3 December 1872
Oldbury, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
|Died||25 July 1938
West Bromwich, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
|Monuments||Bronze statue, Lord Pendry Square, Stalybridge|
|Notable work(s)||It's a Long Way to Tipperary|
|Home town||Oldbury, West Midlands|
John "Jack" Judge (3 December 1872 - 25 July 1938) was a British song-writer and music-hall entertainer best remembered for writing the song It's a Long Way to Tipperary, although Judge wrote and sung the song in 1912, John McCormack made the song famous rather than Judge.
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At the time his famous song was written, he was performing at "The Grand" Theatre, Stalybridge, Cheshire. He allegedly wrote the song for a 5 shilling bet on 30 January 1912 and performed it the next night at "The Grand". However, many people, including the Judge family, dispute this and say the song was written in his home town of Oldbury.
"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" was bought by British music publisher Feldman for £5. Harry Williams, a neighbour of Jack's, who died in 1924, was co-attributed as composer. Later in his life when he became very unwell, the company gave him a weekly pension of £1.
John McCormack recorded the song in 1914, which gave it worldwide popularity. Jack recorded The Place Where I Was Born in 1915, when he was aged 42 and already a big star. Written before the outbreak of war, this is one of his few serious songs, and is a sensitive comment about the working man's compassion for others during hard times. In the same year he recorded Paddy Maloney's Aeroplane and Michael O'Leary, V.C., both about Irishmen helping the war effort. As well as songs for the stage, he wrote a number of football songs in support of his beloved West Bromwich Albion F.C.. He continued recording through the 1920s.
A bronze statue of Judge now adorns Lord Pendry Square in Stalybridge. The recently opened public library in his home town of Oldbury bears his name.
- Gibbons, Verna Hale (1999). The Judges: Mayo, to the Midlands of England. West Midlands: Sandwell Community Library Service.
- The Tipperary Star January 7, 1989. (Tipperary, Ireland)
- "A Tribute to Jack Judge". Staleybridge Online. 2002. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Gibbons, Verna Hale (1998). Jack Judge: The Tipperary Man. West Midlands: Sandwell Community Library Service. ISBN 1-900689-07-3.
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