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. Share on X

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. 


2 thoughts on “I hear thunder boom every time jackie deshannon walks in the room”

  1. Do you know that Jackie’s 1963 and 1964 releases of “When You Walk Into the Room” are different recordings? If you are interested I can dig up the details.

    I’ve also posted a different edit of that A-Go-Go video on Youtube.

    I’ve been a long-time buyer of your books.

    • Thanks, George, for being a fan of my books!

      Please send the details about the two different recordings of “When You Walk Into the Room”!

      Also, please send a link to the YouTube video.


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