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Jazz Remembered


Jackie Cain and Roy Kral


Jackie Cain and Roy Kral


Brian O'Connor says: 'I shall continue to make my case for Jackie and Roy.  Regrettably totally underrated. Just look at their output between the late forties and 1995 - the Alec Wilder Songbook, tribute to Bogey, almost endless good taste, great jazz, and fine concept albums.  The exception?  1968’s Grass where they went electric and tried to join in with the current UK pop scene.'

Jackie Cain and Roy Kral were a husband and wife jazz vocal team in which Roy played piano as well as singing. They first got together in 1946 with the Charlie Ventura band and performed until Roy Kral's death in 2002. Jackie Cain died on September 15, 2014.

Here is a video of them performing (probably on NBC's Today show) not in the 1960s as someone suggests, as in the interview that follows they talk about the death of their daughter, Nicky, in 1973. The video ends with them performing Day By Day from Godspell.




OK, I'm a sucker for Fran Landesman's songs. Here is Jackie Cain in 1975 singing Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. It was first recorded for the Trio Records album Jackie Cain and Roy Kral in 1955, but has been reissued since then on Storyville and Black Lion records. The album included Barney Kessel, Red Mitchell and Shelly Manne.





Roy Kral co-operated with Fran Landesman on the tune Stopping The Clock - click here to listen to Mark Murphy singing the song. (Mark Murphy also does a nice version of Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most).

But we should go back to the start. Here they are singing with Charlie Ventura's Septet in Pasadena in 1949 playing Euphoria with Charlie Candoli on trumpet, Benny Green on trombone and Boots Mussulli on baritone sax.




Brian O'Connor points us towards them performing the tune Lazy Afternoon in 1955 (from the 1954 musical The Golden Apple). It is a number taken very slowly that showcases Jackie's voice. Placed on YouTube from an LP, unfortunately the quality of the recording does not do her justice.




Fairly early in their career, Jackie and Roy were befriended by composer Alec Wilder, who wrote the liner notes for the Jackie Cain and Roy Kral album. They had always featured Wilder's songs and, ten years after his death, paid tribute by recording an entire album of them, An Alec Wilder Collection.

Brian O'Connor says that he thinks they made a mistake in the album Grass, trying to make a 'pop' record. I am inclined to agree. Here is a video of them singing a cover of the unfamiliar Beatles' song The Word:




So let's finish with Jackie Cain, Roy Kral and a big band. Here they are with So Its Spring with the Bill Holman Orchestra from the 1957 album Free And Easy:




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