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    Nash, Johnny (19th August 1940-Present)

    He is a singer-songwriter, composer and actor born John Lester Nash Jr. in Houston, Texas, who started singing with his church choir while young and in the 1950s was singing as a regular guest on the TV series Matinee.

     

    After being noticed by Arthur Godfrey in 1956 he found himself performing on his television and radio shows over the next seven years.

     

    After signing with ABC-Paramount Records in 1957 he achieved his first entry into the charts when his recording of “A Very Special Love” reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.    The nest year he joined up with George Hamilton IV and Paul Anka for the release of “The Teen Commandments”. 

     

    Being promoted almost as a Johnny Mathis rival or alternative, he stopped concentrating solely on singing in 1959 and ventured into acting.  He was so successful at it that the Locarno Interntaional Film Festival presented him with a Silver Sail Award for his performance in the movie version of Take a Giant Step.  The following year he made an appearance in Key Witness.

     

    He released a further 5 singles between 1958 and 1965, which all had minor success on the Billboard chart.  He also sang the theme song for the animated series The Mighty Hercules which first ran from 1963 to 1966.

     

    Then in 1965 he became the co-founder of the JAD record label which Danny Sims.  They signed up several artists including The Cowsills, who later went on to achieve major chart success.

     

    In 1968 he achieved a much bigger hit than his earlier releases when “Hold Me Tight” went to No. 1 in Canada and No. 5 in the US and UK.  1968 was an important year for him as that is when he went to Jamaica and me the novelist and DJ Neville Willoughby.  He introduced him to a local group of three singers called The Wailers.  Nash signed them to a contract with JAD and helped with finance for recordings.  They released the singles “Bend Down Low” in 1968 and “Reggae on Broadway” in 1972, which was recorded in London when Johnny recorded his album I Can See Clearly Now.   The album included the international chart topper “I Can See Clearly Now” and four songs written by Bob Marley, which included his previous hit “Stir It Up”.  He also had a big hit in 1970 with his version of “Cupid”.

     

    1971 saw the demise of the JAD label and that same year saw him returning to acting when he performed the role of a composer in the Swedish film Vill sa garna tro which Bob Marley co-composed the soundtrack for.

     

    Continuing to record he released several singles after 1972 with the 1975 “Tears on My Pillow” becoming his biggest hit in the UK.  In 1979 he had a mediocre hit with “(What a) Wonderful World” and after a six year chart break “Rock Me Baby” gave him a No. 47 hit in the UK in 1985.

     

    For the next twelve years or so he was relatively unheard of but in 1997 JAD Records had a revival when Roger Steffens, who is a specialist on Bob Marley, along with the producer and musician Bruno Blum put together the 10-album set Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers 1967-1972.

     

    When the new millennium came around he started singing in Houston at the Tierra and Sugar Hill recording studios.  He also began working with the engineers of these studios to make Pro Tools digital format transfers of his analog tapes from the 1970s and ‘80s.  In the mid-2000s he is thought to have been involved with the Johnny Nash Indoor Arena in Houston, Texas.

     

    During the course of his career to date he has released at least 17 studio albums and 6 compilations.  He has also been credited on hundreds of albums as a performer or composer and just a very few of these include One World by Gregory Abbott, 30th Anniversary Collection by Paul Anka, Basie’s Beatle Bag by Count Basie & His Orchestra, You’re No Good by Ken Boothe, True to Life by Ray Charles, Blue by Cher, Live In London by Petula Clark, The Harder They Come by Jimmy Cliff, Turn Around Look at Me/ I Love How You Love Me by Ray Conniff, Songs of Innocence and Experience by The Emotions, I’ll Take Romance by Percy Faith, I Can See Clearly Now by Neil Finn, Honey/ Summer (The First Time) by Bobby Goldsboro, Together at Last by Stephane Grappelli, Legacy by Leon Haywood, Home by Hothouse Flowers, Midnight Diamond by Dobie Gray, Delilah by Tom Jones, Crazy Cajun Recordings by Doug Kershaw, Imagination by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Songs of Freedom by Bob Marley & The Wailers, Love Music by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Par Amour by Nana Mouskouri, Songs of the Heart by Anne Murray, Stardust by Willie Nelson, A Man and a Half: The Best Of… by Wilson Pickett, Decades, Vol. 1: Love Songs of the ‘70s by Donny Osmond, On My Radio by The Selecter, By Special Request by Hank Snow, All I Ever Need: The Kapp/MCA Anthology by Sonny & Cher, Mr. Walker, It’s All Over! by Billie Jo Spears, Anthology ’59-62 by Phil Spector, You’re Right Joe Tex by Joe Tex, Inflation by Stanley Turrentine, Labour of Love IV by UB40, Only Hits by The Ventures and Imagine by Roger Whittaker along with countless compilations.

     

    Sources:

    1. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Johnny-Nash/143740109042492
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Nash
    3. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-nash-mn0000246628/biography
    4. http://www.answers.com/topic/johnny-nash
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mighty_Hercules
    6. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0621750/bio
    7. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0621750/
    8. http://www.johnnynashindoorarena.com/about.html
    9. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Johnny+Nash
    10. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-nash-mn0000246628/credits
    11. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-nash-mn0000246628/discography

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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