John Ford (musician)

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John Ford
Birth name John Ford
Born (1948-07-01) 1 July 1948 (age 69)
Origin Fulham, London, England
Genres Progressive rock, punk rock, pop rock, psychedelic, acoustic rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar keyboards
Years active 1960s–present
Labels A&M, EMI, Sony/ATV present: Whole Shot Records
Associated acts Strawbs, Hudson Ford, The Monks, Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, High Society
Website John Ford of the Strawbs on Facebook

John Ford (born 1 July 1948 in Fulham, London, England is an English singer-songwriter and musician. He relocated to the United States in mid 1980s and now resides on the North Shore of Long Island, New York.

Fulham area of southwest London, England

Fulham is an affluent area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in South West London, England, 3.7 miles (6.0 km) south-west of Charing Cross. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, between Hammersmith and Kensington and Chelsea, facing Wandsworth, Putney and the Barn Elms part of Barnes.

North Shore (Long Island) area along Long Islands northern coast

The North Shore of Long Island is the area along the northern coast of New York's Long Island bordering Long Island Sound. Known for its extreme wealth and lavish estates, the North Shore exploded into affluence at the turn of the 20th century, earning it the nickname the Gold Coast. Historically, this term refers to the coastline communities in the towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, and Huntington, in Nassau and western Suffolk County. The easternmost Gold Coast mansion is the Geissler Estate, located just west of Indian Hills Country Club in Fort Salonga, within the Town of Huntington.



Ford's music career has spanned from the mid-1960s to the 21st century. Ford has toured and played with musicians such as Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, The Eagles, Frank Zappa, Marc Bolan/T. Rex, Blue Öyster Cult, ZZ Top, RUSH, REO Speedwagon, Steppenwolf, King Crimson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Preston, Cat Stevens, Roy Harper and Dave Mason. His versatility has let him play a wide range of venues from folk clubs to large scale international rock venues.

Santana (band) American band led by Carlos Santana

Santana is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. The band came to public attention with their performance of "Soul Sacrifice" at Woodstock in 1969. This exposure helped propel their first album, also named Santana, into a hit, followed in the next two years by Abraxas and Santana III. Lineup changes were common. Carlos Santana's increasing involvement with guru Sri Chinmoy took the band into more esoteric music, though it never lost its Latin influence.

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Ritchie Blackmore British guitarist and songwriter, guitarist of Deep Purple

Richard Hugh Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard-rock music which mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. During his solo career he established the heavy metal band Rainbow, which fused baroque music influences and elements of hard rock. Rainbow steadily moved to catchy pop-style mainstream rock. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night, transitioning to vocalist-centred sounds. As a member of Deep Purple, Blackmore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.

Early music projects as a teenager in the 1960s included The Five Proud Walkers, where Ford got his start. Jaymes Fender & the Vulcans landed Ford his first major record label signing with EMI, with the minor pop hit, "Mistletoe Love", and thence onto Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, [1] signing to Repertoire.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, at various times also known as "Velvet Opera", was a British rock band active in the late 1960s. Members of the band would later become members of The Strawbs, Hudson Ford and Stretch.

After playing in various bands, Ford's unusual percussive style of bass playing caught the eye of Strawbs' leader Dave Cousins during a performance at Cousins' folk club in Hounslow. He joined Strawbs [2] in May 1970, and Ford's influence on the band, primarily known as a folk rock group, shifted them into a new direction in the progressive / art rock scene. Ford penned songs such as, "Heavy Disguise" and "Part of the Union", Strawbs biggest chart hit, whilst working with David Bowie/T. Rex producer, Tony Visconti on A&M.

Strawbs English rock band

Strawbs are an English rock band founded in 1964. Although the band started out as a bluegrass group they eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock, progressive rock, and (briefly) glam rock.

Dave Cousins singer, songwriter and musician from England

Dave Cousins is an English singer and songwriter, who has been the leader, singer and most-active songwriter of Strawbs since 1967.

Hounslow town in west London

Hounslow is a large commercial town and district in west London, England, 11.1 miles (17.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hounslow and is identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan.

Ford received three gold discs and a platinum disc. A few years later, Ford and Richard Hudson, formed Hudson Ford, signed to A&M Records picking up the UK Singles Chart hits, "Pick Up The Pieces", "Burn Baby Burn" and "Floating in the Wind" and three albums- Nickelodeon, Free Spirit and Worlds Collide. Then moving to CBS Records for the Daylight album.

Richard Hudson is an English singer-songwriter and musician.

Hudson Ford were a UK rock band-style duo, formed when John Ford and Richard Hudson left Strawbs in 1973. The original lineup featured Hudson and Ford along with Chris Parren on keyboards, Mickey Keen on guitars, and Gerry Conway on drums. Conway left in May 1974 prior to the recording of "Free Spirit" and was replaced by Ken Laws. Mickey Keen left the band in December 1974 and was replaced briefly by Mick Clarke, formerly of The Roy Young Band. Mick Clarke moved to the United States in 1975 and was not replaced. The lineup remained stable from that point until the group dissolved in late 1977.

A&M Records American historical record label

A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.

In 1979, Ford hit the charts again with The Monks, a punk project of sorts also picked up by EMI, with the surprise novelty double platinum hit, "Nice Legs Shame About the Face" from Bad Habits and "Suspended Animation". Ford also developed an alter ego in High Society with classic 1930s style melodies, releasing a self-titled album in 1984. In 1986, Ford relocated to the U.S., and started working on his solo project and shows.

The Monks were an English pop punk/new wave band, formed in the late 1970s by three former members of Strawbs—Richard Hudson (guitar), John Ford and Brian Willoughby—along with Terry Cassidy and Clive Pierce (drums).

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

<i>Bad Habits</i> (The Monks album) 1979 studio album by The Monks

Bad Habits is an album by The Monks, released in 1979. It is a spoof of punk rock led by the former rhythm section of the trad rockers, Strawbs. The songs are composed by Richard Hudson, John Ford and Terry Cassidy.

Ford teamed up again with Strawbs for the 30 Year Reunion Tour in 1998, performing as bass guitarist and vocalist, after a hiatus since the late 1980s, and again for the 2001 Strawbs' UK Spring Tour. In between, in 1999, Ford played on Ritchie Blackmore's band Blackmore's Night release Under a Violet Moon , their second international release, which featured Ford on "Wind in the Willows". He also played some shows with the band.

In January 2004, Ford opened for Dave Mason at a Long Island concert venue.

July 2004's Strawbs Summer UK Electric Tour, featured Ford on bass and vocals with the original UK electric line up from the 1970s. Some of his live performances can be viewed on DVD with "Strawbs Live in Tokyo" and "The Complete Strawbs – Live at Chiswick House".

March 2006, Ford returned to UK for another Strawbs Electric Tour filmed and recorded for Lay Down with The Strawbs DVD/CD, featuring Ford leading, Part of the Union.

In September 2009, John Ford joined the Strawbs for their 40th Anniversary Weekend at Twickenham Rugby Stadium, London, which included keyboardist Rick Wakeman. The Live CD release for the event, Strawbs 40th Anniversary Celebration Vol. 1: Strawberry Fayre released in 2010, features John Ford on two of his songs, "Together Apart" and "Floating in the Wind."

Ford appears on Lay Down with the Strawbs the 2006 Strawbs UK Electric Tour features John Ford on "Kissed by the Sun," "Heavy Disguise" and "Part of the Union" recorded and released by Secret Records and Films Ltd. UK.

April 2011, marked the release of John Ford's latest album, Resurrected – The Best of and Then Some, a chronological collection of some of Ford's solo material, in addition to five newly recorded songs.

2012 brought Ford, as founding member of UK band The Monks, a Double Platinum Record Award from EMI for Bad Habits whilst in Toronto, Canada in July, for a special Monks BAD HABITS Tribute show at the well known Horseshoe Tavern. The Monks' Tribute show featured numerous members of top Canadian bands – including Sloan, The New Pornographers, C'mon, Cursed, and Small Sins – with Thomas D'Arcy at the helm, producing the tribute show. D'Arcy also put together the Bad Habits tribute album, on which Ford is featured. Plans are under way for Bad Habits going the route of Green Day's American Idiot stage musical as a one-act, British punk rock opera production.

John Ford just completed two new Halloween songs – "Halloween – I'm The Nightmare in Your Dreams Club Mix" for the Space Drama pop, electronica dance project with, and rocking, "Halloween – There's A Party Going On" with Ian Lloyd of Stories, for the Ford-Lloyd project. Ian Lloyd is best known as lead singer for No. 1 hit "Brother Louie" and founding member of Stories band. Lloyd sings the theme song for Louis C.K.'s hit comedy on FX Louie .

Ford’s 2014 album release, No Talkin’ all instrumental, Surf Rock style album inspired by The Shadows and The Ventures—with Ford on lead guitar throughout, receiving critical acclaim.

2015, A Better Day, 10 old, new, borrowed, & blue tunes from John Ford. Featured Ian Lloyd of Stories & Edward Rogers, with a new take on Dave Cousins' "Deep In The Darkest Night".

On May 5, 2017, the first authorized Hudson Ford box set album, HUDSON FORD: The A&M Albums Box Set was released by Caroline International with in-house licensing. This long awaited, newly re-mastered and reissued box set features Nickelodeon, Free Spirit, Worlds Collide, plus bonus tracks and B sides.



Jaymes Fender and the Vulcans

  • Mistletoe Love

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera

  • Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (1968)
  • Ride a Hustler's Dream (1969)


Hudson Ford (John Ford and Richard Hudson)

The Monks

  • Bad Habits (1979) EMI
  • Suspended Animation (1981)

High Society

  • High Society (1984)


  • Love is a Highway (Whole Shot Records 1998)
  • Heading for a High (Whole Shot Records 2000)
  • Natural High (Whole Shot Records 2002)
  • Backtracking (Whole Shot Records 2004)
  • Whatever Happened to Christmas? (Whole Shot Records 2005)
  • New World EP (Whole Shot Records 2006)
  • A Christmas Trilogy (Whole Shot Records 2006)
  • Big Hit in India (Whole Shot Records 2008)
  • Resurrected – The Best of and Then Some (Whole Shot Records 2011)
  • No Talkin' (Whole Shot Records 2014)
  • A Better Day (Whole Shot Records 2015)

John Ford on Compilations


Jaymes Fender and the Vulcans

  • Mistletoe Love

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera

  • "Flames"/"Salisbury Plain" (1967)
  • "Mary Jane"/"Dreamy" (1968)
  • "Volcano"/"A Quick B" (1969)
  • "Anna Dance Square"/"Don't You Realise" (1969)
  • "Black Jack Davy"/"Statesboro Blues" (1970)
  • "She Keeps Giving Me These Feelings"/"There's a Hole in My Pocket" (1970)


  • "Where is This Dream of Your Youth"/"Fingertips" (1970)
  • "Benedictus"/"Keep the Devil Outside" (1972)
  • "Keep the Devil Outside"/"Tomorrow" (1972)
  • "New World"/"Benedictus" (1972)
  • "Here It Comes"/"Tomorrow" (1972)
  • "Going Home"/"Ways and Means" (1972)
  • "Lay Down"/"Backside" (1972)
  • "Part of the Union"/"Will You Go" (1973)

Hudson Ford

  • "Pick Up the Pieces"/"This is Not the Way to End a War (or Die)" (1973)
  • "Take it Back"/Make No Mistake" (1973)
  • "Burn Baby Burn"/"Angels" (1974)
  • "Floating in the Wind"/"Revelations" (1974)
  • "Free Spirit"/"Dark Lord" (1974)
  • "When Love Has Overgrown"/What is a Day Without Love" (1975)
  • "Waterfall"/"Daylight" (1976)
  • "95 in the Shade"/"Lost in a World" (1976)
  • "Sold on Love"/"Daylight" (1976)
  • "Are You Dancing"/"Out of Your Shadow" (1977)
  • "Just Say No" (2001)

The G.B.'s

  • "We are the G.B.'s" / "The G.B. Jig" (1979)

The Monks

  • "Nice Legs Shame About the Face"/"You'll Be the Death of Me" (1979)
  • "I Ain't Gettin Any"/"Inter-City Kitty" (1979)
  • "Johnny B. Rotten"/"Drugs in My Pocket" (1979)
  • "I Can Do Anything You Like"/"Monks Medley" (1981)

High Society

  • "I Never Go Out in the Rain"/"I Could Never Live Without You" (1980)
  • "Gotta Get Out of This Rut"/"Powder Blue" (1981)

Space Drama

  • "Halloween – I'm The Nightmare in Your Dreams" (2012)


  • "Halloween – There's A Party Going On" (2012)

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  1. Larkin, Colin (1 December 1992). The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music. Guinness Publishing. p. 2585. ISBN   978-1-882267-04-0 . Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  2. Eder, Bruce. "Biography: The Strawbs". AMG . Retrieved 19 May 2010.