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Jackie DeShannon

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Biography

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.

Sharon Myers adopted the name Jackie DeShannon, believed to be an Irish ancestor. Record company executives at Liberty Records thought the name Sharon Myers wouldn’t sell records. (She once reported that record executives added “Shannon” to “Jackie Dee,” one of the names under which she recorded, to create her name.)

Life and early career:

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, and her father resumed his other career as a barber. 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.

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