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Doris nee Coley Kenner Jackson
Doris (Coley) Jackson
February 4, 2000
Age 58 
Breast Cancer 
 
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OBITUARY 
Shirelles' Doris Jackson dies at 58 
By JULIE FIELDS
Staff Writer  Bergen Record
 Doris (Coley) Jackson, a member of the legendary Passaic County rock-and-roll "girl group" the Shirelles, which produced a
 string of top hits including "Dedicated to the One I Love" in the early 1960s, has died of cancer, according to several family
 members. She was 58. 
 Jackson died Friday at a hospital in Sacramento, Calif., relatives said. 
 The Shirelles, who inspired a wave of other "girl groups," including The Supremes, were formed by Jackson and three
 classmates at Passaic High School in 1957. 
 At their first performance, a school talent show, they sang "I Met Him on a Sunday" and received a standing ovation. They
 went on to record several Top 40 hits, including "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (1961) and "Soldier Boy" (1962). 
 Jackson, who lived in Sacramento in recent years, returned to Passaic at least once a year, her niece, Lauren Nance of
 Passaic, said Friday night. 
 "When they would hear Doris was in town, it was always such a grand thing," Nance said. "Our phone would ring off the
 hook." 
 In 1996, Jackson returned to Passaic for a reunion performance with two other members of the Shirelles, Beverly Lee of
 Passaic and Shirley Alston Reeves (born Shirley Owens) of Hillside. The fourth Shirelle, Addie "Mickie" Harris, died in 1982. 
 "God, it feels good to be here," Jackson said during that performance, which ended in a shower of flowers, proclamations,
 honorary diplomas, and a standing ovation. None of the four students graduated with their class of 1958, but they earned
 diplomas later. 
 The following night, the Shirelles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Manhattan. 
 "They were trendsetters because they were around before the Supremes were around," Nance said. "They laid the foundation
 for the other girl groups of today to be here." 
 The Shirelles recorded "I Met Him on a Sunday," their first song, for independent record producer Florence Greenberg, the
 mother of one of their classmates, Mary Jane [Greenberg]. After Decca released the record and dismissed the Shirelles as one-hit
 wonders, Greenberg signed them to her new Scepter Records label. 
 The 1996 performance at Passaic High School marked the last time the three remaining Shirelles performed together.
 Jackson, however, had continued to sing in recent years despite her battle with cancer. She most recently headlined an
 engagement in the state of Washington over New Year's, and entertained passengers on a cruise ship in early January,
 relatives said. 
 "She worked through her illness," Nance said. "She was very passionate about her career. . . . She gave so much to so many
 people, and people gave back to her." 
 Soul singer and contemporary Maxine Brown, who also sang at Scepter, once paid Jackson a knowing compliment. "They
 were pioneers. They had a unique sound," Brown said of the group as a whole, adding, "especially Shirley. Her voice had a
 lonesome quality. Very haunting." 
 Jackson, who was born in Goldsboro, N.C., was married twice. She is survived by three sons, Antonio Kenner, Gary
 Kenner, and Tracy Jackson, and one daughter, Staci Jackson. 
 She also is survived by two sisters, Ernestine Francies of Passaic and Agnes Coley of Bloomfield, and a brother, Jeremiah
 Coley of Paterson. A second brother, Leodie Coley, is deceased. 
 No information on funeral arrangements was available. 
                                   Copyright © 2000 Bergen Record Corp. 
    
                            SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Doris Kenner-Jackson of the 
                            pop-rock group the Shirelles, whose soaring harmonies on 
                            "Soldier Boy'' and a number of other songs brought huge 
                            success in the early 1960s, died Friday. She was 58.  

                            Jackson, who had breast cancer, died at Kaiser Permanente 
                            Medical Center, her cousin Evelyn Jackson said from her 
                            home in Goldsboro, N.C.  

                            The Shirelles, composed of Jackson, Shirley Alston Reeves, 
                            Beverly Lee and the late Addie "Micki'' Harris, began their 
                            career at a high school talent show in Passaic, N.J., in 1957, 
                            singing their own composition, "I Met Him on Sunday.''  

                            A classmate who heard them told her mother, independent 
                            record producer Florence Greenberg, who helped them 
                            record the song the following year. 

                            Aided by legendary producer Phil Specter, they turned out a 
                            string of hits through the early '60s, including "Tonight's The 
                            Night,'' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,'' "Soldier Boy,'' 
                            "Baby It's You,'' and "Dedicated to the One I Love,'' the latter 
                            featuring Jackson on lead vocal. 

                            Their songs, like those of several other popular "girl groups'' of 
                            the early '60s including Specter's Ronettes, were notable for 
                            their tight harmonies, bouncy upbeat lyrics and lush musical 
                            arrangements known as Specter's "Wall of Sound.'' 

                            Jackson, who was born in North Carolina, moved to New 
                            Jersey as a child, where she sang in church and with friends. 

                            After their early success with "I Met Him on Sunday,'' all four 
                            of the group dropped out of high school to pursue their 
                            musical careers, each earning diplomas later.  
 

New York Times
 Doris Kenner-Jackson, 58, Singer In the Original Shirelles Foursome  

          By ANN POWERS 

               Doris Kenner-Jackson, a founding member of the Shirelles, one of 
               the first and most emotionally affecting of pop's girl groups, died 
          on Friday at a hospital in Sacramento, Calif. She was 58.  

          The cause was breast cancer, said her niece, Lauren Nance.  

          Ms. Kenner-Jackson was born Doris Coley in 1941 in Goldsboro, 
          N.C., and moved with her family to Passaic, N.J., as a teenager. She 
          soon began performing at parties and talent shows with her friends 
          Shirley Owens (later Shirley Alston Reeves), Addie Harris and Beverly 
          Lee.  

          A classmate introduced the foursome to her mother, Florence 
          Greenberg, the pioneering manager and a founder of Tiara Records, who 
          soon signed the group to record for her label.  

          The Shirelles co-wrote their first single, the precocious schoolyard round 
          "I Met Him on a Sunday," which earned so much radio play that Decca 
          Records bought it and distributed it nationally. After that, the group 
          recorded many hits and earned ardent fans including the Beatles, who 
          covered the quartet's songs "Baby It's You" and "Boys."  

          Ms. Kenner-Jackson usually sang harmonies during the Shirelles' heyday, 
          but she did take the lead on the group's passionate version of the Five 
          Royales' song, "Dedicated to the One I Love." Her vocals captured the 
          reckless yearning of the teenage heart.  

          She also sang the lead on many lesser-known Shirelles songs, including 
          "Blue Holiday" and "I Saw a Tear."  

          The Shirelles stayed together until 1968, broke up and reunited, and 
          finally splintered in the 1970's. Ms. Kenner-Jackson kept performing in 
          one of three postbreakup versions of the group.  

          She briefly worked for Federal Express in the 1970's, but mostly stayed 
          active on the oldies-revival circuit. Despite her two-year fight with 
          cancer, she was entertaining audiences until a few weeks before her 
          death, said Ms. Nance, of Paterson, N.J.  

          In 1994, when the Rhythm and Blues Foundation gave the Shirelles a 
          Heritage Award, Ms. Kenner-Jackson sang with the group's other 
          surviving members, Ms. Alston Reeves and Ms. Lee, for the first time in 
          19 years, Harris having died in 1982. The threesome met again when 
          they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.  

          Ms. Kenner-Jackson, who was married and divorced twice, is survived 
          by four children, Antonio Kenner, Gary Kenner, Tracey Jackson, and 
          Staci Jackson-Richardson, all of Sacramento; two sisters, Ernestine 
          Francies of Passaic and Agnes Coley of Bloomfield, N.J.; a brother, 
          Jeremiah Coley of Paterson, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.  


       From Collins Crapo's Oldies Website!
 
 The name of this group (formed in 1958 and originally named the Pequellos) was not derived from the name of Shirley Owens (later Alston, then Reeves), who usually sang lead.  Instead, she thought it would be a similar name to the girls' favorite group, the Chantels. The other three women in the group were Doris Coley (later Kenner, then Jackson), Addie "Micki" Harris, and Beverly Lee. Micki died of a heart attack in 1982 and Doris of breast cancer in February 2000. 
 
       
 

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 Born:  Aug 2, 1941 in Passaic, NJ
          
In 1959, when Doris Jackson stepped up to the microphone and sang out "This Is 
   Dedicated...To The One I Love", little did she or the other Shirelles know that 35 years 
  later, she would be accepting the 1994 Rhythm & Blues Foundation Heritage Award and 
singing the same song to a screaming crowd of legendary rock, rhythm and blues stars, 
      including Little Richard, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Dionne Warwick and many more!  ~borrowed from De La Font.  

All-Music Guide
The Shirelles
       The Shirelles were instrumental in defining the girl group sound, and 
      were one of the style's most successful acts between 1960 and 1963,  
      when they placed six singles in the Top Ten. Bridging doo wop and uptown  
      New York pop-soul, the group projected a beguiling mixture of tenderness 
      and innocence that was grounded in R&B as much as pop/rock. Forming  
      as high school classmates in New Jersey, the Shirelles came under the  
      wing of manager Florence Goldberg, who also ran the Scepter label. Many  
      of their classic early sides featured innovative, occasionally string-laden  
      production by Luther Dixon, who also penned several of their greatest songs.  
      Top Brill Building songwriters like Goffin-King, Bacharach-David, and Van McCoy  
      also supplied the group with material. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," "Baby It's You,"  
      "Foolish Little Girl," "Soldier Boy," "Dedicated to the One I Love," and "Mama Said"  
      were their  biggest hits, but they also cut a number of delightful less famous sides,  
      including "Boys," which (like "Baby It's You") was covered by the Beatles on their 
      first LP.   After mid-1963, the Shirelles were unable to dent the Top 40, although  
      they recorded some excellent songs, including the original version of "Sha La La"  
      (covered for a hit by Manfred Mann). The group recorded well into the '70s, updating 
      their sound into a more soul-oriented mode that was lacking in comparison. 
      ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
 
 
  
 
 

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