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Jackie DeShannon: Put a Little Love In Your Heart

It was 1969 and I was doing promotion in San Francisco, the musical heart of the Universe at that time. One morning I went into our offices in The Cannery on Fisherman's Wharf and Hippy Girl at the front desk gave me a message from Hollywood. Lucky me, I had Jackie DeShannon coming up to do a week at one of the great Hotel Show Rooms, and I was to arrange things for her.

 

We had enjoyed a Top 10 hit with Jackie in 1965 with the Burt Bacharach and Hal David tune, "What The World Needs Now Is Love," and she was running back up the Charts again with a song she wrote with her brother Randy Meyers and Jimmy Holiday, called "Put A Little Love In Your Heart,” that was hot not only on the two major Top 40 Stations, but also the Adult Contemporary Stations, KSFO and KNEW.

 

It became a real production, Jackie would take the train with the bubble on top from L. A. to San Francisco, and I would pick her up at the Station. So the day of her arrival I bought nice Bouquet of Flowers put on my Plaid Sports Jacket, a black Turtle-Neck Sweater and Stacked Heel Black Boots, and went to meet the train. I watched most of the passengers disembark and then off she came, adorable in a wide brimmed straw hat and lovely summer dress, carrying a picnic basket. We got some pictures taken and I took her to the hotel.

 

The next day I picked her up and we made the rounds of Radio, stopping around noon to drink wine at a swank spot with cheese and crackers. She told me of her desire to be a big star and speculated that she might be called, "Lady Love," which was a nice idea. I was being extra careful around her because her husband was an exec at the Label and I was in a minefield. Long story short, I threw a well attended Cocktail Party before her first show at the hotel and the week went fine.

 

Jackie was a real pro doing interviews, knowing heavy personalities like the late Jack Carney, and talking about her songwriting, she had another one coming a few years later sung by Kin Carnes called, "Betty Davis Eyes." Burt Bacharach said about her, "Once I heard Jackie sing four bars of it, (Put A Little Love) I thought 'this is great.' Jackie had such a great voice. Love her voice." High praise from the Master.

 

"Put A Little Love In Your Heart" would go Top 5 (#4) on the Hot 100, and #2 Adult Contemporary, selling over a Million Units and going Solid Gold. I got a nice call from the Brass at Liberty/UA saying she'd given me high marks...and that was a relief. Next I would go to San Jose with Canned Heat...a very different experience.

 

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