16 Facts About Jake Thackray


John Philip "Jake" Thackray was an English singer-songwriter, poet, humourist and journalist.


Jake Thackray was admired by, and has influenced, many performers including Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner, Benjamin Clementine, Mike Harding, Momus, Ralph McTell, Morrissey, and Jasper Carrott.


Jake Thackray was educated at the Jesuit St Michael's College in Leeds and St David's College, a Catholic boarding seminary in Dolgellau, north-west Wales.


Jake Thackray considered joining the priesthood but instead chose to study English Literature and Language at Durham University.


In 1963 Jake Thackray returned to his native Yorkshire, teaching at Intake School in Rodley, Leeds.


Jake Thackray began recording a new album in 1970, but these recordings were scrapped.


Jake Thackray's last release during his life was a compilation, Lah-Di-Dah, released in 1991.


Jake Thackray was uncomfortable with big audiences, and favoured pubs and community halls as performance venues in preference to grander ones such as the London Palladium.


Jake Thackray is recorded as saying "I'd never liked the stage much and I was turning into a performing man, a real Archie Rice [the hack music hall comic in John Osborne's The Entertainer], so I cancelled gigs and pulled out".


Jake Thackray was plagued by self-doubt and a breakdown in confidence, which Ralph McTell describes as "catastrophic".


Jake Thackray ultimately gave up performing in the early 1990s and turned to journalism: for four years he wrote a weekly column for the Yorkshire Post.


Jake Thackray had always been an observant Roman Catholic and became increasingly religious in his later years, limiting his musical activities to performing the Angelus at his local church.


Jake Thackray died of heart failure on 24 December 2002, at the age of 64, leaving his widow, Sheila, from whom he was separated, and three sons: Bill, Sam and Tom.


The Jake Thackray Project went on to release a remastered live recording, and two DVDs: the privately recorded Live at the Unicorn and the BBC-licensed Jake Thackray and Songs.


In 2014 Jake Thackray was featured on the BBC Radio Four 'Great Lives' Series.


In 2014, The Jake Thackray Project released a DVD of Jake Thackray and Songs, by arrangement with BBC music, featuring all of Thackray's performances from the television series, along with songs by three of the guest artists, Alex Glasgow, Pete Scott and Ralph McTell.