Jack Marshall was an influential Hollywood guitarist, arranger, composer,
founder of the guitar program at USC.
He had a big influence in getting H.R. started in the studios
and in the general music scene in Los Angeles. In an article H.R. recounts
meeting Jack Marshall at a Barney Kessel gig at a club in Los Angeles
called The Haig in the early 1950's.
Jack Marshall scored the music for the television show called The Deputy
on which H.R. also played. He also served as an arranger for records by
Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, etc. For example, I remember reading that he
was involved in producing Peggy Lee's great hit Fever. As a bit of trivia
it turns out that the finger snaps on that recording were performed by Howard
Roberts! Supposedly Jack Marshall was also the inventor of the CAGED
system familiar to many guitarists.
There is an article, Jack Marshall - Night Clubs to Sound Stage by
Morgan Hope, Guitar Player, October, 1972, p. 14-17 that gives some
biographical details about him. He seems to have
had quite a varied career as a jazz, rock and classical guitarist and
also as a composer and arranger. For example, he worked with
Stravinsky and recorded a 3 LP album of music by Anton Webern
- which would be interesting listening. At the time of the article
he had scored over 300 TV and film scores and had effectively
given up his career as a guitarist to compose. The same article
indicates that he had written a book with Howard Roberts on
improvisation for rock guitarists.
Unfortunately he passed away in September, 1973 at the quite young age of 51.
There is an article "Jack Marshall
Scholarship Fund" A Guitar Tribute, by Leonard Feather, Guitar
Player, March, 1974, P. 18, which reviews a special Jack Marshall night
held at Donte's in Burbank, CA in support of a Jack Marshall Scholarship
Fund at USC. Among the many guitar players contributing to the evening was
a duo performed by Joe Pass and Howard Roberts. Also Christopher Parkening,
who is also related to Jack Marshall, played several pieces.
Jack Marshall seems
to have been quite an extraordinary person and I'd like to learn more
about his career in music.
I've acquired the following recordings by him.
- 18th Century Jazz - The Jack Marshall Sextette - Capitol T1108
Must be one of the first jazz recordings using classical guitar. The
other intrumentation is comprised of harpsichord, flute, recorder, cello, etc. This is quite a good album and it is clear that he is an excellent guitarist.
- Soundsville - swinging sketches by Jack Marshall - Capitol ST1194
This album is in a more traditional big band jazz format using many of the
best jazz musicians in Los Angeles such as Don Fagerquist, Milt Bernhart,
Barney Kessel, Joe Mondragon, etc. The album seems designed to demonstrate
the new "stereo" format. Marshall plays guitar, zither and whistles -
interesting music. In particular he plays some nice Djangoesque guitar
on Clouds and The Third Man Theme.
- the Marshall swings!!! - Capitol T1351 - 1959.
This is completely different from his other albums. Basically western
music (On the Alamo, San Antonio Rose, Cool Water, Pistol Packin' Mama, etc. )
played on a skinny stringed, twangy guitar but with harpsichord
accompaniment on many songs! Interesting album and certainly original.
- "Songs Without Words" Contest - Capitol T-1601 - 1961.
This is a set of instrumental pieces arranged and conducted by Jack Marshall
all composed by well-known composers like Gene De Paul, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy
van Heusen, Jimmy McHugh etc.
This was a contest that Capitol ran where you would submit
lyrics to go with any of the tracks with winners being awarded
"$500.00 cash advance against publication rights to your lyrics,
a contract calling for additional lyricist's royalties as earned ...etc."
The music is quite good with some nice guitar parts but the
players are not identified.
- Sounds! - Capitol ST 2610 - 1962(?).
Jack Marshall on classical guitar and Shelly Manne on various percussion
instruments. Nice recording!
- Sounds Unheard Of! - Contemporary Stereo S9006 - 1962.
Similar in nature to Sounds! with Shelly Manne and Jack Marshall in a duet
playing a number of standards. Great playing by both with Shelly Manne
playing an incredible variety of percussion instruments. The liner
notes are by Vernon Duke.
- My Son the Surf-Nut - Capitol ST-1939 - 1963
Jack Marshall and cast identified as "The Newport Beach Little Theatre
Surfing Group" one of whom is undoubtedly Jack Sheldon. Some
comedy with a surfing theme and some surfing tunes with Jack Marshall
playing a particularly twangy guitar.
- Happy, Youthful New Sounds of The Guitar Ramblers -
under the direction of Jack Marshall - Columbia CL 2067 - 1963.
Nicely arranged pieces played by a guitar orchestra. It would
be interesting to know who all the guitarists are.
- Tuff Jack - Capitol T1727 - 1963.
Some standards, rock tunes, TV show themes, etc. all played on an excessively
twangy guitar backed by a horn section. The songs include Tuff Jack which
was written for Jack Marshall by Billy Strange.
I'm also looking for the following albums by Jack Marshall:
Leonard Feather presents ... Jack Marshall and his jazz group -
Concept EVL5 -1959
Jack Marshall appears on some Jack Sheldon albums
playing guitar and engaging in comedic sketches with Sheldon.
Out! Jack Sheldon and his Quartet
Jack Sheldon Presents the Entertainers
Jack Sheldon Live at Don Mupo's Golden Nugget
all contain some great music with H.R.
Also Jack Marshall conducts the orchestra on the Judy Garland recording
Judy Thats Entertainment and plays some nice guitar on some of the selections.