Someone introduced me to the musician Jackson C Frank recently, a hugely influential (yet relatively unknown) artist of the 60′s. If you would like to feel very sad today, go listen to his music or read about his life. But in the mean time, here is a portrait.
several years of rubies and pearls at her breast she’s a demon lover just like all the rest she’s billing out her wings in the many shades of contentment she brings I got to hide it baby, because of you and I hope that you’re proud now honey it’s all I can do
In the realms of American folk music, few artists have been able to achieve the beauty that Jackson C. Frank captured on his one and only, self-titled, record in 1965. Haunted by a fiery explosion at his elementary school which killed several of his classmates and left him with severe burns, Frank would go on to write and record some of the deepest, gorgeous acoustic music ever heard, before disappearing almost entirely after succumbing to mental instability and paralyzing anxiety. He would record a handful more times later on in his life, however, most of it would not be released until a resurgence in interest in him occurred after his death. If you’ve not checked out this record, I implore you to do so, it’s hard to find pieces of music filled with as much honesty, sadness, sweetness, and vulnerability as Frank puts into his.
Lost 15 of his school friends in a fire, was severely burnt, lost his son to cystic fibrosis, lived on the streets alone drifting in and out of institutions, he lost everything, then just as he felt ready to come back for one last run he was shot in the eye and blinded. If pain can be used to create good music it explains why frank is the most soulful and meaningful artists of the last half a century.
Satu dari 10 lagu dalam album folk paling melankolis dan indah yaitu album debut Self-Titled (1965) yang sedihnya juga album terakhir Jackson C. Frank (March 2, 1943 - March 3, 1999). Dan kehidupan Jackson sama menyedihkannya seperti album itu. Life’s sure hard.
Wondering and waiting My back against the wall Not a word that passed between us Comes to call Just your shadow on the window And your step on down the hall You never wanted me babe You never knew me at all
I haven’t any picture To set before my eyes Nothing to blame When the blues start to rise Just the memory of laughter And the living out of lies And if I could change my ways babe You’d never have said goodbye
If you ever get the time baby Please think on me It’s a lock that can’t be broken And there isn’t any key And I’m only in your mind Only you can set me free You can’t hurt me anymore babe And that isn’t hard to see
Someday someone will leave you And I know you’ll feel the same You’ll mark it down to memory And the dream that never came Well there are no answers given When love is just a game You never wanted me babe And now I feel the same