Shakin' Jake Woods; photo by Myra Klarman Photography, used with permission.

"Shakin'" Jake Woods, also known as Shakey Jake, is a legend in Ann Arbor. He was often seen downtown busking for dollars, playing his guitar, and singing.

Shaky Jake died on September 16, 2007, at the age of 82.

A memorial service was held at Muehlig Funeral Chapel beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. The chapel is located at 403 S. Fourth Ave.

The Music

(adapted from WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Shakey Jake moving on comment by Ed Special)

ON THE MOVE was recorded at WCBN-FM Ann Arbor by Charlie White and Dan Gunning in 1977 & 1978. Until moving to the west coast in 1984 Dan Gunning produced the first cassette release for Shakin Jake. He gave me the master tape and I continued producing the cassette until shifting into CD mode in 2003.

Ed Special has posted the tracks and CD artwork for free to all. Feel free to copy and give it away but PLEASE DO NOT SELL IT.

Shakin Jake Woods - On The Move CD (zip file)

If you want a ready made hard copy, they are available for the cost of production and shipping (cheap) through: Peaceable Kingdom, 210 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 or call Carol at 734 668-7886 or [email protected]

The Video

A number of years ago as a student in the Film and Video department at the University of Michigan a fellow student, Beau Warren, suggested making a video about Shakey Jake Beau, along with Aaeron Jefferson and myself made a video by following Jake around and also interviewing him. Jake was most cooperative and seemed to enjoy the whole experience, The video is now on You Tube. --Bob Ruskin

Message From a Relative

My name is Ron Frierson Jr. I'm a resident of Los Angeles. However, I am a native of Saginaw Michigan. Believe it or not. I am a relative of Jake Woods (Shakey Jake). Jake was the youngest brother of my Great Grandfather, Robert Woods. Jake was the last surviving sibling. My great-grandfather died in the 50's. My great-grandmother, his wife, never remarried. Her name was Elizabeth Woods and she was the foundation of our family. She died in January 2006. Jake was always a "different bird", but was beloved by all of us. My aunt who lives in Ann Arbor visits him from time to time. Its funny, but she says that Jake was always too busy to talk. However, he was always sure to ask about Liz, my great-grandmother and Emma, who is my grandmother.

Its kinda strange yet cool that people in the Ann Arbor community loved Jake so much. He loved Ann Arbor too. I'll ask my Grandmother about memorial services and I'll let you know what I learn.

BTW, I met Jake twice in my life. Once when I was a kid he came to my grandmother's house, dressed really weird. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. The other time, he was sitting at my great-grandmothers kitchen table eating and talking. Again, he was dressed really weird but I had heard enough about him by that time not to be shocked. He was the closest thing I had to knowing what my great-grandfather looked like. As for Jake, his heart was pure, and he was 100% comfortable with himself.



[email protected]

Jake and downtown businesses

A number of downtown businesses supported Jake. Here's a partial list.

External Links

In other languages

  • Transliterated into Russian, his name is ????? ????? ???? on this page
    • Google Translate sez: "Until this fall lively sight of the city was a man named Sheyki Dzheyk Woods, an elderly man, he sang and played guitar in the center. He died in September, in memory of him gathered in a noisy company."