat.  The good news is you can still find affordable copies and it is a great place to start checking out her catalog.





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  To Be Free

Company: Imperial

Catalog: LP-12453

Year: 1970

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1174

Price: $10.00



Co-produced by Sam Russell and Irvin Hunt, 1970's "To Be Free" was a good example of Jackie DeShannon's strengths and weaknesses.   Showcasing DeShannon as a writer (she was credited with writing, or co-writing eight of the ten tracks), material like '' and '' underscored her knack for crafting excellent, radio-friendly pop tunes.  The album also showcased the fact DeShannon had one of rock's sexiest voices.  There was something incredibly attractive in her slightly Southern twang, particularly when she added a touch of anger, or frustration to the mix ('Child of the Street').   Admittedly Dusty Springfield had the same quality, just DeShannon had more of it, packaged in stunningly good looks.  The downside of the album was that  none of these tunes came close to her earlier hits, though the soulful '' was enjoyable.   Unfortunately, that was an exception to the rule.   Exemplified by tracks like 'Francoise', the 'You Keep Me Hanging On/Hurt So Bad' medley and her cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Bird On the Wire', far too much of the album was marked by over-orchestrated, MOR-ish ballads and pop tunes.  By my count, seven of the ten tunes fell into that bucket.   DeShannon deserved far better than this one.    


"To Be Free" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Livin' On the Easy Side   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:40

Admittedly 'Livin' On the Easy Side' wasn't a great tune with a lyric that was seemingly tied in to the odd Sharleen Pederson inner sleeve painting (you had to see it to get the link),  but anyone who doubted DeShannon's ability to handle a blue-eyed soul track with the same energy as say Dusty Springfield, only needed to check this one out.   rating: *** stars   

2.) What was Your Day Like   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:54

Absolutely no doubt she had a great voice, but 'What was Your Day Like' wasted those talents on a meandering slice of middle class angst that was more suitable for the Bacharach-David school of cocktail pop moves.  Easy to picture this one being included in some throwaway '60s film.   rating: ** stars

3.) Child of the Street   (Jackie DeShannon) - 2:32

'Child of the Street' found DeShannon toughening up her sound, though those efforts were largely offset by plodding, MOR-ish arrangement and a "hippy chick" lyric that must have sounded dated and  naive even back in 1970.   rating: *** stars

4.) Summer of Love   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:45

One of seven tracks co-written with DeShannon's brother Randy James Myers, 'Summer of Love' was a pretty, soul--infused ballad.  rating: *** stars

5.) Mediterranean Sky   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:37

A stunning, mildly psych tinged ballad, opening up with some Coral electric sitar, 'Mediterranean Sky'  had me from the start.  Easily one of the album's standout performances which probably explains why  Imperial tapped the tune as one of three singles.   rating: **** stars

6.) medley - 3:57

     You Keep Me Hanging On  (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland)

     Hurt So Bad   (Bobby Hart - Bobby Wilding - Teddy Randazzo) 

Heavily orchestrated and revamped as an overdramatic, funeral paced cocktail jazz number, the 'You Keep Me Hanging On/Hurt So Bad' medley was simply awful.  MOR hipster moves at their very worst.  Why Imperial tapped this one as the single is a complete mystery to me.    rating: ** stars

(side 2)
1.) It's So Nice   (Sam Russell - Irwin Hunt) - 2:47

One of three covers, 'It's So Nice' started off gangbusters; a true soul tune that seemed perfectly suited for DeShannon's wonderful voice.   Unfortunately the tune quickly got stuck in a repetitive groove that eventually morphed from intriguing to merely irritating.    rating: *** stars

2.) Francoise   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 3:30

American singers trying to incorporate French lyrics into their work has never been a particularly successful sub-genre and 'Francoise' did nothing to change the situation.   A horrible, over-orchestrated ballad, this one was simple hideous.  rating: ** stars

3.) When Morning Comes Again   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:47

Flabby, over-orchestrated ballad that was almost saved by DeShannon's muscular vocals.  Almost saved ...   rating: ** stars

4.) Brighton Hill   (Jackie DeShannon - Jimmy Holiday - Randy Myers) - 2:17

Talk about a '60s pop feel ...   Actually, compared to some of the bloated ballads, 'Brighton Hill' wasn't half bad, though every time the song sounded ready to make its mark those dreaded strings and horns kicked in.  Imperial released it as another single.   rating: *** stars 

5.) Bird On the Wire   (Leonard Cohen) - 3:55

Okay, this Leonard Cohen tune is supposedly a classic, but DeShannon's hyper-emotional reading was simply dull.   Shame she closed the album on this bum note.   rating:** stars


The album spun of three US singles in the form of:


- 1970's 'Mediterranean Sky' b/w 'It's So Nice' (Liberty catalog number 56187)

- 1970's ''Brighton Hill' b/w 'You can Come To Me' (Imperial catalog number 66438)  # 82 pop

- 1970's 'Medley: You Keep Me Hangin' On - Hurt So Bad' b/w 'What Was Your Day Like' (Imperial catalog number 66452)


The album also spelled the end of DeShannon's long-standing relationship with Imperial Records.   By the time she released her next album she'd been signed to Atlantic.



Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Songs

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-772

Year: 1971

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: punch hole lower right corner

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5424

Price: $10.00



I've always been amazed that an artist with Jackie DeShannon's talent had such a hard time finding a stable label during the 1970s.  After a decade long association with Liberty, pairing her with Capitol should have been a sure thing, but the partnership only lasted for about a year which equated to one album and a pair of obscure singles.


Co-produced by DeShannon, Eric Malamud, and John Palladino, 1971's "Songs" has always been a mystery to me.  To my ears the mixture of covers and original tunes made for one of her most likeable sets.  There's no truly killer cut on the set, but the overall effect is quite impressive with DeShannon seemingly benefiting from her new surroundings. Gifted with one of those instantly recognizable voices, this time out DeShannon seemed determined to expand her repertoire beyond top-40 pop with a mix of stripped down ballads ('Sunny Days' and 'Salinas') and some surprisingly hard hitting rock tracks ('Bad Water' and a rockin' cover of the old gospel classic 'Down By The Riverside').  While it may not have appealed to all of her old fans, to my ears the results proved surprisingly impressive.   Elsewhere one of the most interesting tracks was the ballad 'Show Me'.  Produced by Chips Moman, the song was apparently salvaged from an earlier album that had been abandoned.  Personal favorite was the spare ballad 'West Virginia Mine'.   As to be expected, today the album's largely unknown outside of a circle of hardcore fans.  


"Songs" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Keep Me Warm   (Johnny Christopher) - 2:19   rating: *** stars

Pretty, jazzy-tinged ballad that aptly showcased DeShannon's awesome pipes.  The opening has always reminded me of something off a Steely Dan album.  Capitol tapped it as an instantly obscure single:

- 1971's 'Keep Me Warm' b/w 'Salinas' (Capitol catalog number 3130)

2.) Lay, Baby, Lay   (Bob Dylan) - 3:40   rating: *** stars

Apparently any recording an album in the early 1970s was contractually required to record at least one Dylan song  = )   And here's DeShannon's contractual obligation tune.  Using the rougher texture in her voice, the results weren't bad.
3.) West Virginia Mine   (Jackie DeShannon) - 3:20 
  rating:**** stars

One of three DeShannon originals and one of the album standouts. Kickec along by a nice randy Edelman piano riff, the song had an unexpectedly sharp slice of social criticism which I'm guessing traces itself back to the fact DeShannon was born and raised in Kentucky coal country. 
4.) Show Me   (Johnny Christopher)  - 1:52 
rating: *** stars

The album's oddest track, the Chips Moman produced ballad 'Show Me' almost sounded like something pulled from a Broadway show.   
5.) Down By The Riverside   (traditional arranged by Randy Edelman) - 3:20  
rating: ** stars

I'll tell you her amped-up, frenetic cover of this traditional classic tune really didn't do much for me, though it served as a nice platform for her killer voice.

(side 2)
1.) International   (Benny Gallagher - Graham Lyle) - 3:17   rating: ** stars

Never liked the Gallagher and Lyle original and her fragile cover didn't do anything to change my opinion.
2.) Sunny Days   (Randy Edelman) - 2:36
   rating: *** stars

Future husband Edelman provided keyboards throughout the album, as well as penning 'Sunny Days' which was best described as a pleasant, but anonymous ballad
3.) Salinas   (Jackie DeShannon) - 3:46
    rating: *** stars

If you were going to pull together a collection of archetype '70s singer/songwriter tunes, 'Salinas' would be a great candidate for inclusion.  Built on a sweet acoustic arrangement, the track had an easy going vibe that seemed to match DeShannon's "earth mother" imagine on the album cover.
4.) Bad Water   (Jackie DeShannon) - 4:10 
  rating: **** stars

With a distinctive country tinge, I remember being less than overwhelmed by the ballad 'Bad Water'.  The song's grown on me over the years.  Interestingly DeShannon's husky vocal has always reminded me of Dusty Springfield.   Not sure when or where it was recorded, but YouTube has a live performance of the song that was apparently released in conjunction with her 2011 "When You Walk In the Room" album.  The lady looks and sounds great. 
5.) Ease Your Pain   (Hoyt Axton) - 3:12
    rating: *** stars

One of the few singers who could take a so-so song and make it worth hearing with her wonderful voice.  The faux-Gospel arrangement didn't do much for me.



One more singles for Capitol  and DeShannon was off to another label. 


- 1971's 'Stone Cold Soul' b/w 'West Vrginia Mine' (Capitol catalog number 3185)


Shame this tune wasn't included on the "Songs" album.





Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Tiitle:  Jackie

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD 7231

Year: 1972

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut out notch along opening edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3153

Price: $20.00


I'll readily admit to a built in bias given  I've always felt Jackie DeShannon was one of the country's best and most overlooked singers.  In line with that reasoning I consider her 1972 debut for Atlantic to be a lost classic (which you can still pick up cheaply).


After a disappointing stint with Capitol 1972 saw DeShannon signed to Atlantic Records.  The partnership held considerable promise as the deal apparently allowed DeShannon significantly more artistic freedom than on earlier contracts.  The results were clearly reflected on her label debut.  Recorded at Memphis' famed American Sound Studios, "Jackiehad a couple of things going for it.  1.) The album paired DeShannon with a dream team of producers - Jerry Wexler, Tom Down and Arif Mardin.  2.)  While DeShannon had always been a capable singer, too often she'd allowed producers to dictate the results.   Wexler and company certainly influenced the recording sessions, but credit DeShannon's decision to showcase her own material.  DeShannon showed increasing confidence in her own songwriting skills.  This time around the album featured four originals including gorgeous 'Vanilla Olay', the equally impressive 'Laid Back Days' (sporting a killer jazzy lead guitar) and the rocking 'Anna Karina'' were nothing short of dazzling.  3.) She showed her appreciation for a good song via her choice of first-rate cover material (Steve Goodman, John Prine, Neil Young, etc.) .  In fact the standout track was her killer cover of Van Morrison's 'I Wanna Roo You'.   While I'm not going to say this was the equivalent of "Dusty In Memphis" (also produced by Wexler), the results were pretty darned impressive.  Shame the album lacked that one killer tune that could have propelled the set to a wider audience.


"Jackie" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Paradise   (John Prine) - 2:36   rating: **** stars

The John Prine original is impressive, but Prine couldn't come within a mile of DeShannon's sexy voice and delivery.  Beyond that I'm hard pressed to think of a environmental statement as catchy as 'Paradise'.  Shame the song faded out so early.





- 1972's 'Paradise' b/w 'I Wanna Roo You' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2895)









2.) Heavy Burdens Me Down   (John Hurley - Ron Wilkins) - 2:56   rating: **** stars

If anyone doubted DeShannon had a soulful voice, I suggest they check out her cover of 'Heavy Burdens Me Down'.  OMG, that combination of purr and growl in her voice !!!

3.) Brand New Start   (Tom Donohue - John Blakely) - 2:38  rating: ** stars

The aptly titled 'Brand New Start' was a pretty acoustic ballad.  Unfortunately I found the lyrics mawkish and the heavy orchestration simply distracted from DeShannon's voice.

4.) Only Love Can Break Your Heart   (Neil Young) - 2:40   rating: **** stars

Young's such an eclectic artist I didn't expect DeShannon's cover to be this good.  Admittedly 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' was one of Young's most commercial tracks, but rather than doing a rote cover, DeShannon kept the song's basic melody intact while played around with the structure.  The accordion background is icing on the cake. 



 I've always wondered why Atlantic only released the song as a promo 45.


- 1972's 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' (mono) b/w 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' (stereo) (Atlantic catalog number 45-4871)





5.) Laid Back Days    (Jackie DeShannon) - 6:02   rating: **** stars

One of four DeShannon originals, the haunting opening and striking bass line immediately caught my ear.  Drifting into some jazzy moves, the first half of the song being among her prettiest ballads.  And out of the blue at the three minute mark Reggie Young's guitar kicked in and the tune exploded into a soul-tinged rocker.  

6.) Full Time Woman   (Alice Stuart) - 2:38   rating: ** stars

When it comes to interpreting heartbreak, DeShannon is at the pinnacle of performers, but other than another nice Reggie Young guitar solo, 'Full Time Woman' was just kind of bland.  Pretty, but forgettable.

(side 2)
1.) Vanilla 'Olay    (Jackie DeShannon) - 3:00
   rating: **** stars

After all these years I still have no idea what 'Vanilla 'Olay' is about (a coffee flavor?).  That doesn't stop it from being one of my favorite DeShannon performances.  With a bouncy, easy going melody, light Caribbean touches and one of her breeziest deliveries, hearing this one is guaranteed to drop my blood pressure a couple of points.  Hard to believe it didn't do better as a single.


- 1972's 'Vanilla 'Olay' b/w 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2871)  # 76 pop

2.) Would You Like To Learn To Dance   (Steve Goodman) - 3:38   rating: *** stars

While I love a good ballad, they tend to overwhelm my limited attention span.  Yeap, this one had nice lyrics and the harpsichord was a nice touch, but I'd reached the saturation point already.  Kudos to Reggie Young for another nice guitar solo.

3.) I Won't Try To Put Chains On Your Soul   (Donna Weiss - Mary Unobsky) - 3:01   rating: *** stars

Looking at this small white woman with such a big soulful voice has always made me smile.  Those talents have seldom been as obvious as on the Gospel-tined ballad 'I Won't Try To Put Chains On Your Soul'.  Cissy Houston on backing vocals.  Perhaps because the title was such a mouthful when Atlantic released it as the leadoff single the tune was given an abbreviated title:





- 1972's 'Chains of Your Soul' b/w 'Peaceful In My Soul' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2924)





4.) I Wanna Roo You   (Van Morrison) - 3:04   rating: **** stars

One of the few songs I clearly remember off of Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" LP, 'I Wanna Roo You' was a love song inspired by then wife Janet Planet (what a great '60s name).  I remember the song clearly because it was just such a weird experience hearing the perennially grouchy Morrison sounding happy.  Against that backdrop I was curious to hear what DeShannon would do with such a personal song.  Well, she pulled an Aretha Franklin on it.  Just like Franklin made Otis Redding's 'Respect' her song,  DeShannon took over possession of this song.  One of the album highlights and should have been released as a single.

5.) Peaceful In My Soul   (Jackie DeShannon) - 2:54   rating: **** stars

As powerful as DeShannon's voice, she was frequently at her best when she lay back and took a lowe-keyed approach to material.  Yeah, it was yet another ballad, but the DeShannon original 'Peaceful In My Soul' was another pretty and calming performance.  The country-tinged background was wonderful.

6.) Anna Karina   (Jackie DeShannon) -  2:55  rating: **** stars

I remember seeing the title and bracing for another sensitive singer/songwriter acoustic ballad.  LOL.  Instead 'Anna Karina' proved to be one of the most rock-oriented tunes DeShannon ever recorded (let alone wrote).  Another track that would have benefited from a longer playing time.





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Tiitle:  Your Baby Is a Lady

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD 7303

Year: 1974

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD



Following her Atlantic debut Jackie DeShannon began working with Van Morrison.  The initial fruits of the collaboration were heard on Morrison's "Hard Nose To the Highway".  The collaboration continued with Morrison producing what was planned as DeShannon's second Atlantic LP.  Unfortunately the tracks were subsequently shelved, the only exception being an obscure single:


- 1973's 'Sweet Sixteen' b/w 'Speak Out To Me' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2919)


Backed by an all-star cast of New York sessions players, 1974's "Your Baby Is a Lady" found Jackie DeShannon showing off her soul roots.  Some folks will certainly blanch at the thought, but every time I listen to the LP I'm reminded of the classic "Dusty In Memphis".  Yeah, I know the Dusty Springfield comparison drives DeShannon fans insane, but it provides a fairly accurate description of the direction DeShannon seemed to be pursuing on this one.  The fact DeShannon wasn't all but swallowed up by her all-star cast spoke volumes for her talent.  Critics weren't particularly kind to the album and sales proved minimal, which was unfortunate since DeShannon's voice was ideally suited for blue-eyed soul like the title track, 'You Touch And You Go', the pretty ballad 'The Other Side of Me', and 'You've Changed'.  Personal favorite - the breezy closer 'I Donít Know Whatís The Matter With My Baby'. DeShannon seldom sounded as vulnerable and playful at the same time.  Elsewhere Atlantic pulled a pair of singles off the LP:

- 1974's 'Your Baby Is A Lady' b/w '(If You Never Have A Big Hit Record) Youíre Still Gonna Be A Star' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2994)

- 1974's 'Jimmie, Just Sing Me One More Song' b/w 'You've Changed' (Atlantic catalog number 45-3041)


I'll be the first to admit it isn't her best album (even hardcore fans seem to have mixed feelings about it), but it's one that's readily grown on me the more I've listened to it.


"Your Baby Is a Lady" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Small Town Talk   (Bobby Charles - Rick Danko) - 2:45
2.) Jimmie, Just Sing Me One More Song   (Wendy Gell - Vicki Gellman) - 2:35
3.) I Wonít Let You Go   (Ralph MacDonald - William Salter) - 2:54
4.) (If You Never Have A Big Hit Record) Youíre Still Gonna Be A Star   (Doc Pomus - Myles Chase) - 3:04

5.) Your Baby Is A Lady   (Jackie DeShannon - Donna Weiss) - 3:29

(side 2)
1.) You Touch And You Go   (Jackie DeShannon - Vini Poncia) - 2:50

2.) The Other Side Of Me   (Neil Sedaka - Howard Greenfield) - 2:37
3.) Thatís What Iím Here For   (Steven Schwartz) - 3:45
4.) Youíve Changed   (Jackie DeShannon - Vini Poncia) -2:45
5.) I Donít Know Whatís The Matter With My Baby   (Ralph MacDonald - William Salter) - 2:58


DeShannon apparently recorded material for a projected fourth Atlantic album (including the earlier shelved Van Morrison set), but it was also shelved, effectively ending her partnership with Atlantic.  




Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Tiitle:  You're the Only Dancer

Company: Amherst

Catalog: AMH-1010

Year: 1977

Country/State: Hazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut out notch along spine

Available: 1

Ctalog ID: 

Price: $20.00





"You're the Only Dancer" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Donít Let The Flame Burn Out
2.) I Just Canít Say No To You
3.) Just To Feel This Love From You
4.) I Donít Think I Can wait
5.) To Love Somebody

(side 2)
Youíre The Only Dancer
2.) Try To Win A Friend
3.) Dorothy
4.) Your Love Has Got A Hold On Me
5.) Tonight Youíre Doiní It Right




Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Tiitle:  Quick Touches

Company: Amherst

Catalog: AMH-1016

Year: 1978

Country/StateHazel, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5425

Price: $10.00


Jackie DeShannon's sophomore album for the Amherst label found her continuing her partnership with producer Jim Ed Norman.  Sporting a stunning photo of the singer, 1978's "Quick Touches" was interesting for a number of reasons.  While not her most creative release, the collection appeared to spotlight DeShannon's growing confidence as a songwriter.  While DeShannon typically only included one or two originals on an album, this time out five of the ten tracks were originals.  (Two of the five covers were penned by husband/keyboardist Randy Edelman.)  Musically tracks like 'Baby, Wonít You Let Me Know', 'Dangerous' and 'Hearts On Fire' sported a clear commercial orientation that would have sounded great on top-40 radio.  The opener 'Youíre So Good' even featured a disco rhythm.  Other highlights included her Beatles cover 'Things We Said Today' and the Philadelphia International-flavored soul ballad 'Donít Let Go Of Me'.   A fun release that should have sold better.  Amherst tapped the album for a single in the form of:


- 'Things We Said Today' b/w 'Way Above the Angels' (Amherst catalog number AM-737)   


"Quick Touches" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Youíre So Good   (Fred Freeman - Harry Nehs) -  
2.) Baby, Wonít You Let Me Know    (Jackie DeShannon) - 
3.) Dangerous    (Jackie DeShannon) - 
4.) I Canít Stay Away    (Jackie DeShannon) - 
5.) Donít Let Go Of Me   (Randy Edelman) - 

(side 2)
1.) Things We Said Today   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 
2.) Way Above The Angels    (Jackie DeShannon) - 
3.) Blue Street   (Randy Edelman) - 
4.) More Than A Trace    (Jackie DeShannon) - 
5.) Hearts On Fire   (Eddie Rabbitt - Even Stevens - Dan Tyler) -