The only South African group to date to make the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ in the USA (with 3 songs) all written and produced in South Africa. Master Jack attained the number 8 slot! The group achieved this without leaving SA.
The group came about as a result of Glenys Lynne a solo artiste at the time, teaming up with ‘The Zombies’, S A’s first longhaired rock group- that was in 1964! The Zombies were booked by the Luxurama Theater (the only multi racial theater in South Africa at that time) to be the backing group for Glenys Lynne.
In 1965 they evolved from a longhaired leather clad bunch of rock and rollers to the clean cut ‘Four Jacks and a Jill’.
Their first recording under that name, ‘Jimmy Come lately’ became an instant hit. Not long after that they had the first gold record for a local pop group- with the song ‘Timothy’
This became the start of many firsts for this South African band:
- First gold disc for a pop group
- First to achieve no 1 with a local composition
- First double gold
- First to hold 3 positions in the top 10 at the same time
- First to achieve 3 Sarie awards (SA equivalent of the Grammy)
- First and only group to date to achieve ‘Billboard Top 10’ status with a locally written and produced song without leaving South Africa.
- First to achieve 2 songs in the ‘Billboard top 100’
- First to sign a million Dollar contract
- First to successfully tour the USA, Australia, The group were invited by the organizers of the festival of Perth to bring their stage show to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Perth, they then toured Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Holland, Spain, Portugal, various countries in South America and Africa.
- First to get front/cover page picture in major newspapers outside of SA in London, New York, Melbourne etc.
- First to star in their own feature movie
- First to be featured on the highly acclaimed TV show on MNET ˜ Carte Blanche. A 10-minute segment was done on the re-launch of the group.
- Since the re-launch the group has achieved 20 Gold Discs and 6 Platinum for their various CD’s since 2003.
- First to market their music solely via telesales
- First to give an equal portion of their royalties to 6 different charities.
- First to start their own Black Economic Empowerment Initiative: The Phahama project www.phahama.co.za
- In 1969 the group was voted 3rd most popular band in Malaysia after The Beatles, then the Monkees, 4th the Rolling Stones.
The Brand ‘Four Jacks and a Jill’ expanded it’s appeal by Glenys recording in Afrikaans.
Due to the tremendous following they had from the Afrikaans speaking South Africans
The group felt it would be right to record specifically for that market.
Glenys had a number of Afrikaans hits, the first being ‘Haai Casanova’, followed by ‘My Hart het ‘n Kleine Venster, ‘Hy’s ‘n Milljoener’ and Ramaja which also achieved ‘Gold Status’
Four Jacks and a Jill did more than 3500 performances over their 18 years on the road.
Due to many requests from the public and as a result of the persistence of the producers of the Felicia Mabuza Suttle Show the group reformed in 2000.
In a recent survey by the Sunday Times ‘Master Jack’ was voted South Africa’s best all time favorite song.
Since the group started recording again in 2000 they have completed and released 31 CD’s and by the end of 2009 they recorded and released 33 CD’s.
The group released ‘Reflections’ with the 2009 version of ‘Master Jack’. ‘Reflection’s’ concept is around South Africa and it’s mining industry and all those who lived and died in search of gold/diamonds. The album has 9 of David Mark’s songs and 3 others written by current and past members of the band, it is dedicated to David.
Number 33 is ‘Glenys Lynne 2009’ Afrikaans CD with 13 of her Afrikaans hits with a modern treatment.