And there's more...


Two Jackie Lee compilations have been issued by Poker (a Cherry Red subsidiary). 

The Town I Live In features her fabulous EMI recordings (1965-1967) including the famed title track, her much collected I gotta be with you, and a duet with Cliff Richard.  Half the tracks on this CD are previously unissued.  All are brilliant.

End Of A Rainbow covers her time with Pye Records (1969-1973) and features some of her finest recordings (Love is a gamble, Black country, You make my head spin) alongside her ever-popular TV themes for Rupert and The Pipkins.  The 26 tracks include two previously unheard stereo takes and a completely unreleased track, all taken from original studio masters. 

Both CDs can be ordered from Amazon by following the links below.




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Many of Jackie's early recordings are now out of UK copyright, but have never been reissued.  There is a fully-authorised dedicated YouTube channel here with the best-sounding versions of all early songs: www.youtube.com/user/JackieLeeArchive

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The most frequently asked question aimed at this site is 'Where can I buy a copy of White horses?'

Until March 2004, the answer was to look on eBay for a crackly vinyl copy of the single for around 10-20.  However, Universal have done the decent thing and once more made the song available.  The new girlie compilation Leaders Of The Pack, subtitled The Very Best Of The 60s Girls, features Jackie's gem alongside a wide range of 60s female vocal classics from Dusty, Sandie, Pet and Lulu, plus some Motown and Spector nuggets, Dionne Warwick, Fontella Bass, Freda Payne, Nina Simone, the Velvettes... it's endless.  And no Cilla, so not a bad track on it. 

The CD has been plugged on TV in the UK and has received extensive radio airplay.  Click on the link below to order the CD from Amazon. 

 

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In January 2007, White Horses  was featured in a BBC Radio Four presentation of Julie Myerson's nostalgic memoir Not A Games Person

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 Jackie was interviewed live on BBC Radio Kent on Saturday 18th June 2005.

The first person to speak to Jackie in this manner for over thirty years was the BBC's Jeremy Dry.  Among the questions asked, Jackie was given the choice of Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck or Jimi Hendrix for a hypothetical date.  After some consideration, Jackie gamely chose Hendrix.  Wise choice!

 

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An audit of the EMI tape archives has revealed four unissued Jackie songs from 1966 plus an early take of The town I live in which omits the guitar from the bridge.  The unreleased songs, all of which are the equal of the brilliant Columbia 45s, the numerous alternate takes and five issued sides all come from just three days' work by Jackie at Abbey Road.  All unissued tracks made it as far as acetate stage, but no further.  There are further unreleased tracks recorded as Emma Rede, mostly in stereo.  Jackie recorded more than an album's worth of material for EMI during her breaks from session work for other artists.  The majority of these superb recordings have been heard by only a handful of people and have been gathering dust for almost four decades.  Most were recorded on stereo multitrack.

    

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Some good news also resulting from a raid of the Pye archives.  In addition to full stereo masters of two of Jackie's finest songs from that period in her career, one completely unissued song has been unearthed.  Both One more mountain and What will I do? were issued only as murky mono mixes, so the identification of true stereo masters is a cause for celebration.  Hurrah!

  One more mountain in particular benefits enormously from a panoramic stereo sound, although oddly the church organ finale present on the single is entirely absent from the studio tape, as is the phasing on the strings.  However, hearing the song in uncompressed form confirms the confidence everyone had in entering this song into the International Song Festival.  It's a show-stopping performance.

So... unreleased track?  The song is Beautiful city from the Godspell musical and exists as a complete and final stereo mix and is another huge, heartfelt performance from Jackie with a big budget orchestral backing.  The arranger and producer are unknown, but as the show debuted in 1972 it is fair to assume this was one of Jackie's very last recordings.  It is quite possible that the song was scheduled for single release to follow up You make my head spin, although as the song is completely undocumented this is pure conjecture.  It could well be that Jackie's announcement of her retirement resulted in the track being canned.

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On 3rd September 2004, the American radio station ZBC 90.3FM broadcast a one hour special devoted to Jackie's music.

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In September 2003, Jackie received unexpected coverage in the British media following publication of the Penguin TV Companion paperback, edited by Jeff Evans.  Publicity for the book included a Top 20 list of TV theme tunes, headed up by Jackie's White horses.  Jackie also appeared at No.7 in this list with Rupert.

Numerous national and regional newspapers, radio shows and TV news programmes carried articles, and not a few pointed out that the No.1 TV theme tune was not currently available in any form.  Within days, copies of the original single were selling for GBP20.00 on eBay.

The London Times carried an extensive article referring to the "ethereal" quality of the song, and even managed to track down the octogenarian Ben Nisbet who said "When I tell people that I have published Bob Dylan and Dusty Springfield... I don't get the slightest attention.  But when White Horses comes up, people of a certain age get very animated." 

Disappointingly, for me anyway, the majority of the printed media articles drew heavily from the information on this website without any credit whatsoever.  The Times even referenced the telegram from Michael Carr which was a bit of a giveaway.  I was rather confused by their description of Jackie's 1971 obscurity One more mountain to climb as a Socialist anthem.  Perhaps there's a side to Neil Sedaka's work which has been overlooked for far too long.  However, all publicity is good publicity and all that.

The most interesting result of this coverage is that an Irish weekend paper, Ireland On Sunday, made contact with Jackie via this website and subsequently ran a two-page spread in the edition dated 14th September 2003, and headlined I Was Top Of The Tots.  

The Ireland On Sunday interview was conducted by telephone and, although there is a notable tabloid tendency, Jackie did supply some great quotes.  According to the article, Jackie lived in "a world of all-night parties, drug-taking and promiscuous sex".  Well, perhaps the reality was slightly different.  Jackie told the paper she tried cannabis once "and it gave me the worst case of indigestion ever - but it did make me laugh a lot."

Following an overview of Jackie's career, extensively drawn directly from this website, Jackie discusses the trauma of her voice problems but closes the article with her usual optimism - "I am a woman with no regrets." 

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Also during 2003, the cable channel Challenge TV aired a dusty 1970 edition of The Golden Shot hosted by the late Bob Monkhouse.  While some might still miss this one-time ratings topper, the reason for our interest is that this particular edition featured Jackie performing Rupert the bear!

Jackie cannot recall appearing on The Golden Shot at all, although we now have the evidence to prove otherwise.  The gorgeous 1970 model Jackie lip-syncs to Rupert and lets it all out with some marvellous go-go dancing.

                    

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Other sections within the site refer to the movie known as Just For You or Disk-o-tek Holiday.  Jackie & The Raindrops are featured performing The loco-motion which was originally committed to celluloid as a 16mm reel for European Cinebox video-jukeboxes.  This is now on YouTube
 

       

 

Recently it has emerged that a further song was recorded for Cinebox jukeboxes entitled Maybe it's the Madison.  The performance exists only on 16mm film, a handful of which are known in collections throughout Europe and America.  This song is totally undocumented and the title is not familiar to Jackie.  However, after viewing a copy of the film short, it can now be verified that this is indeed another long lost Jackie song.  All available information has been added to the UK Discography.    

                               

 

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The biographical text refers to Jackie's involvement with the Polish International Song Festival of 1971.  The event is believed to have been televised but thus far no film or stills from the show have been located.  The photograph above from a session in London was issued at the time by Syndication International with the following press release:

Jackie Is The Favourite Auntie

Two theme songs - "White horses" and "Rupert" - from children's television programmes have shot songstress Jackie Lee to fame as a solo artist.  And they have also made her a firm favourite with children everywhere, who refer to her affectionately as "Auntie Jackie".  Jackie has just had another record "Johnny said come over" - a French song with English lyrics - released in Britain, and later this year her first album for Pye Records, entitled "Jackie Lee's Junior Choice", will be released.  At the end of August, Jackie will be representing Great Britain at the Polish International Song Festival.

dated 20th August 1971

This particular copy of the press agency photo wound up at an agency in New York, so clearly there was still tremendous faith in Jackie's talents and unrewarded skills this far into her career.

 

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And finally, here's Jackie with some of her friends...

 

 

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