Q438 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2).

FBI Catalogue: Music

FBI preliminary tape identification note: None

Date cues on tape: None

People named: None

Bible verses cited:     None


(This tape was transcribed by Tom Graddon and Adrian Whicker. Graddon also identified the instrumental track “Georgetown Jam,” the first performance on the tape. The editors gratefully acknowledge their invaluable assistance.)

The Jonestown Express performs five songs, plus a short segment of percussion. There are no date references on the tape, although the song “Golden Time of Day,” covered in the second song, was released by the soul band Maze in 1978; no singers are introduced, although Marthea Hicks is likely the lead in “Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me,” which she also performed on Q365.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/18/79

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On June 3, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-99. This tape was found to contain the following:

Musical program for the people at Jonestown, “The Jonestown Express”, adaptation of songs to revolutionary themes.

Differences with FBI Summary:

While the Jonestown Express often did adapt popular songs to reflect revolutionary themes – much as the Temple choir adapted church hymns to suggest Jim Jones’ divinity –   this performance features covers without substantial changes in the lyrics. 

Tape originally posted May 2022.