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Posted by: In: Other 06 May 2024 Comments: 0


573-Jackie De Shannon-When You Walk in the Room.

1963-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 0.04. One of the best guitar riffs in the world ever. It is said that it hadn’t gone unnoticed by the Beatles.

Jackie De Shannon, was born Sharon Lee Myers, on August 21st, 1941, in Hazel, Kentucky, United States. In 1960 she signed with ‘Liberty Records,’ who thought that the name Sharon Myers would hinder record sales, so she adopted the stage name ‘Jackie Dee Shannon,’ whom she believed had been the name of one of her Irish ancestors. She has said that she chose ‘Jackie,’ as a cross-gender name, since she had a low singing voice, which could be heard as either male or female. When she found that ‘Jackie Dee’ was too similar to Brenda Lee, or even Sandra Dee, she changed it to Jackie Dee Shannon, which people heard as ‘DeShannon,’ and the name stuck. Her first marriage was to the Liberty Records executive Irving V. “Bud” Dain, whom she married in 1966, but the marriage was annulled a year later. Jackie De Shannon has been married to the American singer/songwriter, and film composer Randy Edelman since 1976 (see also best songs 761.)

Jackie De Shannon was one of the first female singer/songwriters of the ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ era, although as a singer all of her first 23 singles failed to reach the American Billboard Hot 100. It was her cover of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David (see also best songs 902-832-815-740-644-376 and 224) composition ‘What the World Needs Now Is Love,’ which finally saw her chart on Billboard, when reaching Number 7 in 1965. Her other major Billboard hit was ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart,’ which made Number 4 in 1969. That song would later be a hit in 1988, when recorded as a duet by Annie Lennox and Al Green (Billboard Number 9 & UK Number 28.) As a songwriter Jackie De Shannon came to the attention of Eddie Cochran, (1938-1960) and this led to her teaming up with Cochran’s girlfriend Sharon Sheeley, (1940-2002) (see also best songs 422) and together the pair wrote ‘Dum Dum,’ (1961- Billboard Number 4 & UK Number 22) and ‘Heart in Hand,’ (1962-Billboard Number 15) which were both hits for Brenda Lee. They also wrote ‘Breakaway’ for Irma Thomas, which when covered by Tracey Ullman in 1983 reached Number 4 in the UK. But perhaps Jackie De Shannon’s best known, and most successful composition was ‘Bette Davis Eyes,’ a track she co-wrote with Donna Weiss in 1974, and when recorded by Kim Carnes in 1981, it made Number 1 on Billboard, and Number 10 in the UK. The discography of Jackie De Shannon includes 21 Albums released between 1963-2011, and 61 singles released between 1956-1980, there are also appearances on three soundtrack Albums, from the three films she appeared in, between 1964-1979, and 19 official compilation Albums are available. In America on Billboard two of her singles have reached the top 40, with ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart,’ peaking the highest at Number 4 in 1969, while ‘When You Walk in the Room,’ made Number 99. Jackie De Shannon has never had a hit single in the UK.

‘When You Walk in the Room’ was the first of five singles released from Jackie De Shannon’s second Album ‘Breakin’ It Up on the Beatles Tour!’ from 1964, the song was written by Jackie De Shannon, with the production being by Jackie De Shannon, and Dick Glasser (1933-2000.) Although Jackie De Shannon had opened for the Beatles on their 1964 North American tour, the 12 tracks on the Album are songs recorded for Liberty records between 1962-1964, and have nothing at all to do with the tour. ‘When You Walk in the Room’ was produced by Dick Glasser, who was born Richard Eugene Glasser, on December 8th, 1933, in Canton, Ohio, United States, he died on July 10th, 2000, of lung cancer at the age of 66. During the mid 1970’s Glasser was director of ‘MGM Records’ Country Music division in Nashville, producing C. W. McCall’s (1928-2022) 1975 Billboard Number 1 & UK Number 2 hit ‘Convoy.’

Although ‘When You Walk in the Room’ was never a hit for Jackie De Shannon, the song found success when recorded by others, In 1964, the English ‘Merseybeat’ group ‘The Searchers’ took their version to Number 3 in the UK & Number 35 in America, while the most successful cover in America on Billboard, is the one by the American Country singer Pam Tillis, who reached Number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1984.

‘When You Walk in the Room’ is a song about unrequited love, with Jackie De Shannon singing about the ‘glowing sensation’ she gets every time her love interest walks in to the room. Jackie De Shannon has spoken about the songs influence on the Beatles,’We talked about songs. On the plane, The Beatles had one section and the opening acts had the other. George (Harrison) came up and asked me about the little riff on ‘When You Walk In The Room.’ He asked me to play it, and of course I was shaking. You think you hear its influence on ‘Ticket To Ride?’ Well George really did like the riff!’

‘I close my eyes for a second and pretend it’s me you want, meanwhile I try to act so nonchalant. I feel a summer’s night with a magic moon, every time that you walk in the room.’