send all submissions to:
Christopher Clements firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jester Family responds! Pictures and stories
are arriving. Keep them coming!
More unreleased Jester artist music is on the way.
Here it is! The only known photo of
Ken & Judy at The Jester, c. 1963
Lightnin' Hopkins, Houston, TX., c. 1969
LEFT: Backyard gathering of Jester artists - Houston, TX, 1969 with Townes Van Zandt, John Lomax, Jr., Lightnin' Hopkins with family and friends.
A Jester Lounge fan writes in
Just stumbled on your page for the Jester while trying to pin down some dates about when I used to go to the Bird Lounge on South Shepherd to listen to Lightnin’ Hopkins (and feed him half-pints of gin when his bottle ran low…he wouldn’t sing without a refill from the audience)…
Anyway, what a magnificent public service you’ve done with the website. I spent hundreds of hours in the Jester while I was going to the University of St. Thomas (and before I left for the Army and Viet Nam)…it was absolutely the finest music venue in the country in my opinion. And your sister in law, Judy Stewart was simply the best of the best…she and Ken together were, in my opinion, the single best folk group that ever sang, and I’ve seen and heard them all. Ken and Judy singing Sanity Anno brings back great memories, but their song that has stuck with me (and invariably brought down the house back in the day) was 'The 1st Battalion’s Home’…they were the only group (dup, anybody!) that I ever heard sing it…incredible.
I wish Ken and Judy had stayed together…they would have been in the Peter, Paul and Mary class or even better, more popular, but…I do remember that there always seemed to be a lot of tension in their relationship…ah, youth.
Judy was, for me, the Jester…like everybody else (every male, at least!), I was 'in love' with her and nights when she and Ken didn’t sing were just not the same, no matter who else played…and there were a lot of greats, but they just didn’t match Ken and Judy for ‘perfect’… After 50 years I never thought I’d ever hear them again.
Listening to ‘Look, It’s Us’ online, I was pleased to hear that they sounded every bit as great as I remembered them…it wasn’t just a trick of memory…that’s not always the case with things that someone my age remembers.
I don’t have any notable Jester stories, but I do remember that Matt Murdock, Clark Musgrave, Linda Cheviot, Shannon Doyle and I (just to name a few) were regulars in the audience from the University of St. Thomas. Actually, Clark was a talented classical/Spanish guitarist who frequently played on open mic nights.
So thanks for the site and the music and the memories. I’ll be watching the site and looking forward to hearing more.
- John Borquoi