Pop Archives

The Fabulous Blue Jays - Jay Walker (1964)

(Royce Nicholls - Mal Clarke [label credit: The Blue Jays])
Australia Australia
Original version
#5 Brisbane

Single on Sunshine, October 1964. Double-sided hit in Brisbane with the B-side, Pathfinder, another original Blue Jays instrumental. Produced by distinguished Sunshine label residents Nat Kipner and Pat Aulton

Both tracks were written by the band’s regular songwriters, bassist Royce Nicholls and rhythm guitarist Mal Clarke.

The Blue Jays had been performing and recording in Melbourne since 1959. In 1964, Sunshine founder Ivan Dayman joined them with Brisbane singer Tony Worsley to become The Fabulous Blue Jays. There were many personnel changes over the years, and drummer Bob Johnston was the only original member after he rejoined the band in 1964. Johnston, Nicholls and Clarke, with lead guitarist Ray Eames, saxophonist-keyboardist Paul Shannon and lead singer Worsley, became one of Australia’s pre-eminent Merseybeat-influenced bands, with an eclectic repertoire of covers and originals.

The name Blue Jays has been used by other bands, for example in the USA: see this page at 45cat.com.

The Australian Blue Jays’ name appeared in several configurations over the years. See, for example:
  The Blue Jays – Dance With A Dolly (1962, pre-Worsley),
  Laurie Allen With The Blue Jays Wolf Man (1962, pre-Worsley with future Bobby & Laurie star),
•  Tony Worsley And The Fabulous Blue Jays – I Sure Know a Lot About Love (1965, LABEL SHOT),
  Tony Worsley And The Blue Jays – Just A Little Bit (1965, LABEL SHOT)
Tony Worsley – Velvet Waters and Missing You (1965)
•  The Fabulous Blue Jays (2 tracks) and The Fabulous Blue Jays Featuring Tony Worsley – Vocal (2 tracks) – Pathfinder and Jay Walker  (1964) EP of four Nicholls-Clarke compositions.

•  Toni McCann With The Blue Jays – My Baby (1965, a Nicholls-Clarke composition).
•  Ricky And Tammy With The Blue Jays – Won’t You Tell Me Where (1965)

•  The Aulton Mob (2 tracks) and The Blue Jays (2 tracks) March Of The Mods (1967), EP featuring The Aulton Mob’s March Of The Mods (1966, the Kommotion TV theme). Nicholls & Clarke wrote one of the Blue Jays tracks and arranged the other. It is plausible that The Blue Jays could have participated in all four tracks. 

References: 1. Paul Culnane’s history of Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays at Milesago. 2. Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (1999) pp 685-687. 3. Profile of Ivan Dayman, “promoter, artist manager, venue operator, record label owner”, at Milesago. See also the Sunshine label history at that site. 4. The Fabulous Blue Jays from Instromania [Internet Archive]

Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers - Jaywalker (1963)

(Peter Jay - Joe Meek)
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as
‘Jay Walker’ by The Fabulous Blue Jays.

Single on Decca, February 1963, B-side of Totem Pole, also an instrumental, written by Joe Meek.

Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers were a mainly instrumental group from the early to mid-60s, formed in Norfolk by Southgate, London drummer Peter Jay. They charted in November 1962 with Can Can 62 (#31 UK), a pop version of the dance from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld (1858). It was also produced by Joe Meek, whose biggest hit, The Tornados’ instrumental Telstar (#1 UK, #1 USA) had charted in August 1962.

References: 1. Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers at British Beat Boom [Internet Archive]. 2. Wikipedia entry on the band.