Today I’ll be playing some Jackson C Frank – a terrific, virtually unknown, singer-songwriter, but one who was incredibly important. He came across to England by boat, bringing his unique songs with him, and galvanised the Folk Scene at Les Cousins, befriending the likes of the Great Roy Harper.
His songwriting was in a world of its own and his 1965 one and only album set a standard for songwriting. It was different.
I was turned on to that album in 1965 by a fellow student called Bob Ede. Thanks Bob!
He set a spark to the tinder and influenced many of the contemporary songwriters. That one album (the later recorded tracks) and the long-lasting effect on his fellow songwriters remains his legacy. Roy Harper (a good friend of his) wrote ‘My Friend’ for him.
I was fortunate enough to see him perform, close-up in a small room above a pub in Ilford. That memory is seared into my brain. After the gig we had a chat. He was very approachable, friendly and pleasant. I never saw him again.
I later learnt a lot more about him. He certainly led a traumatic life. I’m so grateful that I discovered him and got to see him perform as well as having a chance to meet him.
His music is eternal!