Thursday, 29 September 2016

Fife country singer Jackie Storrar dies following a six-year battle with cancer

(16 Sept 2016)

Scottish singer Jackie Storrar passed away in Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospice following a six-year battle with cancer.
Only three weeks previous she had released a legacy album which was to raise funds for Maggie’s Fife cancer caring centre.
Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer back in January 2010, when aged 44, and in an exclusive interview (Oct 10, 2010) with the Fife Today Press, she said it was the worst moment of her life.

Edinburgh-born Jackie, who grew up in Kirkcaldy, was determined not to let her diagnosis with terminal cancer three years ago stop her from making music.
She had several top 10 hits in the UK country charts, including a cover of Motörhead’s Ace of Spades which reached No.1 in 2007.
Her musician husband Steve Thiebault posted on her Facebook page (Weds Sept 14, 2016): “With a heavy heart, I must tell you all that Jackie’s life has come to an end.
“She was surrounded by love and slipped away peacefully in the night at Victoria Hospice in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
“After six years of fighting cancer and bravely making the most out of every moment, it was finally her time.
“Whilst I am devastated, I would like to take this moment to thank you all for your support over the years.
“It really has made an amazing difference to us both.”
At the weekend, Steve, who wed Jackie in 2003, revealed her health had taken a turn for the worse over the previous few days.

Jackie realized her dying wish
Jackie’s album, BEHIND HER EYES, which she made with Steve, was launched (Facebook video) at Maggie’s Fife on August 23 (Facebook Photos) for a meet and greet evening.

It was crowdfunded in a bid to enable her to record one final album. Jackie said the disease had not yet robbed her of her voice but it would eventually, so time was of the essence.
Jackie had always lived life to the full. She had enjoyed a successful 30-year music career, travelling the world singing alongside her husband and working as a radio DJ.
Six years ago, Jackie battled cancer. 
But in 2013, she was told the disease had returned – and it couldn’t be cured.
Jackie, 49, hoped that the treatment would give her enough time to continue following her dreams and needed to find backing to record a final album with husband Steve Thiebault, 55, as a legacy to their love. Steve had given up work to be her carer.
On 4th Feb 2016 it was successfully raised using CrowdFunder by 96 backers in 35 days raising £3,400

Release Date: 9 Sept. 2016
Jackie Storrar - Behind Her Eyes
Label: Parrot House Records 
Available at Amazon UK 
15 Tracks
1. One Night At A Time 2. No One Needs To Know 3. But I Will 4. Wild Mountainside
5. Behind Her Eyes   6. Human 7. Take A Ride   8. Love Will Keep Us Alive 
9. I Stand Here Tonight 10. You've Got A Friend 11. Ace Of Spades 
12. My Angel 13. Caledonia 14. The Future's Ours 15. Beautiful Night

UK Country Superstar Jackie Storrar releases her hotly anticipated album BEHIND HER EYES. The debut track, entitled "One Night At A Time" (writers Earl Bud Lee, Eddie Kilgallon, Roger Cook) is a heartfelt country cover of the George Strait Hot Country Songs No1 classic originally released March 10, 1997. Jackie debuted at #7 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and #1 on the British & Irish Country Hotdisc Chart (dated Aug 7, 2016) where it led for 4 weeks and peaked at #5 on the Top 40 (dated Aug 21, 2016)
The video has been shown many times on the Hotdisc Top 20 TV show broadcast on Keep It Country TV (Sky TV 389, FreeSat 516 and FreeView Channel 87).

Press: Jackie, who was inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2015, put together this inspirational 15 track album which includes a selection of originals as well as some infectious covers such as The Killers Human, and Motorhead's Ace of Spades. At a time in her life when Jackie was battling breast cancer, one of the most poignant tracks on the album I Stand Here Tonight was written especially for her by the much acclaimed British Singer Songwriter Steve Black. Add to this, the beautiful trademark harmonies ably supplied by London based Musician & Producer Steve Thiebault, and Willie Logan; you'd be forgiven for thinking you were being gently washed by the lush sounds of The Carpenters or The Eagles. Jackie's name is well known in all corners of the globe thanks to her high profile Award Winning Radio Show on CMR Nashville. The new album, co-produced by Screamin Bones Parker & Steve T-Bone Thiebault, will no doubt be embraced by both UK and US Country fans alike.

She had worked as a radio presenter in Scotland and Malta, a singer on cruise ships and wrote and performed with Steve.
The couple also ran a record label Parrothouse Records.
Jackie was inducted to the country music hall of fame in October, last year.

Jackie Storrar and Husband Steve’s Special Gifts to each other at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline -


Jackie joined CMR Nashville (“Europe’s #1 country music station”) in May 2008 after an impromptu Coffee meeting with owner Lee Williams (CEO of Django Promotions and President of the British Country Music Awards) turned into a job offer. 
Jackie Storrar attends Lee Williams
Wedding in Sept 2009

I’ve been a presenter for almost 14 years,” said Jackie “and had hung up my headphones to concentrate on my singing career. However the offer of my own country show on a worldwide station seemed too good to refuse.”

This was my favourite programme of the station tuning in every Saturday morning (2009-2011) to hear her Country Café show. 

Jackie’s trademark was her warm and friendly delivery and the listener was made to feel like a personal friend and connect further on her Myspace page.
It was an award winning formula! 

The show was recorded weekly from Jackie’s studio in Fife and produced by her husband Steve Thiebault (Parrothose Records UK). 

It was consistently in the top 3 most favourite shows on the station and picked up a following of around 60,000 listeners each week! 
Jackie Storrar: Best Radio Production at the Creative Fife Awards
Maverick Magazine Jan 2007

Not surprisingly the show picked up an Award of Excellence winning Best Radio Production at the Creative Fife Awards in Scotland. The awards ceremony was attended by Scottish Minister of Culture Michael Russell MP.

Jackie was a great champion of Independent artists and open to suggestions. The show had a 30 min Hotdisc slot and her “Choice of the Week” feature introduced CMR listeners to a whole host of worldwide artists such as Ashley Monroe (USA), Julie Forrester (USA), Jefferson Ross (USA), Teea Goans (USA), Susan Hickman (Texas), Cat Beach (USA), Willow Quig (CAN), Daynah Johnson (CAN), Elyse Saunders (CAN), Belle Cannon (IRE), Callaghan (UK) and The Hayley Oliver Band (UK).
Listen to Jackie’s “Choice of the Week” feature from May 2010 on the UK’s Hayley Oliver:

Someone who became a favourite on the Country Café show was Bluegrass / Country / Comedy and Henley based artiste Lynne Butler who was something of an undiscovered secret. Jackie and Lynne became close friends and discussed the possibility of touring together.
Listen to Jackie Storrar’s great interview with Lynne broadcast back on April 25, 2009:

On the flagship Lee Williams Show on CMR Nashville on Friday 16th September 2016 Mr. Williams touchingly paid tribute to his friend and former CMR presenter. 
Listen here:

Scottish country presenter Stewart Fenwick also took time out of his Sunday show on 18th September 2016 to pay his respects and made her brand new album BEHIND HER EYES his Album of the Week. “It’s a lovely album well worth cherishing, it’s beautiful, enjoy some real memories of Jackie’s music” said Stewart.
Listen here to the highlights:

ABOUT Jackie Storrar
Jackie Storrar grew up in a musical family. Her Father was a church organist and conducted the local choir. She remembered her first ever performance, singing for The Salvation Army at the age of 4 with him proudly backing his daughter on the piano.
Her mother, on the other hand, was a big Country music fan. Together they would tune in every week to the Country Show on their local radio station, Mum singing along and Jackie pretending to play guitar.
Months later she was presenting me a real one! Jackie would spend hours in her bedroom practicing as well as singing into the mirror, hairbrush in hand, largely to Olivia Newton-John songs. By the time Grease hit our screens in 1978, she thought she WAS Olivia.
Born in Edinburgh, Jackie grew up in nearby Kirkcaldy, and attended the same High School as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. As a teenager she studied Piano and Oboe and joined the School Orchestra. Recitals and choir rehearsals became the norm.
In 1981, Jackie was lucky enough to perform as soloist in Portland, Maine for the centenary celebrations of “Christian Endeavour”. Audiences of 1000s came from all over the world. It was quite an experience for a young girl from a small town – “One I’ve never forgotten” she shared.

Jackie’s radio experience was considerable and goes back many years. 

Her first words behind the microphone were in Hospital Radio: Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Radio Network.

In 1985, a friend entered her in a local “Voice of 85” competition to win a chance to present a one-off radio show on a local station called Radio Tay (in Dundee, Scotland). This proved to be the start of the next 12 years of her life. Jackie won the show and it was so successful she was asked to join the station full time and even lucky enough to be given my own Country Show! She became the station’s first female country presenter, hosting a show aptly named “Country Girl”.

It was during the rise of the popular Irish record label “Ritz” and Jackie found herself championing artists such as Daniel O’Donnell, Mary Duff and Charlie Landsborough. Without a doubt, she helped turn them into household names all over Tayside & Fife.
Due to the success of that, she was asked to present and host a weekend love show called “Feelings”, which allowed her to indulge her passion for romantic songs. Michael Bolton and Lionel Richie would be the kind of artists Jackie would spin to mend a broken heart. She became one of the stations’ most popular broadcasters. ”I didn’t realise just how much this show meant to people until one day I received a BBC “Hearts of Gold Award” from Esther Rantzen. I had been nominated by one of my listeners. My show had become a lifeline for him and so many other broken and lonely hearts” shared Jackie.

After a few years, she was lured away to the Mediterranean Island of Malta to become Breakfast show presenter and programme Controller of Island Sound Radio. A surprise invitation to sing at Malta’s annual Country Festival got her hooked on the genre. Jackie then formed her own band topping the bill at many local events. That demand led to her recording her first album in a tiny back room studio in Mosta. It was titled Somewhere Between and one of the tracks reached No.15 in the European Media Services Chart.
As a local celebrity Storrar would appear on TV, open supermarkets, turn on Christmas lights, hand out awards and even had a sausage named after her (“The Jackie Storrar Breakfast Sausage”).
One of her fondest memories was being invited by The British High Commissioner to sing at a V.I.P. event for the officers and crew of the Royal Navy carrier “H.M.S. Illustrious”. The American Navy went one better asking her to perform for the 3000 troops of the “even bigger” carrier “U.S.S. Kearsage “.
After 4 years in Malta she felt it was time to move on. She discovered a company looking for onboard singers, and flew to London for an audition and in 1998 she joined her first cruise ship. As part of the production team they made her both sing and dance (Feathered head-dresses, mirrored sling-backs etc were the order of the day)
LOVING Couple:
Jackie Storrar & Steve Theilbault
Myspace photo Dec 2009

Whilst working on the cruise ships she met the man who would prove to be the most influential person in her life, musician Steve Thiebault
Having just returned from working in Branson (USA), he understood Jackie’s love of country music.
They decided to form their own duo act called “Foreign Affair”. 

Together they played in such diverse places as The Red Dog Saloon in Alaska, The Millennium Celebrations in Havana (strangely held in 2001), Rick’s Bar in Casablanca, The Hard Rock Café in San Blas (a tiny set of Islands off the coast of Panama) and the Rio Carnival in Brazil, to name just a few of the 42 Countries they visited.

Writing, living, and working so closely together after a romantic proposal in Hawaii, they were married in a Castle in Scotland on 7th June 2003. People flew in from all around the world. It was the perfect day.
In 2005 they were playing in a Bar in Spain when a man, who’d been sitting in the corner quietly listening, came over and introduced himself as a record producer. His name was Pete Ware (Charlie Landsborough & Hazel Dean) and he was to be the next person to play an influential part in Jackie’s career.

Meeting him was to lead to the release of her album CROSS THE BORDER on Parrothouse Records (UK).
Released 1st October 2007 Catalogue Number: PHR-0511-CD.
Available from Amazon UK and UK iTunes

The album was produced by Pete Ware and co-written and arranged by London’s Steve Thiebault (The Carpenters, Branson USA & numerous West End credits).

The aptly named 12 song set was a crossover album which featured new songs, penned by Jackie, with a recurring theme of people being caught at moments of indecision (“Which One Takes The Blame” & “Sometimes Love’s Just Not Enough”), or pausing at one of those life-changing moments (“She’s All Cried Out”, “Angel In Disguise” & “Cross The Border”). It also included interpretations of songs by Motorhead (“Ace Of Spades”) and Kylie (“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”).

Maverick Magazine
3 STAR Review  Dec 2007
It featured some of Scotland’s best musicians, including Dougie Stevenson (Billie Jo Spears, Boxcar Willie & Runrig), Willie Logan (a veteran of over 40 albums and one of the country’s greatest Country/Blues Guitarists) & Canadian Fiddle star Ian Cameron.

I’d like to think of this album as being music for grown-ups,” said Jackie, “people who have lived a little, loved a little, and dare I say it lost a little. I love meeting people. Once you take the time to listen, people have such interesting stories.”

It gives me great pleasure to say that this is a wonderful CD. It kept me wide-awake on many long road journeys during my UK Tour!
Not only is Jackie a gracious, charming and wonderfully talented vocalist, but an excellent songwriter! She is a great talent with a bright future.” - George Hamilton IV (Nashville)

“This is a fine album of excellent original songs intermingled with some classic covers. Each song is delivered in Jackie's own heartfelt way and shows her qualities as both singer and songwriter.”
 - Charlie Landsborough.

Easy-listening flavoured country with an original edge....she concentrates on matters of the heart which have a greater universal appreciation.....she will win over many new fans and prove to be a big asset to the British country music scene (LK: Maverick Magazine)

“Jackie Storrar…is an extremely talented person…who writes beautiful songs.” - Gloria Hunniford (BBC)

After a stint at Smooth Radio Jackie later joined CMR Nashville (“Europe’s #1 country music station”) in May 2008.

The music awards, affiliated with the Country Music Awards in America, recognise the contribution of professionals within the country music genre.
Kirkcaldy’s own dame of country was honoured for her lifetime’s work by the British Country Music Awards The awards took place on Sunday October 25th 2015 and were held at the Concorde Suite, London (Crane Lodge Road, Heathrow, TW5 9PQ).
Jackie Storrar with her BCMA Hall Of Fame
Induction Award

Brought up in Kirkcaldy, Jackie Storrar had seen her career as a singer/songwriter take her to over 80 countries including stints as a radio presenter.

She hung up her headphones to concentrate on her singing career but returned to the airwaves in Spring 2007 when she was asked to join the original team to launch Smooth Radio Scotland.

Following on from the success of that, Jackie took up the opportunity of hosting the popular "The Country Cafe" on CMR Nashville (Europe's No1 24/7 Country Music Station).

Jackie was delighted to be awarded the British Country Music Hall Of Fame distinction: 
It is the biggest honour. I have spent 30 years of my life devoting it to country music. “The nicest thing is the recognition that the award brings for all the years of working hard and giving my all.”  “It’s been a great honour to work with my husband for the last 15 years - it’s been an absolute joy,” said Jackie. “He’s been a big influence on my life and a complete rock.”
Sadly a serious health diagnosis forced Jackie to take a step back from the limelight and she now counted her battle with cancer as a full time job.She said: “Every day is a fight to stay alive but that doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams and plans for the future, they are just on the back burner and the most important thing is to keep living.”
Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2010, when aged 44, and in an exclusive interview (Oct 10, 2010) with the Fife Today Press, she said it was the worst moment of her life. "My GP referred me to Queen Margaret Hospital where they did a mammogram, ultra sound and a biopsy on the same day. When the results came back, they confirmed it was breast cancer. 
Jackie released a single 'My Angel' which she first wrote with her husband six years previous as a tribute to popular television presenter Caron Keating.
Jackie admitted that on the list was completing a new album. “That has always been on my mental bucket list, I want to be well enough to record another album and be back out on the stage singing. “I’m a performer, an entertainer and that’s what I love to do.”
This is an acknowledgement of what she’s done and Jackie is a very welcome addition to the Hall of Fame,” said Jim Duncan, in late August 2015, curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame.
She has a wonderful, clear voice, has contributed significantly to country music in the media - she literally ticks all the boxes!”
At the award ceremony she gave thanks to her husband Steve for his devoted support. She spoke about the toughness of the music industry and urged the audience and fellow musicians to support one another. She gave a shout-out to a friend at Irish radio and spoke about the joys of once having dinner with Vince Gill!

Her country version of the Motorhead song, “Ace of Spades” made the Hotdisc British & Irish # 1 position twice, the only song to do so gaining an immense amount of airplay on country radio as well as at mainstream stations.

Jackie’s final album, BEHIND HER EYES was launched (Facebook video) at Maggie’s Fife on August 23, 2016 (Facebook Photos) .
The official album launch sadly came too late. Her final wish was to perform tracks from the album in one final show at Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline on Tuesday 20th September with Willie Logan and members of Sphere and special guests Steve Black and Alan West.
In early September she suddenly became very ill and was rushed to hospital at her home in Kirkcaldy.
After 6 years of fighting cancer Jackie's life came to an end on Sept 14, 2016 slipping away peacefully at Victoria Hospice in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

Her 12 track album was released online on 9 Sept. 2016 Amazon UK 
The extensive sleeve notes for her CD album, “Behind Her Eyes,” gives an insight into why Jackie came to record the 15 songs on it as well as giving her the opportunity to pen some words of her own and say what she wanted to say. To give Jackie the final word, she said: “Living with cancer is not easy but life is sweet. Every morning as I look at myself in the mirror my laughter lines deepen and my battle scars grow, but I’m reminded that I’ve lived!”
 And she had one final poignant message for everyone.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”
Jackie’s funeral took place at 3pm on Tuesday 27th September at Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy KY2 6HQ.  All friends and family were welcome with floral tributes to Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors, 199 Nicol Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1PF.”

R.I.P Jackie Storrar


Jim Duncan (Wolvestock Festival Organizer, Curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame, presenter 101.8 WCR FM): So sad she was a wonderful lady and a friend so proud of her when she was inducted into the BCMA Hall of Fame for her services to country music condolences and RIP Jackie.

Kathy Crinion (Irish recording artist) My very deepest sympathy and hugs x

Lynne Butler (musician) - She was such an inspiration and so brave.

Raintown (Multi Award winning Glasgow duo) - Jackie was an incredible artist who at the very start of our career - even though she was so busy - gave us time, advice and guidance that we still refer to today. She did it with love and sincerity that made her and Steve - to this day - real mentors in our life. Her bravery in her battle with Cancer was inspirational and although she often was in severe pain she still had a smile and positive word every time we met. We know we were only a small part of the rich tapestry of her life, but we are so very grateful for every chat, coffee and piece of advice we ever received.

Stuart Cameron (Hotdisc):  I have been filming a documentary with Jackie for the past few months and what an inspiration she has been. Her final show at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline was to be this Tuesday to celebrate the release of her final album. Such a sad end to the story. RIP Jackie and my thoughts are with her husband Steve and the family. Jackie was such a lovely lovely person and I am so glad she got to fulfil her dream of completing one last album which will forever be an everlasting tribute to her. She was an inspiration and her story will continue to be to everyone.
This is a very poignant piece of film from the documentary which we posted a few weeks ago on Jackie and Steve's 13th wedding anniversary. Jackie was just 50 years old.
Hotdisc Tribute:
Stewart Fenwick (Celtic Music Radio Presenter) So sorry to hear of Jackie's passing. She lived life to the full, and is a true inspiration to us all. 

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