Australian actor and family friend, Syd "Cookie" Haylen, gave John his first guitar, and taught him his first guitar chords. But his favourite instrument has always been the ukulele, and it was playing such an instrument he started singing and playing in concert parties in the 1950's. When Rock-n-Roll came along in the late 50's John switched to guitar and playing around the Sydney pub circuit. At that time, Allan Toohey was staging his famous Amateur Hour, and John's talent took him through to the finals, where, with a performance of a Buddy Holly song, he became runner up.
At this point, the seemingly more important academic studies took over most of John's spare time, and, armed with a Law Degree, he spent his next 25 years as a hardworking suburban solicitor with an after hours passion for country music.However, In 1991, he sold his business and at the prompting of his wife Margaret, decided to realise a long held ambition to make a record at the Hadley Studios in Tamworth. With the daily round of legal matters far behind him, John suddenly found that he now had the time to write and finish the songs that had been running around in his mind for all those years. With twelve of these songs replacing the legal documents in his briefcase, John headed towards Tamworth.
What a success the record was! So much so, that Hadley Records offered to release it nationally, and within weeks, "Kangy Angy Roadhouse" had reached the number 9 spot on the Country Music Charts and received wide radio air-play throughout Australia. The title track, "Aussie Food", became a comedy section finalist in the 1993 Tamworth Songwriters' Association Awards, and even found its way on to the in-flight country music channel on International Qantas flights.
John has now appeared widely on country music radio stations and assists with country music programming on 2VTR, Windsor. John is a founding trustee (1994) of the Australian Country Music Trust, which operates the "Country Music Heritage Hall" Museum and Archive in Tamworth. He is the Trust's Secretary, Treasurer and Legal officer.
AWARDS: 1995: Tamworth Songwriters' Association - "BEST BUSH BALLAD" - "Old Valve Radio"
2nd January, 1998