Q409 Summary

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

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FBI Catalogue           Miscellaneous

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “Show”

Date cues on tape:     None

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Steve Biko, South African liberation activist
Cuffy, Guyanese slave rebellion leader
Che Guevara, Latin American revolutionary
Martin Luther King, Jr., slain American civil rights leader


Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
“Moms Mabley” (sings)


Jonestown residents:
Julius Evans (sings)
Marthea Hicks (sings)
Shirley Hicks (sings)
Poncho Johnson (sings)
Edward Moore (sings)


Bible verses cited: None


(This tape was transcribed by Adrian Whicker. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)

The people of Jonestown are entertained during an evening of music and comedy.

The Jonestown band – referred to in this tape both as the Jonestown Express and as Black Velvet, its name while the majority of Peoples Temple members were still in the U.S. – performs a dozen numbers. Most are covers of popular songs from the late 60s and 70s, although the lyrics of at least two have been modified to reflect the group’s political leanings. For example, the song “Abraham, Martin and John” by Dion – which refers to slain American martyrs, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy – now includes homages to Guyanese slave rebellion leader Cuffy, to Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, and South African liberation activist Steve Biko.

The band also performs at least one, and possibly two original compositions.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/26/79

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 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B100-18. This tape was found to contain the following:

An entertainment session by the people of Jonestown.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.     

Tape originally posted December 2022.