In my youngest youth, I listened to her song "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" on the Top-10 Countdown every afternoon for weeks. I loved the song, and it made me feel, in my naive and boyish way, the stirrings of an idealistic, even psychedelic, world view:
I had also heard her classic "What the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love)", countless times, and never equated her as the same singer: for a while thought I was hearing Dionne Warwick. No matter....the song came up later in my life, when I was finally old enough to see the film "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" (see my 1969 Oscar Series), and the use of that song during the sweetly ambiguous, Fellini-esque final "encounter" was unforgettable:
Even later, DeShannon co-wrote another haunting and playful tune, "Bette Davis Eyes", forever memorialized in raspy allure by Kim Carnes. De Shannon, along with co-writer Donna Weiss, won a 1982 Grammy for Song of the Year.
So DeShannon was a big influence on my pop-musical tastes, and I am really happy she will receive a well-deserved recognition
Ironically, as we watch the ruin of the earth before our eyes, one of her lyrics in "What the World needs Now" seems oddly quaint today; I never thought I would question the truth of it, nor stop taking it for granted:
"...there are mountains and hillsides enough to climb,
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross
Enough to last
'Til the end of time....."