Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shirley Jacobs "Songs of Love and Freedom" LP 1975

A real eclectic mix this LP featuring Australian traditionals, an early Bob Dylan, a soundtrack, an Australianised  version of Woody Guthrie's  "This Land is your Land", a traditional Scottish song, a song about Australian Rules Football to the tune of Percy Grainger's "English Country Garden", a childhood lost song reminiscent of Rolf Harris's "Two Little Boys", a song about loving through prison bars, three popular songs of the 60s and 70s, and a Henry Lawson poem set to music  - all receiving professional backing occasionally with some great instrumentation spoiled a little by too much woodblock percussion overall.

Shirley Jacobs was a Melbourne folk singer and anti-Vietnam activist and put out at least ten LPs on various labels mainly featuring folk music. I think this one may have been her last LP (anyone know better?) .

With Australia out of Vietnam in December 1972, Shirley went on to become involved with prisoner issues at Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne where she performed regularly eventually falling in love with a prisoner, Ronald "Joey" Hamilton, a painter and docker and prison activist.  The "Love and Freedom" title reflects this situation but only two tracks have any possible relevancy to that theme.  The cover portrait is of a sketch drawn by a prisoner of "B" Division.
Her LPs are somewhat difficult to come by and I'd love to have copies of her early albums. Can anyone help?

Tracks in order are Annie's Song, Ranchin' in the Evenin', Sad-eyed Teddy Bear, Cross of the South (rare traditional), Green Green Grass of Home, Love over the Walls, Cockies of Bungaree, This Land is Your Land (Oz version), Melbourne Football Song, Blowin' in the Wind, Wild Mountain Thyme, Scarlet Ribbons, and Bush Girl.

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18 comments:

  1. Woo hoo
    Love Shirley Jacobs. Where is she now? I have emailed Paul the Stockman as we have 'A Voice from the City'. Tried to download 'Songs of Love and Freedom' - well did actually, but cannot seem to play it. Help!!

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    1. I was one of her carers in my last job as a personal carer. Amazing woman! Love her to bits.

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    2. Shirley lived in our little town about 30 years ago with Joey, she wrote a song about me and music for it.
      I would love to know if she was still alive and where she is. I would love to see her, she was a wonderful lady.

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  2. Fixed at the time - needed to unzip but did not know

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  3. Great voice and an old favorite of mine. I used to have the LP of "A voice from the City" and would kill to get a copy (mp3) again.

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  4. Shirley is in a fucked up nursing home in Thornbury Melbourne ...Arlington Aged Care Facility..it is in Collins Street .. I have met spoken to photographed and video taped Shirley whilst visiting my mother..I am sad and sorry to say no person is being treated humanely ..you can contact me on hot mail...nanunanu2@hotmail.com

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  5. Yep I had an album of her's once, sad eyed teddy bear or something! so sad to hear she is in a nursing home. Hope she is being loved. Thanks for the album.

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  6. Thank you for this album. Do you have any other albums by Shirley Jacobs? I had never heard of her before, but I like this album a lot! I'd love to hear more of her music. Thanks.

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    1. Not so far Kelly but all good thing turn up in the end.

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  7. I have just purchased 2 more albums of Shirley' on ebay Paul - will try to get on to CD and send to you

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  8. Hey Roxy Waffle, do you hace a digitized copy of "Voice from the City". My sister and I grew up listening to Shirley Jacobs (she lived in Portland and was a local). I would dearly love to get my hands on that album and would pay shipping etc. Could you please message me via Facebook?

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  9. Does anyone have a recording of Shirley singing The La Trobe Song, which was written for the 1975 La Trobe Centenary celebrations by Robert (Bob) King Crawford? The 'C J La Trobe Society' would be really pleased to be able to have it on YouTube for our website www.latrobesociety.org.au . There's a recording on CD of it being sung by John Lidgerwood, but that would be second best to hearing Shirley who recorded it on tape in 1975. (Please excuse me being Anonymous, but I don't know how to set up an identity!)
    Helen "La Trobe"

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    1. Further to the post of February 1, 2014 - I of course meant to say Podcast, (not YouTube). We'd love to hear from someone out there.....Many thanks once again.
      Helen "La Trobe"

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  10. Hi all, Just stumbled on this blog, Your asking about Shirley.... Joey , Shirley's husband lives not far from me, he popped in today.... Shirley is doing well , she is in a nursing home and Joey see her everyday.... If you have any questions you can contact me at deb_mcf@hotmail.com Cheers Deb

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  11. I am surprised to hear that. I understood from family that she was very ill.

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    1. Sadly I hear from music journalist & life-long friend David "Dr Pepper" Pepperill, that Shirley recently passed away. I have no other details (does anyone else?), but it certainly came as a shock as like many, I was unaware she had even been ill or in a home A terrific music post..many thanks

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  12. Thanks for sharing this album, had the Sad Eyed Teddy album in the 70s, loved it then and still love it today, so it will be looking forward to listening to this album and am sorry to hear that Shirley has passed and would like to send my condolences to her family and to you, Shirley, your music will live on forever!

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