ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
If you didn’t know the actual facts, you’d be forgiven for thinking Jackie was created by a pop music guru or a super- trendy fashionista, but nothing could be further from the truth. The magazine was the brainchild of Gordon Small, a former RAF aero engine fitter who was far from being an aficionado of the music industry or an expert in style. Gordon was the magazine’s founder and first editor. Along with a creative team, he produced Jackie, an exciting new magazine “for go-ahead teens” which went on to be the best-selling teenage title for 10 years.
As for keeping up with pop music and the charts, teenagers listened to the hits on Radio Luxembourg under woollen bed covers! (Duvets hadn’t hit homes in the UK.) So it’s not surprising their magazine played a major role in the lives of teenage girls – it was the highlight of their week. Jackie launched on Thursday, January 11, 1964. At just 6d, the equivalent of 21⁄2p, it was the must-have mag if you wanted to be up to date on what was hip and happening. In the same way, Top of the Pops was the must-see pop TV programme. Top of the Pops launched just ahead of Jackie with the first show airing on January 1, 1964.
Back then girls didn’t have iPads, laptops or mobiles. There was no telly in their bedroom. The family TV was more than likely rented and there was a choice of just three channels – a far cry from today’s world of multi- channel TV that’s accessible 24/7.
Jackie’s address printed in the magazine was 185 Fleet Street, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 2HS, but in reality it was actually produced hundreds of miles away in the north east of Scotland. It was created in Dundee a city famous for its jute, jam and journalism. The thinking behind the London address was to give the title more kudos and to make it appear that Jackie was produced at the centre of the cool capital. The magazine was a lively mix of fashion and beauty tips, pop gossip, horoscopes, fun quizzes, love stories and life advice, including the all-important tips on how to get a boy – and keep him!
The top-selling teen title continually evolved to stay in tune with its readers, ensuring it was always bang on trend. Jackie was a fabulous magazine that was loved by everyone who read it and everybody who worked on it, so in the words of David Cassidy, could it be forever? Sadly, no – the presses rolled for the last time on issue dated July 3, 1993.
However, it was maybe “bye bye baby” but there is no doubt that the magazine holds special memories for millions of women who will never forget the huge part Jackie played in their teenage years.
Jackie was a hit right from the start with sales reaching an all-time high in the early seventies when they peaked at over a million. Readers loved the pin-ups, and posters of pop idols such as David Cassidy, Donny Osmond and David Essex adorned the bedroom walls of thousands of teenage fans. Fashion also played a major role in the magazine and throughout its life an amazing array of weird and wonderful gear graced the pages, including jeans with enormous flares, maxi skirts and the proverbial huge platform shoes. Bright purple was all the rage and Biba was big news. In the early years of Jackie the fashions were drawn. The artwork was striking and very stylised. But as time went on the magazine also moved on and Jackie changed from using drawn artwork to photographing “real”’ models on location.