Poets and Prophets: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Jackie DeShannon

Mar 21, 2020

2 PM – 3:30 PM

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General Admission reserve tickets here.

California-based singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon makes a rare Nashville appearance to discuss her songwriting career and her country music roots. She also will perform a few of her classics, and the program will include rare 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 was born in tiny Hazel, Kentucky. As a child, she performed country music on radio stations in Kentucky and Illinois. 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 she wrote, was a regional rockabilly hit she recorded in Nashville in 1958. DeShannon moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and debuted on the national charts with her cover of “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 the hits she wrote for herself and others. She provided six chart singles for Brenda Lee alone, including the 1961 hit “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 “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.

After the program, DeShannon will sign commemorative Hatch Show Print posters. Presented by SunTrust. Ford Theater. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Program ticket required. The program will be streamed live at