She was born Sharon Lee Myers on August 21, 1944 in Hazel, Kentucky. Her collaborations with Sharon Sheeley resulted in several pretty good pop songs including "Dum Dum" and "Heart in Hand" for Brenda Lee and "Trouble" for the Kalin Twins. She then formed partnerships with Jack Nitzsche and Randy Newman, the former of which spawned "When You Walk In The Room", a 1964 smash for the Searchers. The Brits got interested in her and this inspired several television appearances. DeShannon's London sojourn led to several songwriting collaborations with Jimmy Page.
Her own recording career never really took off, although her work continued to be covered by folks like Helen Shapiro, Marianne Faithfull, and the Critters. She wrote "Don't Doubt Yourself Babe" which was covered by the Byrds on their first album. She enjoyed a US Top 10 single with the Burt Bacharach/ Hal David-penned "What The World Needs Now Is Love" (1965), but her biggest hit came four years later when "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" reached number 4.
My personal favorite is her 1975 album, New Arrangement. I doubt if you can find this on a CD anywhere, and that’s a shame. This album contained a much more robust version of "Bette Davis Eyes" than was the one which became a chartbuster for Kim Carnes in 1981. Here was the song list. All of them were quite good; not a bad song in the bunch. (When was the last time you could say that about a CD you bought?)
Let The Sailors Dance
Boat To Sail
Sweet Baby Gene
- Over My Head Again
- Bette Davis Eyes
- Queen Of The Rodeo
I Wanted it All
- Barefoot Boys And Barefoot Girls
- Dreamin’ as One