California-based singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon makes a rare Nashville appearance to discuss her pioneering songwriting career and her country music roots. DeShannon was born in tiny Hazel, Kentucky, and was a country radio performer in Kentucky and Illinois as a child. In her teens, she began a long recording career that would embrace country, rockabilly, folk, pop, gospel, and R&B. “Buddy,” a Buddy Holly tribute DeShannon wrote and then recorded in Nashville in 1958, was a regional rockabilly hit. DeShannon moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and debuted on the national charts with her cover of the Bob Wills country standard “Faded Love” in 1963. She scored her first major pop hit in 1965 with a soulful rendition of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
One of the first singer-songwriters of the rock & roll era, DeShannon was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for penning hits for herself and others. She provided six chart singles for Brenda Lee alone, including 1961’s “Dum Dum.” “When You Walk in the Room” was a huge success for the Searchers during the 1960s British Invasion, and decades later Pam Tillis’s version reached the Top Five of the country charts. In 1969, DeShannon wrote and recorded the anthem “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” “Bette Davis Eyes,” a hit for Kim Carnes, won DeShannon the 1982 Grammy for Song of the Year. DeShannon’s other credits include “Breakaway” (Irma Thomas), “Come and Stay with Me” (Marianne Faithfull), and “(He’s) The Great Imposter” (the Fleetwoods). Her songs have also been performed by the Byrds, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Green, Annie Lennox, Van Morrison, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, and dozens of other artists.
The program will include video clips of DeShannon performing with Country Music Hall of Fame members Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, the Everly Brothers, and Willie Nelson. DeShannon will sign commemorative Hatch Show Print posters following the program. Presented in partnership with Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. CMA Theater. Included with Museum admission. Program ticket required. Free to Museum members.
When purchasing admission:
- select the date of this program,
- select a gallery entry time of 1:00 p.m. or earlier,
- select your Experience, and
- select the Poets and Prophets program as an add-on.
Presented in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival attendees may purchase discounted museum admission and reserve tickets to the Poets and Prophets program here. This ticket includes Museum admission (entry time of 12:45pm), followed by the program at 2:30pm.