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Pirate Jenny's Archive.

Jake Thackray 1938-2002
Jake Thackray
Pirate Jenny's

Veteran singer-songwriter Jake Thackray died on 24 December 2002 at the age of 64. Although generally described as a folk singer, and best known for his acerbic comic songs on TV shows such as the David Frost Show and That's Life, Thackray was one of the unsung pioneers of English chanson. His gruff voice, laconic Yorkshire style, offbeat and perceptively humorous lyrics and charming but deceptively complex melodies were more than a little reminiscent of southern French chansonnier Georges Brassens, and indeed he was one of the few people to attempt the difficult task of rendering Brassens into English, with excellent versions of songs such as 'La Gorille'.

Jake Thackray was something of a casualty of the indifference of the British media to the sort of songwriting he espoused. In recent years he had retired to Monmouth, saying he was "disaffected" with the music industry in which he had ceaselessly worked with little recognition for many years. In the couple of years before his death, English chansonnier Robb Johnson had attempted to persuade him into making live appearances, but he had turned the opportunity down on grounds of ill health. He leaves a wife and three sons -- and, of course, a peerless collection of songs.

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