Jackson C Frank – Opher’s World pays tribute to a genius.

Jackson suffered a terrible accident when he was young. His school caught fire and many of his school mates were killed. He was pulled out of the building with his clothes on fire and had to have the flames extinguished with snow. It left him with terrible burns on his torso.
Eventually there was large payout.
With the money in the bank Jackson developed an interest in vintage cars and set off for Europe on the QE2 on a quest.
The voyage was long and he profitably spent the time writing songs. On his arrival in London he took to singing in the new Folk Scene that had sprung up post-Dylan. He was a regular at Les Cousins where he met and befriended Roy Harper.
Jackson recorded one incredible album in 1965 that was to go and influence many who came after him such as Paul Simon, Bert Jansch, Roy Harper, Nick Drake and Fairport Convention.
Jackson partnered up with Sandy Denny but it fell apart. Jackson was shy and retiring and playing live was a torment. He suffered with his injuries and eventually dropped out of performing. There was no fabled second album.
He married and had children and even recorded a handful of new songs but then that also fell apart and he found himself living off the streets in New York. He became a shambling wreck when he was rediscovered and taken into a refuge for the homeless. A bunch of kids took delight in driving past the refuge and shooting air-guns at the hobos. Jackson had his eye shot out. His subsequent death was almost a blessing.
All we really have is that one magnificent album, some other songs of lesser quality and a handful of memories of a great performer, warm and friendly man and a talent that had so much more to offer.
Some people are just wonderful human beings. Jackson was one of those.

One thought on “Jackson C Frank – Opher’s World pays tribute to a genius.

  1. I would argue that many of his later songs are at least as good as the ten on the first album. Juliette, Marlene, Stitch in Time, Madonna of Swans, Marcy’s Song, Tumble in the Wind, Goodbye…and so on. Still, Im glad you are a fan, and thank you for this post.

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