A Flawless & Beautiful Salute to Jackie DeShannon Via Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum: Poets & Prophets

Transcending time, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings, her impact is felt across generations and cultures. Jackie DeShannon is loved not just for her immense accomplishments but also for her authenticity, genuine spirit and overpowering kindness. The true measure of an icon is not just their fame, but the positive influence they have on others….and judging from the overwhelming turnout, the applause, and the several standing ovations….she is loved.

I sat silently, breathing in the nobility and grandeur of the auditorium. I gazed up at the prestigious stage and at the seats filling up around me at the CMA Theater which was surrounded by the music and the twinkling lights of the city of Nashville. I wish I could describe exactly how I felt once Ms. Jackie DeShannon entered the stage and revealed the intricacies of her illustrious career, but I can’t wrap my feelings into words. All I can say is I felt inspired, honored and alive, and I didn’t want to think about anything else besides that moment. 

She wore a hip and stylish skirt and blouse and looked confident, radiant and beautiful as she traced the journey of her career prompted by questions from cordial interviewer Michael Gray. From her adventurous beginnings as a small child raised on a farm in Hazel, Kentucky while hosting her own radio show, she emerged as a trailblazer finding a space for pop, folk and country music to live together in harmony. 

Jackie DeShannon is a Grammy winner, (Bette Davis Eyes- Song of the Year),  a Song Writers Hall of Fame inductee, a broadcasting correspondent (Breakfast With the Beatles on Sirius XM Radio) and her version of “What the World Needs Now” written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach was recently inducted into the Library of Congress. She wrote songs for and or collaborated and worked with some of the most powerful forces in the music industry including Brenda Lee  (“Dum Dum” and “Heart in Hand”) who she credits for giving her a first chance, Marianne Faithful, The Byrds, Jimmy Page, Eddie Cochran, and the list goes on. She opened for The Beatles, and appeared with legends such as Glenn Campbell, and Johnny Cash. Furthermore, there is not a person on the planet that doesn’t know her anthemic triumph “Put A Little Love in Your Heart” co-written by Jackie, Jimmy Holiday and her brother Randy Myers. It was miraculous that she and Michael were able to get much of her accomplishments out there during the program. 

She later did an autograph session with lines forming out the door, taking time to talk to each and every one of her fans. They all walked away with that certain glow you only get when you’re in awe of somebody. 

It doesn’t matter how long you are spending time on earth, nor how much money you have collected, or how much attention you’ve received….but rather the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life. Her words and music harmonize in a symphony of expression. She’s long discovered the melody of her existence. 

Special thanks to Jim Pierson, Bongo, Michael Gray (VIP Of Museum Services) and the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum for arranging this phenomenal event.

Article by Eileen Shapiro

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