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In Response to TODAY IN ROCK N ROLL HISTORY - JULY 21, 2010 by nyadrn
Long John Baldry
|Long John Baldry|
|Birth name||John William Baldry|
|Born||12 January 1941(1941-01-12)|
East Haddon, Northamptonshire, England
|Died||21 July 2005 (aged 64)|
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Genres||Blues, Blues-rock, Folk rock|
|Occupations||Singer - Voice actor|
|Years active||1962 - 2005|
|Associated acts||Blues Incorporated,|
R&B All Stars, Steampacket, Bluesology, Elton John, Rod Stewart
John "Long John" William Baldry (12 January 1941 – 21 July 2005) was an English and Canadian blues singer and a voice actor. He sang with many British musicians, with Rod Stewart and Elton John appearing 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 No. 2 in 1980. Baldry lived in Canada from the late 1970s until his death. There he continued to make records and do voiceover work. He was the voice of Dr. Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Blues bands of the 1960s
Born John William Baldry in England, he grew to 2.01m (6 ft 7in) that resulted in the nickname "Long" John. Gifted with a deep, rich voice, he was one of the first British vocalists to sing blues in clubs.
In the early 1960s, he sang with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, with whom he recorded the first British blues album in 1962, R&B from the Marquee. At stages, Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts were members of this band while Keith Richards and Brian Jones played on stage, although none played on the R&B at the Marquee album. The Rolling Stones supported Baldry in their first concert at the Marquee Club. Later, Baldry was the announcer introducing The Stones on their US-only live album, Got Live if You Want It!, in 1966.
In 1963, Baldry joined the Cyril Davies R&B All Stars with Jimmy Page on guitar and Nicky Hopkins playing piano. He took over in 1964 after the death of Cyril Davies. It became Long John Baldry and his Hoochie Coochie Men featuring Rod Stewart on vocals and Geoff Bradford on guitar. Stewart was recruited after Baldry heard him busking a Muddy Waters song at Twickenham station after Stewart had been to a gig at Eel Pie Island.
In 1965, the Hoochie Coochie Men became Steampacket with Baldry and Stewart as male vocalists, Julie Driscoll as the female vocalist and Brian Auger on Hammond organ. After Steampacket broke up in 1966, Baldry formed Bluesology featuring Reg Dwight on keyboards and Elton Dean, later of Soft Machine, as well as Caleb Quaye on guitar. Dwight adopted the name Elton John, his first name from Dean and his surname from Baldry.
Baldry was openlygay during the early 1960s when homosexuality was still criminalised and medicalised. He later had a brief relationship with lead-guitarist of The Kinks, Dave Davies. Baldry supported Elton John in coming to terms with his own sexuality. In 1978 his album Baldry's Out announced his formal coming out, and he addressed sexuality issues with a cover of Canadian songwriter Bill Amesbury's "A Thrill's a Thrill".
In 1967, he recorded a pop song "Let the Heartaches Begin" that went to number one in Britain, followed by a 1968 top 20 hit titled "Mexico", which was the theme of the UK Olympic team that year. "Let the Heartaches Begin" made the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
Bluesology broke up in 1968, with Baldry continuing his solo career and Elton John forming a songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. In 1969, Elton John tried to commit suicide after relationship problems with a woman. Taupin, who is straight, and Baldry, who was openlygay, found him, and Baldry talked him out of marrying the woman, helping make Elton John comfortable with his sexuality. The song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was about the experience.
In 1971, John and Stewart each produced one side of It Ain't Easy which became Baldry's most popular album and made the top 100 of the US album charts. The album featured "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll" which became his most successful song in the US. John's first tour of the US was this time. The band included, Micky Waller, Ian Armitt, Pete Sears, and Sammy Mitchell. Stewart and John would again co-produce his 1972 album Everything Stops For Tea which made the lower reaches of the US album charts. The same year, Baldry worked with ex-Procol Harum guitarist Dave Ball.
Baldry had mental health problems and was institutionalised. The 1979 album Baldry's Out was recorded after his release. He played his last live show in Columbus, Ohio, on 19 July 2004, at Barristers Hall with guitarist Bobby Cameron. The show was produced by Andrew Myers. They played to a small group, some came from Texas. Two years previously the two had a 10-venue sell-out tour of Canada. 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. The trio consisted of LJB, Butch Coulter on harmonica and Dave Kelly on slide guitar.