Google+ Followers

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Long John Baldry born 12 January 1941

John William "Long John" Baldry (12 January 1941 – 21 July 2005) was an English and Canadian blues singer and a voice actor. He never became famous in the United States, despite having hits in Britain and helping the careers of future global superstars Rod Stewart and Elton John, who appeared in bands led by Baldry in the 1960s. He enjoyed pop success in the UK where Let the Heartaches Begin reached No. 1 in 1967 and in Australia where his duet with Kathi McDonald You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' reached number two in 1980.
John Baldry was born Jan. 12, 1941, in East Maddon, England. He entered the British blues scene as a teenager, singing folk, jazz and R&B in London clubs and coffee bars. The raspy-voiced Baldry was one of the first British singers to perform folk and blues numbers.
He played in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, serving for a time as vocalist of the group, which featured the cream of the early-'60s British blues crop (Mick Jagger was one of its singers for a brief period). Baldry was featured on the band's R&B from the Marquee (1962), considered to be one of the first British blues albums. 
Baldry, nicknamed Long John because of his 6-foot-7-inch height, then split with Korner to tour Germany with a jazz band. After returning to the UK, Baldry hooked up with Cyril Davies, with whom he had played in an R&B group earlier in his career. Davies enlisted Baldry to be part of his band, the R&B All-Stars. After Davies died of leukemia in 1964, Baldry recruited some of the All-Stars to start his own group, the Hoochie Coochie Men, featuring Stewart as a second vocalist, and also  Geoff Bradford (who had been in an embryonic version of the Rolling Stones) on guitar. In 1964 the band issued its debut LP, Long John's Blues. 

Rod Stewart quoted "I was 18 and playing harmonica and singing a Muddy Waters song in a railway station, when Long John Baldry ran over to me from the other side of the tracks. I had just been to see him play at a club; he was one of the top Bluesmen in England. But John didn’t sing Muddy Waters songs – he knew Muddy Waters, had performed with him and with Ramblin' Jack Elliott too. And now he was asking,” Would you like to join the band?”  

In 1965 the Hoochie Coochie Men split. Baldry formed Steampacket with Stewart and others, including future Animals guitarist Vic Briggs, Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger. But that band was short-lived as well, and after its breakup Baldry founded Bluesology, featuring Reginald Dwight (the future Elton John) on piano. In 1966 Baldry also opened some dates for the Rolling Stones. He was a well-liked figure on the London club circuit, and in fact the Beatles took him on as a guest on one of their 1964 British TV specials, at a time when the Fab Four could have been no bigger, and Baldry was virtually unknown. 

Following the release of Bluesology's 1967 single "Cuckoo," Baldry left to go solo officially. Ironically, his greatest commercial success came not with blues, but orchestrated pop ballads. The 1967 single "Let the Heartaches Begin" reached number one in Britain, and Baldry had several other small British hits in the late '60s, the biggest of which was "Mexico" (1968). (None of these made an impression in the U.S.) Baldry also began acting. 

The commercial success of his ballads led Baldry to forsake the blues on record for a few years. He returned to blues and rock in 1971 on It Ain't Easy, for which Rod Stewart and Elton John shared the production duties. The album contained a tiny American chart item, "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock'n'Roll," and Stewart and John split the production once again on the 1972 follow-up, Everything Stops for Tea. Baldry toured the United States and took up residence there. He never caught on as an international figure, though, and by 1980 moved to Canada and soon became a citizen of that country where he lived with his partner of 28 years Felix "Oz" Rexach. Baldry continued to record, and did commercial voice-overs. He is known to kids as the voice of Doctor Robotnick, enemy of the popular cartoon and video-game hero Sonic the Hedgehog, He also and narrated "Winnie the Pooh" recordings for Walt Disney Records. 

In 2002 Baldry with guitarist Bobby Cameron played a 10-venue sell-out tour of Canada.

He played his last live show also with Cameron in Columbus, Ohio, on 19 July 2004, at Barristers Hall. Baldry's final UK Tour as 'The Long John Baldry Trio' concluded with a performance on Saturday 13 November 2004 at The King's Lynn Arts Centre, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England.  
In April 2005 he checked into the Vancouver General Hospital battling a chest infection. Rod Stewart paid for most of the medical bills. John's partner Oz said, "Rod was, as always, very supportive and came to see him in Vancouver, which gave him a big boost. They even made plans to do things when John got better." 

Things didn't get better and after battling the chest infection for several months, Long John Baldry passed away on July 21, 2005 whist still in hospital. He was 64. His cremated remains were returned for installation in the family reliquary at St. Lawrence Church, Whitchurch Lane, North London. (Info edited from VH1, AMG, Readers Digest & Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For LONG JOHN BALDRY - Let The Heartaches Begin: The Pye Anthology - Go here:

1/Let the Heartaches Begin/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleod/3:15
2/Annabella (Who Flies to Me When She's Lonely/Giocatelli, Palomba, Ryan/3:07
3/Long and Lonely Nights (No Friend of Mine)/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleaod/3:13
4/Stay with Me Baby/Ragovoy, Weiss/3:29
5/Every Time We Say Goodbye/Porter, Porter/2:36
6/For All We Know/Coots, Coots, Lewis/3:02
7/Better by Far/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleod/2:44
8/Wise to the Ways of the World/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleod/3:24
9/Since I Lost You Baby/Macaulay, Macleod, MacLeod/3:23
10/Smile/Chaplin, Parsons, Turner/2:46
11/We're Together/Hatch, Hatch, Trent/2:48
12/I Can't Stop Loving You/Gibson, Gibson/2:52
13/Hold Back the Daybreak/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleod/3:38
14/When the Sun Comes Shining Thru'/D'Abo, D'Abo/3:31
15/Mexico (Underneath the Sun In)/Macaulay, Macleod, MacLeod/2:37
16/It's Too Late Now/Macaulay, Macaulay, Macleod/3:58
17/Wait for Me/Hatch, Hatch, Trent/3:41
18/Don't Pity Me/Jacobson, Jacobson, Stollman/3:53
19/Lord, You Made the Night TooLong/Baldry, Dwight, John/3:25
20/Mexico [Spanish Version] /Macaulay, Macleod, MacLeod/2:57

1/Sunshine of Your Love/Brown, Bruce, Clapton/3:04
2/Spanish Harlem/Leiber, Spector, Stoller/3:42
3/Henry Hannah's 42nd Street Parking Lot/Hatch, Hatch, Trent/4:09
4/Man Without a Dream/Goffin, Goffin, King/3:07
5/Cry Like a Baby/Oldham, Penn/2:32
6/River Deep, Mountain High/Barry, Greenwich, Spector, Spector/3:36
7/How Sweet It Is (To Be Lovedby You)/Dozier, Holland/2:31
8/MacArthur Park/Webb, Webb/4:04
9/When Brigadier McKenzie Comesto Town/Macaulay, Macaulay/3:02
10/Lights of Cincinnatti/Macaulay, Macaulay, Stephens/3:08
11/Spinning Wheel/Clayton-Thomas/3:19
12/Well I Did/Reed, Reed, Stephens/4:02
13/Setting Fire to the Tail of aFox/Baldry, Baldry, Horowitz/2:57
14/When the War Is Over/Billsberry, Humphries, Humphries/3:52
15/Where Are My Eyes?/Baldry, Baldry, Horowitz/2:52
16/Son of Hickory Hollers Tramp/Frazier, Frazier/3:54
17/Goin' out of My Head/Randazzo, Randazzo, Weinstein/2:34
18/I Never Shall Marry/2:57
19/I Wish You Love/Beach, Trenet/3:14
20/What Now My Love/Becaud, Delanoe, Sigman, Sigman/3:04
21/Bad Times/2:41
22/Ciao Baby/English, Weiss/2:49


boppinbob said...

PS All you eagle eyed blogsters will note I'm a few days behind with todays birthday blog. The reason being is that I ran out of time on the 12th and had not finished, but other than waiting another year I had to publish as I felt Long John was too important to miss!