Cabaret Through Time Fridays At McElrath Cabaret: Jackie and Roy–Join Us!

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Fridays are the day when we at the McElrath Cabaret Blog are going to present blog posts in our Cabaret Through Time series. We are going to present historical cabaret singers, entertainers, venues, writers, and musicians, and will begin to compile a cabaret timeline. We hope that you find it informative!


Jackie and Roy–A Nightclub Duo That Left A Mark On Cabaret Entertainment


I have long admired the singing of Jackie and Roy, and so I thought they would make a good addition to Cabaret Through Time this week.  Beautiful vocals and very interesting arrangements make them a standout team in the cabaret entertainment field.


Information about Jackie and Roy can be found on Wikipedia, as well as a brief article by Rex Reed in the September 18, 2000 edition of the New York Observer.  They are also mentioned on All Music, as well as in James Gavin’s Intimate Nights, a quote from which I used in this Wednesday’s Ask A Cabaret Question post, and I also included a You Tube recording of Jackie and Roy’s “Sing, Baby, Sing.”  You can see and hear several of their songs on You Tube.  Unfortunately, I could find no official website for Jackie and Roy, nor any biographies or autobiographies written by or about them.



Jackie Cain and Roy Kral were a husband and wife team who create a huge discography of recorded work.  They met in 1946 and started working together almost immediately, and continued to do so for over fifty years until Mr. Kral passed away in 2002.  They are noted for their jazz vocalese style of singing, and have sung everything from jazz standards, show tunes, to Alec Wilder songs, Brazilian music, and even 1960s pop tunes from the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.  Some of their recordings, according to Wikipedia, include:

  • Jackie and Roy: Jazz Classics by Charlie Ventura’s Band (1948; reissue on CD, 2005, of earlier 78s)
  • Jackie Cain and Roy Kral (Trio Records, 1955 [PA-6128]; reissued by Storyville, then by Black Lion as Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most, 1987) (with Barney Kessel,Red Mitchell, Shelly Manne)
  • Sing Baby Sing! (Storyville, 1956)
  • The Glory of Love (MCA, 1956)
  • Jackie and Roy (Brunswick, 1957)
  • Bits and Pieces (ABC-Paramount, 1957)
  • Free and Easy (ABC-Paramount, 1957) (with Bill Holman’s Orchestra)
  • In the Spotlight (ABC-Paramount, 1958)
  • Sweet and Low Down (CBS Mastersound, 1960)
  • Double Take (Columbia Records, 1961)
  • Like Sing (Columbia, 1963)
  • By Jupiter & Girl Crazy (Roulette, 1964; reissued by Fresh Sound)
  • Changes: Jackie & Roy (Verve, 1966)
  • Lovesick (Verve, 1966)
  • Grass (Capitol, 1969)
  • Time & Love (CTI, 1972)
  • A Wilder Alias (CTI, 1974)
  • Concerts by the Sea (Studio 7, 1976) (live)
  • Echoes (1976, not issued until 2007 on Jazzed Media) (live; more material from Howard Rumsey’s Concerts by the Sea)
  • Star Sounds (Concord, 1979) (with Joe Beck)
  • East of Suez (Concord, 1980)
  • Sondheim (Red Baron Records JK-57338, 1982)
  • High Standards (Concord, 1982)
  • We’ve Got It: The Music Of Cy Coleman (Discovery, 1984)
  • Bogie (Fantasy Records, 1986)
  • One More Rose: A Tribute to Alan Jay Lerner (Audiophile, 1987)
  • Full Circle (Contemporary CL-14046), 1988; reissued by Fantasy, 1992)
  • An Alec Wilder Collection (Audiophile, 1990)
  • Forever (MusicMasters 01612-65128-2, 1995)
  • The ABC Paramount Years (1997; compilation of earlier material)
  • The Beautiful Sea: Songs of Sun, Sand & Sea (DRG 8474, 1999)
In Rex Reed’s article from 2000, he quotes Mabel Mercer as saying about Jackie and Roy, “They’re so fresh and original they’ll survive us all.”   Reed goes on to state that:

they epitomize polish, hip musical sophistication and what people used to call class. Exuding the kind of elegant self-assurance that comes with years of craft, they are the Lunt and Fontaine of jazz. They don’t waste your time with any of the pretentious, naïve or second-rate noodling that plagues most cabaret acts these days. You will never hear a rock ‘n’ roll “My Funny Valentine,” or anything sappy by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They’ve already forgotten more about songs and how to sing them than today’s shriekers will ever learn. Yet their artistry remains effortless and their youthful appeal timeless . . .

Here are some Jackie and Roy recordings from You Tube.

“The Glory of Love”:


A live recording of the Beatles’ “The Word”:


And a very cool television appearance:


What are your favorite songs performed by Jackie and Roy?  Did you have opportunity to seeJackie and Roy entertain?  Please leave a comment below and tell us about it–I would love to hear from you!


ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party will begin anew on Monday–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or now website link every Monday through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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