A “pioneer of transgender rights born in a male body”, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside of Toronto, where her career flourished in the 1960s. However, with Numero Group’s reissue of Any Other Way – the first approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work which features all six of her 45s & highlights from her 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern – we think that’s about to change.
It’s hard to resist the charm of Jackie’s smooth, soulful vocals set against jazzy percussion and sax on title track ‘Any Other Way’. She lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans. Ms. Shane’s identity and sexuality were never a secret. She wore make-up, silk shirts and jewellery onstage and off, projecting a sense of refined femininity, and did so in a manner exuding class, self-respect and dignity. Her identity was never an act designed to play with an audience’s sense of exotica.
Though she has a classic sound, her obvious talent and her championing of equality will forever remain contemporary. Order your copy of Ms. Shane’s collection here, and immerse yourself in an artist who had “a career and life unlike any other”.