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Jim & Jean

Complete Notes to Jim & Jean's First LP

Jim and Jean Index

Alice Skinner Ochs

Jim and Jean combine a rare variety of musical talents, They're easy to listen to, easy to like. This album captures Jim and Jean with double accuracy -- their technical perfections and their unique personal interpretations of the songs they select.

The folk "boom" in our country was in full swing by the summer of 1962. Such groups as the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, and The Sundowners were electrifying audiences from coast to coast. In all fairness, perhaps The Sundowners don't really belong on that list because most of the audiences they ever thrilled were the fortunate few who came to see them in a little folk bar in Cleveland called Farragher's. Since then, however, both Jim Glover and Phil Ochs (former roommates at Ohio State) have entertained all over the country, though not under the un-famous title of The Sundowners.

During that same summer, Jean Ray and I were taking karate lessons and learning other methods of self-preservation essential to single ladies who live in Manhattan. We were there to study musical comedy at New York's Musical Theatre Academy: and as acting partners, we spent much of our time rehearsing in Jean's Greenwich Village apartment. One evening we decided to wander the Village in pursuit of possible waitress jobs. The first place we walked into needed entertainers instead of waitresses, and half kidding, Jean said, "I sing a little. She was hired on the spot.

A few weeks later, another prospective entertainer wandered into the same establishment and he, too, was hired. Within a week, Jim Glover and Jean Ray had become 'Jim & Jean.'

I've known them almost three years now, but to know them three days is to realize that aside from music, their greatest mutual passion in life is cats. Jean merely loves cats, but Jim virtually communicates with them. The thing he likes best about them is they don't bother you or ask you what you want for dinner when you're trying to practice. Jim is a person to whom you could scream "Fire!" and he'd finish the banjo piece he was working on before he'd even consider an escape. His power of musical concentration is phenomenal -- I've never seen anything to match it. You could leave Jim forever on a deserted island and he wouldn't mind it as long as he could have a guitar and a banjo. (Maybe you could throw in Jean.)

One morning about a year ago, I opened my door to find Jean, eyes in tears and suitcase in hand. For half an hour I consoled her while she sobbed incoherently. Finally I got her to lie down while I sneaked into another room to call Jim and determine the cause of Jean's hysteria. She was incapable of getting it out. It seems that Jim had been practicing the same banjo tune for three days and Jean had "had it." It's the actress in her; she can't help it. Both Jim and Jean are real theatre bugs. They've studied acting on and off since the day they met.

Maybe they're a little kooky, but there's nothing kooky about the wonderful sounds they produce. Along with their many individual vocal virtues, they possess a starting natural break in their voices between chest and head tones, enabling them to do uncommon things with even "standard" folk songs.

In the past two and a half years, Jim and Jean have appeared from coast to coast in concerts, coffee houses and local television shows. During their tour with the Hollywood Hootenanny, they had the rare honor of appearing with the infamous "Gypsy Boots and the Hairy Hoots."

While they were living in L.A. last year, Jim and Jean were asked to join the current Andy Williams group, the Goodtime Singers. The pay was good, nothing else was doing, so they decided to give it a try. After appearing on a grand total of one telecast they decided that doing the "ooh aahs" behind Mr. Williams every week could become confining, to say the least.

Jim and Jean have been in the business long enough to know that rushing a first release can lead to disaster. Proof of this awareness is the quality of this fine, carefully produced album. This is more than just a sample of two very talented people. It is a true expression of the people themselves.

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