Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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RCA Victor 9473

No. 18   June 8, 1968




Here today, gone tomorrow–Four Jacks & A Jill was a fivesome that fleshed out that cliche.   One

hit, one other Hot 100 charting, two singles, and two albums, and these South Africans were never

to be heard from again; in the States.


Their eerie “Master Jack” was a bizarre little item, and not just because of its folklike, sucked–clean-

and­-dry instrumentation.   This Jack fellow is apparently a teacher of some mysterious insights that lead

singer Glenys Lynne thanks him for imparting.   In the song, she repeatedly tells him, “It’s a strange

strange world we live in, Master Jack,” and announces she is leaving him, probably never to return.

Glenys sings all of this as if she has experienced a flat ontological reality, has been trans­formed forever,

and is not very titillated about the whole matter.


Not content to rest on the despair created by their big moment, the unit that seems to have taken

its name from a lackluster 1942 Ray Bolger flick created an ode to an equally wise old “Mister

Nico” (#96, 1968).   Nico’s place of business is about to be torn down in the name of progress, and

Glenys laments that no one cares.   With Clive Harding (bass), Till Hanamann (guitar), Bruce Barks

(guitar), and Tony Hughes (drums) providing a starkly shallow backdrop to this tale, “Mister Nico”

sounds like the onset of an existential vacuum.


Formed in the heart of the British Invasion in 1964 as the Nevadas, the Jacks decided to freak out

and grow some–not a lot–hair.    Once their new look was in place, the guys renamed themselves the

Zombies (no relation to the legendary English group of “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season”

notoriety).  At one of their performances, they met their “Jill,” Glenys Lynne.   She with the angst-ridden

voice convinced the fellows that only she should be the one with the long hair.   The Four Jacks trimmed

their locks and secured a recording contract, soon gar­nering a homeland hit with “Timothy.”


On their post-“Jack” and post-“Nico” recordings, the group seems to have found philosophical ground­-

ing:  all of a sudden, Four Jacks & A Jill sounded upbeat, the instruments sounded gayer, and their lyrics

were less seemingly-profound.   While their popularity continued in South Africa, further success in the

U.S. thoroughly eluded them.