Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Sing A Simple Song/Fanciful Flights/Reach Out/
Jeff St John (born Jeffrey Leo Newton in 1946, in Newtown, Sydney) is an Australian singer who gained fame for top ten hits with Teach Me How to Fly, Big Time Operator and Fool in Love. St John was born with spina bifida.
He appeared with a number of bands during the late 1960s and early 1970s including; John The Syndicate aka The Wild Oats (1965), The Id (1966–67) with Bob Bertles (tenor sax '67), Jeff St John & Yama (1967–68), Jeff St John & Copperwine (1969-72), with Harry Brus (bass 70-72) and Wendy Saddington (co-lead vocals 70-71), Jeff St John Band (1972–73) and, Red Cloud (1975-76)
In 1988 as part of Australian Bicentenary celebrations along with many other Australian celebrities St John took part in a video shot at Ayers Rock called Celebration of a Nation.
St John has been involved in educating people about disabilities and is a member of spina bifida support group MOSAIC. He appeared at the opening of the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney where he sang the Australian National Anthem.
St John unveiled his new band, Copperwine (aka Jeff St John's Copperwine), in early 1969 with low-key dates in Perth, before returning to Sydney. Copperwine soon commanded a rabid following in that city's fast-developing 'head' scene. Around the time of the new band's formation, guitarist Ross East was also invited to join the revised Masters Apprentices line-up by Jim Keays, but he turned it down, opting to stay with Jeff.
Aided by East and Peter Figures, plus Alan Ingram on bass and keyboardist Barry Kelly (from Marty Rhone's Soul Agents), St John wowed punters at the Ourimbah "Pilgrimage For Pop", Australia's first major outdoor rock festival, hedl at Ourimbah, NSW at the end of January 1970. The band's dynamic repertoire mixed quality prog-flavoured group originals with powerful renditions of Sly & the Family Stone's funk classic "Sing A Simple Song" (a stage fave for many Australian acts of the time including Southern Comfort and The Affair), a storming version of The Temptations' psych-soul masterpiece "Cloud Nine" and Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home."
This body of songs was captured by producer Pat Aulton in superb that remains one of the most accomplished and musically adventurous long players of the time. The punningly-titled Joint Effort won considerable critical acclaim, but failed to generate significant sales. A similar fate befell the great single lifted from the album, "Cloud Nine" / "Days To Come" (Feb. 1970). An EP, Sing A Simple Song, which featured four selections from its parent album, came out in May 1970.