Jackie Shane

🏷 1960s Toronto-based soul singer and transgender pioneer

This is Listen ∞ An email of eclectic music for curious ears. Here is today’s recommendation.

"In My Tenement" by Jackie Shane
🗓 1963 / re-issued in 2017

To say that Jackie Shane is fierce would be an understatement. Her story involves kidnapping, carnival sideshows, gangsters and a disappearing act that led to rumours of her death -- and possible murder -- for decades. The real crime is that the story of Jackie Shane, pioneering transgender soul singer, remains a footnote in musical history; she's an icon that never was.

Jackie's voice is everything -- soulful to the bone, sumptuous, scratchy and sassy; it's the kind of voice that takes you to the proverbial church. Unfortunately she only ever cut one album, an all killer no filler live record titled Any Other Way, in 1967.

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Jackie's onstage presence was notorious, her looks were fabulous (she had a penchant for silk) and she knew how to get a venue turnt up.

"Some of them funny people have the nerve to point the finger at me and grin and smile and whisper," she would sing. "But you know that don't worry Jackie because I know I look good, and every Monday morning I laugh and grin on the way to the bank because I got mine… You know what my slogan is? Baby, do what you want, just know what you're doing. As long as you don't force your will and your way on anyone else, live your life because ain't nobody sanctified and holy."

📄 Read the whole profile by Russell Dean Stone on i-D

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