Q408 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: Music

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part "Band "

Date cues on tape: None (sometime in Guyana)

People named: None

Bible verses cited: None


The Jonestown Express performs three songs before a live audience, presumably in Jonestown. There are two singers, a man and a woman, and while neither is identified, it is likely the woman is Deanna Wilkinson.

The songs include a straightforward rendition of “The Greatest Love,” which Whitney Houston made into a megahit seven years later, in 1985. One of the other songs – Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” – has been altered slightly to celebrate Jonestown rather than a lover. The third song may be an original composition.

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 1B100-17. This tape was found to contain the following:

Musical and singing program for the people at Jonestown apparently by the people of Jonestown, lasting a little over six minutes. The rest of this tape was blank.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted January 2006