Jackie Shane was born in Nashville in 1940, where she grew up with her mother, grandfather, and a grandmother who sang "moaning" sad songs as she cleaned the house. Spirituals and blues poured out of their radio by day; at night Jackie tried on her mother's lipstick and rouge. A pre-puberty Jackie sang high soprano in the choir but later tuned into the ragged, brokenhearted lament of B.B.
A mix of pop and belly-fire soul, Jackie Shane's version of "Any Other Way" is one of the great buried treasure finds of the '60s--the mournful horns and emotive vocals on par with more well-known classics of the era. Though the song is familiar to many a crate digger, the groundbreaking artist behind it is still largely unknown. A fiery performer and Nashville native who briefly found fame in Toronto, Canada, Shane lived her life as a transgender woman at a time when it was not only taboo to do so, but illegal.
This lovingly researched two-disc anthology from archival specialists the Numero Group chronicles the remarkable career of Jackie Shane, an American singer who became a leading light of Toronto's 1960s soul and R&B scene. Heralded for her dynamic stage presence and voice that often drew comparisons to Little Richard and James Brown, Shane was also an early advocate for transgender and LGBTQ rights in an unforgiving social climate. Raised in Nashville, by the age of 13 she had already come to recognize herself as a woman living in a man's body, and while she wouldn't officially come out as transgender until many years later, Shane effectively lived as a woman on- and off-stage.
The history of pop music is packed with artists whose biographies have been more compelling than their music, but it also has its share of personal victories matched by high artistic standards. These will always be the real greats: Coltrane, Simone, Makeba, Redding, Gaye and all the rest.
It's time Jackie Shane was added to that list. The diminutive Nashville native belted out 1960s soul music with as much muscle as any man or woman in the game. This new collection showcases a powerhouse talent whose skillset fit perfectly with the ….