(EMI/Columbia SCX 6453) Released 1971
(EMI NTS 105) Re-released October 1976
Words & Music : Jake Thackray
Recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, in 1971
Pass Milord the Rooster Juice
Ladies Basic Freedoms Polka
The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray
Production: Norman Newell
Recording Engineer: Peter Bown
Editing & Compilation: Gil King
Who said teachers can't be amusing? Jake Thackray was once a teacher, and he is very amusing indeed.
But he's more than just a Funny Man. In the above songs - recorded before a very responsive audience at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall - there is wit, nay, downright sauce (Family Tree, The Lodger), but compassion too (Remember Bethlehem) and genuine unsticky tenderness - Lah-Di-Dah, perhaps his best known composition, is a love song straight from the heart.
As you will hear in his between-song chat, Jake was once in the position of having to provide topical songs for a weekly television programme (he sings some of them on the record). Such a task requires, besides speed of writing, a super-sharp eye for detail and acute powers of perception; these Jake certainly has, plus a vocabulary that raises his lyrics to a supremely entertaining level. He also has a strong sense of the absurd (The Hole, Leopold Alcox), and he does not flinch from dealing with such subjects as personal gaucheries (Isobel) or death - even his own (The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray).
You hold, in this record, a ticket to an enjoyable evening in the company of an exceptional entertainer. There goes the warning A sounding through the Hall foyer; shall we take our seats?
Sleeve Note Quotes
"Jake takes Salisbury by storm" - Salisbury Journal
"Jake was the hit of the week of recitals at the Playhouse" - Oxford Mail
"Enthralling Thackray. Sheer personality and professionalism" - Birmingham Evening Mail
"Shouts of 'More, more' from a full house" - Cheshire Observer
"A special kind of poet - a unique sort of humour" - Yorkshire Evening Post
"The audience at Fairfield Hall revelled in his genius" - Croydon Advertiser
The bottom image (above right) is the cover of the presentation double album which was used as a promotional item before the release of the single album.