John Ford Coley (born October 13, 1948) is an American singer, classically trained pianist, guitarist, actor, and author most known for his partnership in the musical duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.
John Ford Coley was born John Edward Colley in Dallas, Texas. He grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry, early rock and roll, singing church hymns and was trained as a classical pianist. At 16, while at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, John along with fellow schoolmate Dan Seals joined the group "Theze Few" which later became "The Southwest FOB" (Freight On Board) and toured the Texas music scene where they had one hit "The Smell of Incense" that in 1969 rose to number 43 on the charts. This band played on the bill with such acts as Led Zeppelin and others.
While in the band, Seals and Coley began their own acoustic act: Colley and Wayland. The act was renamed England Dan & John Ford Coley, and the duo was signed by A&M Records. In 1971, the two moved to Los Angeles where they opened for numerous bands. Their first break came in 1972 with the song "Simone". It became a number one hit in Japan and was quite popular in France. However, "Simone" did not fare as well in the United States, and the two were released from their contract with A&M after three albums.
Signing to Atlantic Records
Two years later, they acquired another record deal from Atlantic Records subsidiary Big Tree Records and released the song "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight". Overall they had four top tens and two top twenties. They were nominated for a Grammy award, received triple-platinum and gold records and released 8 albums; additionally, others were released abroad.
The duo disbanded in 1980.
After the 1980s
John Ford Coley went on to form another group that released an album on A&M Records, Leslie, Kelly and John Ford Coley (featuring sisters Leslie and Kelly Bulkin). Then, he went on to act in teen films in the 1980s, acquired a small ranch in the 1990s, and wrote songs for film and TV. He returned to touring in 1996 and has an active tour schedule where Coley plays the hits and other favorite songs. Coley plays with groups and artists including Ambrosia and Terry Sylvester (formerly of The Hollies) and rides the bill with numerous other acts including Three Dog Night, Lou Gramm (of Foreigner), Christopher Cross, Poco, Stephen Bishop, Al Stewart, Edgar Winter and others.
In 1996, Coley made a trip south for Tin Pan South and began making trips to Nashville to be part of the music community. He moved his family and horses across country to Tennessee in 1999. While in Tennessee, Coley, once a Bahá'í, converted back to Christianity. Coley continues to perform internationally.
- Smell of Incense - Southwest F.O.B., 1969
- England Dan and John Ford Coley - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1971
- Fables - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1972
- I Hear The Music - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976
- Nights are Forever - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976
- Dowdy Ferry Road - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1977
- Some Things Don't Come Easy - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1978
- Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1979
- Just Tell Me You Love Me - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1980
- Leslie, Kelly and John Ford Coley - Leslie, Kelly and John Ford Coley, 1980 (A&M Records)
- The Best of England Dan and John Ford Coley - England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1980
- Live from the Philippines - John Ford Coley, 2009