Saturday, August 21, 2010

"What The World Needs Now Is Love" by Jackie DeShannon

In the 1960s few female performers had the string of hits enjoyed by Jackie DeShannon; often considered the first female singer-songwriter of the rock era, DeShannon may have been hurt as much as helped by her luminous blonde beauty, at least in the United States. Songs like Needles and Pins and When You Walk in the Room were even bigger hits in Canada and the UK than they were in the US which, if it dismayed the American-born singer she didn't let it show. In fact, much of DeShannon's early output would prove more popular for other artists than for her, including the two previously mentioned, which became huge sellers for The Searchers.

Jackie DeShannon's version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's What the World Needs Now Is Love was for years the gold standard version of the song; here she's seen performing it on the popular show Shindig! She followed it up with the similarly popular Put a Little Love in Your Heart.

Born on this day in 1944, Jackie DeShannon still records and tours, owing to the huge market for nostalgia; her songs have also been recorded by Tracey Ullman, Annie Lennox and Al Green, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Dolly Parton. Then there's the little matter of a song called Bette Davis Eyes, which was named the most successful pop single of the 1980s after it was paired with the raspy contralto of Kim Carnes in 1981.
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