This almost feels like a made-up story inserted into the Internet — how could there have been a black, trans (that became official much later, but still) soul singer from Nashville who charted in Canada in the late '60s?!
Jackie Shane, who just granted her first media interview since disappearing from the public eye in 1971, had several successful singles in her heyday, and certainly didn't shy away from presenting as slightly more effeminate than Little Richard, if not exactly as a woman. In spite of how unorthodox this was at the time, she even made TV appearances.
When she lost popularity, she vanished so thoroughly nobody could ascertain whether she might still be alive.
Luckily, she is, a fact ferreted out after the 2014 short film Whatever Happened to Jackie Shane? It was still hard getting her attention, according to Canada's The Globe and Mail:
The task of getting Shane on board the new album following a 45-year hiatus from the music business was challenging, to put it mildly. Numero producer Douglas Mcgowan spent hours on the phone with the now 77-year-old; he let her know about the countless Jackie Shane tributes that exist online, from YouTube to blogs to Facebook and Instagram (Shane does not own a computer). When Mcgowan was finally invited to meet Shane at her home in Nashville, he was forced to patiently hang out outside as she stewed.
“She didn't open the door for me and we'd been talking for months!” Mcgowan says over the phone from Los Angeles. “I had to come to her with an open mind — not an agenda — because I knew a dozen people had already reached out wanting to do book projects. You have to understand, Funkadelic asked her to join the band and she flat-out said no. She would like to return to the public eye on her own terms and on her own time.”
So ... she may be about to perform live again!
I just can't get enough of this long-forgotten person's incredibly trail-blazing story. More here.