Jack Landrón (a.k.a. Jackie Washington)

Jack Landron Solo

Photo by Catherine Sebastian

This album is both a return and a debut. The return is of Jackie Washington, Vanguard Recording Society artist and one of the most popular performers at Cambridge’s legendary Club 47 in the heyday of the 1960s folk revival. The debut is of Jack Landrón, an Afro-Puerto Rican actor, singer, and songwriter who has appeared in theater, film, and television and written several musical shows, but never made a record. Both are the same person, born Juan Candido Washington y Landrón, but if this album brings back memories for Jackie Washington’s old fans, it will also bring surprises. Washington was known for his onstage wit and charm, and his sensitive reshaping of ballads and songs from a wide range of folk traditions, but not primarily as a songwriter.

Photo by Catherine Sebastian

Photo by Catherine Sebastian

Landrón notes that he had a very different background from most people on the sixties folk scene. “I’m a Puerto Rican black man, and folk music was not something I discovered at Club 47. It was part of my daily life and the lives of my family and neighbors. I’d heard gospel music and R&B hits blared from speakers in the record stores where they sold tickets to those artists’ shows. I was familiar with the music of people like Clara Ward and the Ward Singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. At the parties I attended I heard records of Johnny Ace, the Clovers, and Ruth Brown. At home we listened to Ramito, Tito Rodríguez, and Los Panchos. I listened to the Grand Ole Opry religiously, and my mother’s kitchen radio brought the music of Bing Crosby, Kate Smith and Vaughan Monroe into the house.”

“I loved folk music, but I also liked Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. I loved Harry Belafonte, I loved Eartha Kitt, I loved Pearl Bailey. And I could listen to all of that at the same time, I did not think it had to be separated or pigeonholed. I sometimes got labeled as being too “slick,” because I liked the fact that Harry Belafonte looked good and all the women wanted to sleep with him. I liked the fact that black people didn’t have to be exotic trifles. And that thinking influenced the persona of Jackie Washington, the folk singer.”

Excerpted from “A Comeback and A Debut” – by Elijah Wald
 
 

CurbsideCotillion_AlbumfrontGet “Curbside Cotillion” on CD and Digital Download

 

 

Press

A Boston Folk Legend Reappears (Boston Globe, January 26, 2013 by James Reed)

Caffè Lena’s First Performer Jack Landron Returns After 53 years (Troy Record, January 30, 2013 by Don Wilcock)

Learn more about Jack Landrón at jacklandron.com

9 Comments

  1. Hello, Jack–I started going up to Boston-Cambridge in late 1961 and played at some of the second-tier folk clubs around Boston. I used to go to the Club 47 and you were one of my favorite performers to watch. I loved many of the songs you used to sing, and it was your guitar style that convinced me to become a finger picker myself. It’s good to see that you are still performing and have a new CD out. I now live out in Southern California. Do you ever do tours out in California? It would be great to see you again out here.

  2. Hi, I’m a lifelong folk-lover born in 1960. I just now finally found a coyp of the “Morning Song” album . Wow!
    A very belated “thank you” for this wonderful music. Beyond that, words fail.

  3. Hello,

    I have the old 33rpm Vanguard VSD 79141 named Jackie Washington Vol. 2

    I’d love to have a CD version of this amazing record. Anyone knows if this is available somewhere ?

    Thanks a million,
    E.

    Eric Clerjeaud
    Paris, France.

    • Our apologies for the delayed response. As far as we know, Vanguard has not, and has no plans to, release Jackie’s early material.

  4. OOPS! Third Floor Window is what I meant to say.

  5. Favorite song on Roadside Cotillion is Second Floor Window but never hear it on the radio, especially the independent stations. Would love for two of his 1960s albums (Jackie Washington and Jackie Washington 2) to be released as CDs. Heard Dirty Old Town played by a group called the Pogues this morning and wished it had been JWs version.

  6. NEED to hear you again!!

  7. I had one of your first albums………How can I get that sound tract again? Black flies, little black flies…..Esta Navidad……

    Loved them all and want to listen again.

    Help!

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