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Johnny Nash

Johnny Nash

American pop singer-songwriter
Johnny Nash
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American pop singer-songwriter
A.K.A. John Lester Nash, Jr.
Was Singer Actor Musician Songwriter
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music
Gender male
Birth 19 August 1940, Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
Death 6 October 2020, Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA (aged 80 years)
Star sign Leo
Education
Long Beach Polytechnic High School
Genre:
Reggae
Instruments:
Voice
Audio
Spotify
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

John Lester “Johnny” Nash Jr. (August 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter, best known in the United States for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now".. Primarily a reggae and pop singer, he was one of the first non-Jamaican artists to record reggae music in Kingston.

Early life

Nash was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Eliza (Armstrong) and John Lester Nash. He sang in the choir at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in South Central Houston as a child. Beginning in 1953, Nash sang covers of R&B hits on Matinee, a local variety show on KPRC-TV; from 1956 he sang on Arthur Godfrey's radio and television programs for a seven-year period. Nash was married three times, and had two children.

Career

Signing with ABC-Paramount, Nash made his major label debut in 1957 with the single "A Teenager Sings the Blues". He had his first chart hit in early 1958 with a cover of Doris Day's "A Very Special Love". Marketed as a rival to Johnny Mathis, Nash also enjoyed success as an actor early in his career, appearing in the screen version of playwright Louis S. Peterson's Take a Giant Step in 1959. Nash won a Silver Sail Award for his performance from the Locarno International Film Festival. Nash continued releasing singles on a variety of labels such as Groove, Chess, Argo, and Warner Bros.

Nash sang the theme song to the syndicated animated cartoon series The Mighty Hercules, which ran on various television stations from 1963 to 1966.

In 1964, Nash and manager Danny Sims formed JoDa Records in New York. JoDa released The Cowsills' single "All I Really Want to Be Is Me". Although JoDa filed for bankruptcy after only two years, Nash and Sims moved on to marketing American singers to Jamaica, owing to the low cost of recording in that country.

In 1965, Nash had a top five hit in the US Billboard R&B chart, the ballad "Let's Move and Groove Together". That year, he and Sims moved to Jamaica. Their lawyer Newton Willoughby was the father of Jamaican radio host Neville Willoughby. After selling off his old entertainment assets in New York, Sims opened a new music publishing business in Jamaica, Cayman Music. Nash planned to try breaking the local rocksteady sound in the United States. Around 1966 or 1967, Neville Willoughby took Nash to a Rastafarian party where Bob Marley & The Wailing Wailers were performing. Members Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Rita Marley introduced Nash to the local music scene. Nash signed all four to an exclusive publishing contract with Cayman Music for J$50 a week.

In 1967, Nash, Arthur Jenkins, and Sims collaborated to create a new label, JAD Records (after their first names Johnny, Arthur, and Danny), and recorded their albums at Federal Records in Kingston. JAD released Nash's rocksteady single "Hold Me Tight" in 1968; it became a top-five hit in both the U.S. and UK. In 1971, Nash scored another UK hit with his cover of Marley's "Stir It Up".

Nash's 1972 reggae-influenced single "I Can See Clearly Now" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in November 1972. "I Can See Clearly Now" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, and remained atop the chart for four weeks, spending the same four weeks atop the adult contemporary chart. The I Can See Clearly Now album includes four original Marley compositions published by JAD: "Guava Jelly", "Comma Comma", "You Poured Sugar on Me", and the follow-up hit "Stir It Up". "There Are More Questions Than Answers" was a third hit single taken from the album.

Nash was also a composer for the Swedish romance film Want So Much to Believe (1971), in which he portrayed 'Robert'. The movie soundtrack, partly instrumental reggae with strings, was co-composed by Bob Marley and arranged by Fred Jordan.

JAD Records ceased to exist in 1971, but it was revived in 1997 by American Marley specialist Roger Steffens and French musician and producer Bruno Blum for the Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967–1972 ten-album series, for which several of the Nash-produced Marley and Tosh tracks were mixed or remixed by Blum for release. In the UK, his biggest hit was with the song "Tears on My Pillow" which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in July 1975 for one week.

After a cover of Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" in 1976 and "Let's Go Dancing" in 1979, for many years Nash seemed to have dropped out of sight. He had a brief resurgence in the mid-1980s with the album Here Again (1986), which was preceded by the minor UK hit, "Rock Me Baby". Younger audiences were introduced to Nash's music with the appearance of Jimmy Cliff's cover of "I Can See Clearly Now" in Disney's 1993 hit film Cool Runnings, and Nash's original version appeared over the opening scene of John Cusack's 1997 film, Grosse Point Blank. In May 2006, Nash was singing again at SugarHill Recording Studios and at Tierra Studios in his native Houston. Working with SugarHill chief engineer Andy Bradley and Tierra Studios' Randy Miller, he began the work of transferring analog tapes of his songs from the 1970s and 1980s to Pro Tools digital format.

Nash was among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Acting career

Nash has four acting credits in film and television. In 1959, he had the lead role as Spencer Scott in Take a Giant Step, directed by Philip Leacock, one of the first black family films written by a black writer. In 1960, he appeared as "Apple" alongside Dennis Hopper in the crime drama Key Witness. In 1971, he played Robert in the Swedish romance Vill så gärna tro.

Death

Nash died peacefully of natural causes in his home, surrounded by close family in Houston on October 6, 2020, after a period of declining health. He was 80.

Selected discography

Albums

  • 1958: Johnny Nash (ABC Paramount)
  • 1959: I Got Rhythm (ABC Paramount)
  • 1959: Quiet Hour (ABC Paramount)
  • 1960: Let's Get Lost (ABC Paramount)
  • 1961: Starring Johnny Nash (ABC Paramount)
  • 1964: Composer's Choice (Argo)
  • 1968: Hold Me Tight (JAD) # 109 US
  • 1969: Prince of Peace (JAD)
  • 1969: Let's Go Dancing (Epic)
  • 1972: Teardrops in the Rain (Cadet)
  • 1972: I Can See Clearly Now (Epic) # 39 UK, # 23 US, #29 AUS
  • 1973: My Merry-Go-Round (Epic US), # 169 US
  • 1974: Celebrate Life (Epic)
  • 1975: Tears on My Pillow (CBS)
  • 1977: What a Wonderful World (Epic)
  • 1979: Let's Go Dancing (Epic)
  • 1986: Here Again (London)

Compilations

  • 1977: Johnny Nash Collection # 18 UK
  • 1979: The Johnny Nash Album (CBS)
  • 1981: Stir It Up
  • 1993: The Reggae Collection
  • 1996: The Best of Johnny

Soundtrack

Nash sang the theme song for the television cartoon series The Mighty Hercules, which aired in first-run syndication from 1963 to 1966.

Singles

Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Chart Positions Album
US USCashbox USR&B USA/C UK CA AUS
1956 "A Teenager Sings the Blues"
- - - - - - Non-album tracks
1957 "I'll Walk Alone"
"A Very Special Love"
23 30
1958 "My Pledge to You"
"Please Don't Go"
"You're Looking at Me"
98
"Almost in Your Arms"
78 49
"The Teen Commandments"

29 46 41
1959 "Walk with Faith in Your Heart"
48
"As Time Goes By"
43 48
"And the Angels Sing"
I Got Rhythm
"Take a Giant Step"
119 Non-album tracks
"The Wish"
1960 "Goodbye"
"Never My Love"
"Let the Rest of the World Go By"
Let's Get Lost
"Looks Like the End of the World"
Non-album tracks
"Somebody"
1961 "Some of Your Lovin'"
104 93
"I Need Someone to Stand by Me"
"I'm Counting on You"
"Too Much Love"
1962 "Don't Take Away Your Love"
129
"Ol' Man River"
120 91
1963 "I'm Movin' On"
"I've Got a Lot to Offer Darling"
"Deep in the Heart of Harlem"
"Town of Lonely Hearts"
1964 "I'm Leaving"
120 103
"Love Ain't Nothin'"
133 Teardrops in the Rain
"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"
1965 "Strange Feeling"
"Teardrops in the Rain"
"Let's Move & Groove Together"
88 92 4 Non-album track
1966 "Get Myself Together"
Teardrops in the Rain
"One More Time"
Love Me Tender
"Somewhere"
120 118 35
"Amen"
Non-album tracks
1967 "Good Goodness"
"(I'm So) Glad You're My Baby"
1968 "Hold Me Tight"
5 7 21 20 5 1 4 Hold Me Tight
"You Got Soul"
58 55 46 6 37 72
1969 "Lovey Dovey"
130
"We Try Harder"*
135 Johnny Nash & Kim Weston
"Sweet Charity"
Non-album track
"Love and Peace"
132 Love and Peace
"Cupid"
39 36 38 6 30 Hold Me Tight
1970 "(What A) Groovey Feeling"
102 131 Non-album tracks
"Falling in and Out of Love"
1972 "Stir It Up"
11 6 13 7 48 I Can See Clearly Now
"I Can See Clearly Now"
1 1 38 1 5 1 3
"There Are More Questions Than Answers"
9
1973 "Stir It Up"
12
"My Merry-Go-Round"
77 74 34 47 My Merry-Go-Round
"Ooh What a Feeling"
103 38
1974 "Loving You"
91 67 40
"You Can't Go Halfway"
105 90 38 Celebrate Life
"Celebrate Life"
1975 "(You Gave Me Such) Good Vibrations"
"Tears on My Pillow"
1 69 Tears on My Pillow
"Let's Be Friends"
42
1976 "(What A) Wonderful World"
103 82 66 34 25 96 What a Wonderful World
1977 "That Woman"
1979 "Closer"
74 Let's Go Dancing
1985 "Rock Me Baby"
47 99 Here Again
1989 "I Can See Clearly Now"
54 Non-album track
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 25 Oct 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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References
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/oct/08/johnny-nash-obituary
https://books.google.com/books?id=f0yjnVzkuPAC
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VDGP-CXM
https://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-nash-mn0000246628/biography
https://www.chron.com/life/article/Black-History-Month-Profile-Johnny-Nash-Jr-1682844.php
https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/johnny-nash-singer-now-dies-80-73464289
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1635324/soundtrack
https://books.google.com/books?id=QPZEqZHKq2AC&q=Joda
//www.worldcat.org/oclc/76925010
https://books.google.com/books?id=mTM_9JTeoMIC&pg=PA350
//lccn.loc.gov/2006922018
//www.worldcat.org/oclc/68966384
https://web.archive.org/web/20130719133242/http://www.chron.com/news/article/Johnny-Nash-s-career-Clearly-had-more-depth-3637089.php
https://www.chron.com/news/article/Johnny-Nash-s-career-Clearly-had-more-depth-3637089.php
http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20091115/ent/ent6.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20120709081953/http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?type=&id=688&fulltext=1&media=
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