Although John retired in 1988, he is still affectionately known as "Mr. Hoedown". Part of his success and charm on the radio was that he always made country music artists and the fans feel they could drop into his programme any night for a chat and a cuppa. Such was his friendly country style personality. However, in actual fact, a country boy he was not! He was born in Waverley, New South Wales.
In 1970, John became one of the group to create the "Country Music Capital of Australia" concept in Tamworth.
During John's long country music career he has worked tirelessly for the industry. In the mid 1960s he was heavily involved with the early amateur country music club in Tamworth (a branch of The Modern Country Music Association) which later broke away from the M.C.M.A. Queensland and was re-born as the Capital Country Music Association. This organisation is still active, particularly during the Tamworth Festival. John is a life member of the C.C.M.A.Through the years, he has been a guest judge for an incredible number of country music talent quests, Australia wide.
In part of his spare time he composes and writes. A number of his songs have been recorded, including by the late Buddy Williams.Another of his talents is in woodworking and metalwork, and was involved with preparing the castings and wooden bases of the Australasian Country Music Awards Gold Guitar trophies.
For a number of years, John also designed and built, the "JEM" pedal steel guitars, most of which are still being played today.
Besides his heavy involvement in the broadcasting industry, he always found time to play harmonica on studio recording sessions, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. The famous harmonica manufacturer, M. Hohner of Germany, recognised John's talents and promotion of the instrument with a special citation. John instigated the Harmonica Championships featured each year in the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
In 1971, he recorded his first E.P. for Hadley Records. The four instrumental tracks included two of his own compositions, "Calala County" and "The Real McCoy."
In 1978, he was presented with the Country Music Capital Award for services to the industry. In 1979, he recorded a family album for CM Records, Dubbo.
In 1980 he became a judge for the "Australasian Country Music Awards", a position he held for the next ten years.When you visit Tamworth, you will find John's wax likeness in "The Gallery of Stars" wax museum in the famous Longyard complex
2nd January, 1998