Pop Archives

Jel Elliff - Cotton Jenny (1971)

(Gordon Lightfoot)
Australia Australia
#32 Brisbane

Charted March 1972. Single on HMV (Australia) by Scottish-born singer-songwriter-guitarist Jel Tyson, whose family had migrated from Britain to Australia in 1970.

Jel Tyson was signed to a solo record deal while still in Sydney band Chantry Barn and, as Jel Elliff, he had three charting singles in various cities. After returning to the UK in the mid-70s he fronted Alaska, and then 80s Chicago band The Reason. Back in Australia in the 80s, he helped to establish Sydney's Fat Boy Studios before returning to the USA. He has been in The Bleeding Hearts, an Americana band formed 1988, then in cowpunk band The Autrys YouTube, and has set up his own Independent Artists Studio in Chicago. He has released a solo album, Bleeding Hearts.

The other two charting Jel Elliff singles were What Are You Doing Sunday (1971, #44 Adelaide # 30 Brisbane #23 Perth) and Going Nowhere (1971, #28 Adelaide: not the Los Bravos song). He also released Silvertown Girl (1972). 

In November 1971 Jel Elliff represented Australia with Going Nowhere YouTube at Yamaha's World Popular Song Festival 2nd Semi-final. 

References, further reading: 1. Jel Elliff/Tyson story at Ozzie Music Man (includes commentary from Jel Tyson and a downloadable zip file of all four Elliff singles + two Alaska singles). 2. Jel Tyson's website

Suggested by Barbara Herzig.

Jel Elliff singles discography:
1971 What Are You Doing Sunday/Willoughby HMV #EA-9560
1971 Going Nowhere/Pearly John HMV #EA-9625
1971 Cotton Jenny/Suzanne HMV #EA-9776
1972 Silvertown Girl/Morning Has Broken HMV #EA-9955

Gordon Lightfoot - Cotton Jenny (1971)

(Gordon Lightfoot)
Canada Canada
Original version

On 1971 album Summer Side Of Life by Canadian singer-songwriter (b. 1938) whose biggest chart hits were If You Could Read My Mind (1975, #5 USA), Sundown (1974, #1) and Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (1976, #2). He also wrote the Peter, Paul & Mary songs For Lovin' Me (1965, #30) and Early Morning Rain (1965, #91).

The Lightfoot! website lists 36 artists who have recorded Cotton Jenny, including Lynn Anderson, Val Doonican, Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John.

Reference: All Music Guide to Rock, entry on Gordon Lightfoot, also online.
Further reading: Lightfoot! The Gordon Lightfoot Internet Companion


Jerry Williams - Cotton Jenny (1972)

(Gordon Lightfoot)
Later version
#5 Sweden

Charted April 1973.

Single on Sonet by popular Swedish singer and actor, born Sven Erik Fernstrom in 1942, active over several decades after joining The Violents as front man in 1962.

Cotton Jenny became a popular song in Sweden, recorded also by Broderna Almkvist, Thor Erics, Lars Karlsson, and Sveriges Jazzband.

Thanks to Erik Alm.