Jackie Cain and Roy Kral
I thought I’d bring you something a little bit groovy, as well as a touch jazzy.
You’ve heard Jackie and Roy’s mid-60s wonderfulness on the Iron Leg Radio Show before.
Jackie Cain and Roy Kral were (mainly) jazz singers who had a career that stretched from 1946 into the 2000’s (Cain having passed away in 2014).
Their music mixed the tight harmonies of groups like the Hi-Los and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross with a mix of jazz and pop material.
Though most of their pre-60s work would be classed as straight ahead jazz, by the time they were recording for Verve, they (like many jazzers of the period) had started to work contemporary pop material into their repertoire.
Their 1966 LP ‘Changes’ included – alongside several Beatles covers – tunes by the Lovin’ Spoonful, Phil Ochs and Bob Lind.
The two tracks I bring you today are their very groovy take on the Fabs ‘The Word’, and a lovely reading of the Spoonful’s ‘Didn’t Want To Have To Do It.
Jackie and Roy’s version of ‘The Word’ mixes and uptempo vibe with an au-go-go rhythm section and some cool horns. There’s a cool clip on YouTube of the duo performing the track live (I think at the Bitter End) that features some cool electric piano.
‘Didn’t Want To Have To Do It’ is one of John Sebastian’s most beautiful melodies, and Jackie and Roy do it justice. The arrangement – by Oliver Nelson – provides a subtle foundation for their harmonies with some interesting, vaguely atonal accents (clarinets or oboes) breaking through here and there.
If this sound is something you dig, you should also seek out their 1968 LP ‘Grass’, or any records from the same period by Bob Dorough.
I hope you dig the tracks, and I’ll see you next week.