Brief Biography

Jake Holmes and Tim Rose

Before Jake went solo, he performed in a trio with Tim Rose and Richie Hussan. In a March 1, 1998 interview, Tim Rose, talked about the early days.

In May 1964, "I formed anouther group called The Feldmans. there wasn't one Jewish guy in the group, but we thought it would be a funny name. There was Richie Hussan, Jake Holmes and myself. They had all been around in the folk days and this was the end of the acoustic era in New York. We did a lot of the clubs The Big Three had done and we were back in New York after 6 or 7 months together and we were working a placed called the Night Owl. A friend of mine, who was to become my manager, Lenny Maxwell, brought in David Rubinson from CBS Records. David sayd he was not interested in the group, but he was interested in me and would I like a deal with Columbia? I said yes, of course. The other guys were a little upset, but I figured this was a chance for me and the group was going nowhere, anyway. Jake Holmes did all right. He's been voted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame--he's the top commercial jingle writer in New York City and has been for the past twenty years, so he did OK. He also had a minor hit over here in Europe in the late 60s on Polydor. Richard played bass on my first album."

When We Met Jake Holmes

My husband, Joe, and I attended Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He and I had met there in September 1967 when I was looking for the meeting of the Folk Music Workshop.

The Bitter End coffeehouse in New York City organized a touring show of folk musicians who would spend a week at a college, performing at night on stage usually in the student center. Jake Holmes participated in the Bitter End Circuit and during his weeklong gig there we chatted with him between sets every night.

In spring 1968, Jake returned to campus to perform during the Miss Monmouth College pageant.

I'd originally seen Jake on the old "Clay Cole Show" on television so I knew who he was. We were impressed with his songs--both tunes and words--and decided to catch every performance he gave in the clubs in Greenwich Village, New York City.

Back then, it only cost us $5 to drive into the city, park at Port Authority bus terminal, and take the subway down to the Village. It was cheaper even than taking the bus which we sometimes did from Asbury Park.

We saw Jake at the Gaslight and The Bitter End. By this time he was joined on stage by guitarist Teddy Irwin and bassist Bill Takas (who later joined Ten Wheel Drive on their first album).


Jake Holmes at the Gaslight, 1969. Photo by Susan Hamburger (copyright 2005).

Jake did two sets a night and during the breaks at The Bitter End we went backstage to visit and catch up. He remembered me from Monmouth but mistakenly thought I'd been in the pageant.


Jake Holmes at The Bitter End, 1969. Photo by Susan Hamburger (copyright 2005).

Dazed and Confused: The Incredibly Strange Saga of Jake Holmes, by Will Shade (September 2001)