I hear thunder boom every time jackie deshannon walks in the room

Es­ti­mated reading time is 9 min­utes.

Lib­erty never fig­ured out how to sell Jackie De­Shannon, even though she de­liv­ered ex­cel­lent records to them for ten years.


Thunder boom: publicity photo of Jackie DeShannon from 1969.
This is my fav­er­avest photo ever of Miss Jackie De­Shannon, taken in 1965. She looks so beau­tiful that Hol­ly­wood movie pro­ducers should have been of­fering to make her a movie star in some­thing other than teen ex­ploita­tion movies. But this is not at all what she looked like only a few years ear­lier when Lib­erty Records was trying to make a pop star out of her.

An intriguing resonance


Thunder boom: Jackie DeShannon's self-titled first album from 1963.

Thunder boom: Jackie DeShannon's second album BREAKIN' IT UP ON THE BEATLES TOUR from 1964.
Top: This is Jackie De­Shan­non’s self-titled first album from 1963 fea­turing a photo of her with a teased bouf­fant and looking like the latest at­tempt by Hol­ly­wood to find a new sex kitten. Bottom: This is her second album, the hor­ren­dously ti­tled BREAKIN’ IT UP ON THE BEATLES TOUR from 1964. Again, the photo looks more like a movie starlet than a pop singer trying to reach a teenaged au­di­ence. Lib­erty never re­ally fig­ured out how to package and sell Jackie, even when she con­sis­tently de­liv­ered ex­cel­lent records.

Hollywood a Go-Go!

This ar­ticle started out simply to share the video of Jackie De­Shannon dancing and lip-syncing to When You Walk In The Room in 1964.


JackieDeShannon NeedlesAndPins ChumChart 1000 copy
CHUM (1050-AM) was the most im­por­tant Top 40 radio sta­tion in Canada from 1957 into the ’80s. This is a copy of their fa­mous CHUM chart from July 8, 1963, with Jackie De­Shan­non’s Nee­dles And Pins at the #1 spot. Charts like this were printed on in­ex­pen­sive paper and handed out for free at re­tail out­lets around the country. Amer­ican radio sta­tions did the same thing al­though the size of the chart varied from re­gion to region.

I hear thunder boom

here are the lyrics to When You Walk In The Room. Re­gard­less of the opening lines and the chiming 12-string guitar that drives the recording along, it’s not a par­tic­u­larly happy song (and the punc­tu­a­tion is mine):

I can feel a new ex­pres­sion on my face.
I can feel a glowing sen­sa­tion taking place.
I can hear the guitar playing a lovely tune,
every time that you walk in the room.

I close my eyes for a second and pre­tend it’s me you want.
Mean­while, I try to act so nonchalant.
I feel a summer night with a magic moon,
every time that you walk in the room.

Maybe it’s a dream come true
standing right along­side of you.
Wish I could tell you how much I care,
but I only have the nerve to stare.

I can feel a some­thing pounding in my brain,
just any­time that someone speaks your name.
Trum­pets sound, I hear thunder boom,
every time that you walk in the room.

It’s about longing and ret­i­cence and un­re­quited love as the singer does nothing be­cause she only has the nerve to stare, not act. It may not be of the same cal­iber as record­ings based on sim­ilar yearning songs such as the Tur­tles’ Happy To­gether or the Temp­ta­tions’ Just My Imag­i­na­tion, but it’s up there.


Thunder boom: Swedish picture sleeve for Jackie DeShannon's "What The World Needs Now Is Love" single from 1965/0

Thunder boom: French picture sleeve for Jackie DeShannon's "What The World Needs Now Is Love" EP album from 1965/0
The first two im­ages are the Swedish pic­ture sleeve for the What The World Needs Now Is Love single and the sleeve for the French EP album of the same title. Both fea­ture rather tacky photos that would not have been out of place in a men’s mag­a­zine of the time.

What the world needs now

Jackie De­Shan­non’s ‘When You Walk in the Room’ is about longing and un­re­quited love as the singer does nothing be­cause she only has the nerve to stare, not act, even though she hears trum­pets sound and thunder boom. Click To Tweet

Thunder boom: casual photo of Jackie DeShannon in Laurel Canyon in 1968.


1   Lib­erty moved Jackie over to their sister im­print Im­pe­rial Records in 1965.

2   What The World Needs Now Is Love also reached #1 on the CHUM Chart. Jackie scored a total of seven Top 40 hits on this survey com­pared to only three in the US. This could mean that she was more pop­ular in Canada than any­where else in the world.

5   In most of the pop music world, the Searchers’ two hit records prob­ably did more to make Jackie De­Shan­non’s name known than all of her own records up to that point com­bined! Ex­cept, of course, for Canada.

6   Jackie ac­tu­ally did find her way into three movies: Surf Party star­ring every­body’s fa­vorite surfer, Bobby Vinton (filmed in 1963), and C’mon, Let’s Live A Little with Bobby Vee (1966); and the little-known In­ti­macy (1966). Also known as The De­ceivers, it is a noir-ish drama where Jackie plays a prostitute!

7   Prior to Jackie’s per­for­mance, the show’s host Sam Riddle re­lated that when Jackie had toured with the Bea­tles the pre­vious year, she had com­pli­mented John Lennon on his groovy shirt. The next day, the shirt ar­rived at her dressing room as a gift from the Beatle. Jackie had it al­tered to fit her and was wearing it that day for the taping.

8   My first memory of it came years later when I bought the BREAKIN’ IT UP ON THE BEATLES TOUR album from Bleecker Bob in 1977, paying a whop­ping $25 for a stereo copy!

9   Jack­ie’s ver­sion has an old-timey sound/feel and prob­ably couldn’t have been a hit any­where in the world after WWII. 


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