The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

They Work Out Of A Ramada Inn In Kansas City

Artist: Four Jacks And A Jill
Song: Master Jack (a-side) (b-side is I Looked Back)
Label: RCA Victor
Number: 47-9473
Songwriters: David Marks
Time: 2:46
Released: January 5th, 1968

I don't normally post anything this new, but a friend reminded me of this group today and so I thought I'd better get this up. Four Jacks And A Jill were formed by four young men in South Africa under a different name, The Nevadas. The lineup on today's record consisted of Glenys Lynne on vocals, Clive Harding on bass, Till Hanneman on guitar, Bruce Bark on guitar and Tony Hughes on the drums. They had several hits in their native South Africa before they finally broke into the American charts with a #8 Billboard single called Master Jack.
Some of their other hits included, Timothy, Mr. Nico, I Looked Back and Poor Lucy. They appeared on television variety shows, in motion pictures and even had their own tv show for awhile. On June 1st, 1968, Clive Harding and Glenys Hughes were married. In 1983, they became born-again Christians and broke the band up. They continued, but recording gospel music instead. They are referred to in the 1984 motion picture This Is Spinal Tap.
Today's song features a repetitive, droning guitar part that sets the foundation for Glenys' beautiful voice. Glenys herself relates the story of Master Jack: “In certain mines, the foreman is called ‘Master Jack,’ and the song tells the story of a labourer who works diligently for this master for years and years and then decides to go out on his own and exercise his desires and aspirations as an individual to be something other than a labourer.” They were an extremely popular group in their native South Africa and in many other countries all over the world, so please be sure to give a listen to Four Jacks And A Jill singing their classic Master Jack. It's a whole lot easier than fetching a pail of water down from a hill.

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