Shawne Jackson began singing in public as a child in her Toronto church choir. While growing up, her experience continued singing in various other local productions and groups thrown together for one reason or another. By the time she was 15 she’d landed a steady gig on CBC TV’s “Music Hop” program.
It was only a few years later that she joined her first major group, The Silhouettes, one of Toronto’s hottest rising pop/R&B groups at the time. But a few months later in 1965 that she joined Jay Smith & The Majestics. They signed with Arc Records, but after only one single, Smith eventually left to try other projects. Jackson convinced the group to give her brother Jay a shot, whose own group The Pharoahs was going nowhere.
Beginning in ’66, the revised Majestics released four albums (two versions of INSTRUMENTAL R&B) which produced the singles “Respect,” “No Good To Cry,” and their cover of Joe South’s “Hey Joe.” But by ’69 the group disbanded and Jackson found herself looking for a new project.
She joined The Stone Soul Children, but when that gig dried up a year or so later, she stepped back from the business, and ending up moving to Los Angeles, where she worked as a waitress in several clubs while trying to get into the modelling business.
But by late ’73 she was singing in Toronto clubs again, leading to a deal with Playboy Records the following spring. She was hooked up with producer Domenic Troiano, figuratively and literally, as they’d eventually marry. Her first single, “Just As Bad As You” b/w “He Maybe Your Man” got good airplay and made it to #9 on the Canadian Charts that spring, earning her a Juno nomination for Female Artist of the Year.
Troiano produced her self-titled debut solo album on RCA in the summer of ’75. When the lead single, “Get Out Of The Kitchen” failed to break the top 20, the b-side “Wait For Tomorrow” was released as a single, but it too missed the mark on the charts.
She moved to New York to pursue clothing design, her longtime hobby, and pretty much dropped out of the spotlight all together for the next few years. She did some TV soundtrack and commercial work, including McDonalds, Diet Coke, and Yoplait Yogurt.
She moved back to Toronto to work on her own projects, including the El Mocambo Records-backed single in 1980, “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” b/w “Come Back Boy.”
Three years later she returned with the moderate club hit “Loveline,” which came in the form of three different versions and pressings. That same year, she performed “Just As Bad As You” on the LIVE AT THE BLUENOTE compilation. Two years later she recorded the song “Images” from the musical “Yuppies” with Sharon Lee Williams and Colina Phillips.
She started dabbling in acting in the mid ’80s and landed a role on “Night Heat,” the first of several Toronto-shot series over the next couple of decades, including “Counterstrike” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Over the decades she also became involved in several philanthropic causes, while also doing studio work for the likes of her husband, Troiano, M+M, Luba, Bruce Cockburn, Sass Jordan, Colin James, Long John Baldry, Lisa Lougheed, Wrabit, Alice Cooper, and Bob & Doug McKenzie.
In 2005, she began working with the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, spearheading an Annual Tribute to her late husband, Domenic Troiano. Money raised goes towards prostate cancer research and funding, which Domenic succumbed to earlier that year.
In ’06, she finally got a project she’d been working on for years off the ground, when she headlined the one-woman show “Some Other Spring,” featuring the life and times of Billie Holiday. In 2006 she headlined a one-woman show, “Some Other Spring” which showcased the work of Billie Holiday. Shawne currently performs as the re-occurring character, Teacher Harriett, for the very successful PBS program, Daniel Tiger.