Jon Washington started his career in pop music in the early 1960’s as one of Reg Calvert’s Clifton Hall Artists.
His first record, Derinda was released on the English Oriol label in early 1961 under the name of Johnny Washington. His second release for Oriol Records (Tomorrow Is Another Day) came out later the same year. While still doing the teen age idle thing (Johnny was just 16 years old at the time) his manager (Reg Calvert) recruited him to front a back up group for one of Clifton Hall’s new artists. Rod Bainbridge, Barry Pritchard and Johnny were the back up vocalists and the guitar section of the new group.
This newly formed group became the nucleus of the world renowned vocal group, The Fortunes, whose Decca recordings of You’ve Got Your Troubles I’ve Got Mine, Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again and Seasons In The Sun topped the pop music charts all over the world. Washington left the group early in it’s development and was replaced by another Clifton Hall artist, Glen Dale.
Washington’s first solo record on the Phillips Fontana label gleaned him his first British Chart record with the Les Reed/Barry Mason song Spare A Thought For Me. (Recorded under the name of George E. Washington) In the mid 1960’s the group driven pop music format was all the rage in England and it was in the year of 1965 that Washington joined the hit recording group The Applejacks. The group topped the British pop charts with their ever popular songs Tell Me When, Three Little Words and Like Dreamers Do (written for the Applejacks by Lennon and McCartney) released on Decca records
The Applejacks moved to Columbia Records and released their single, You’ve Been Cheating and continued a hectic touring schedule all over the world. During the last years of The Applejacks (1969) Washington appeared in the Universal Movie The Voyage Of A Maiden (filmed in it’s entirety on board the newly launched British ocean liner The Queen Elizabeth 2. Washington and his partner Martin Baggott wrote the theme music for the movie titled Rosemary.
After four years with The Applejacks Washington left the group to become a cast member in the British production of the musical Hair. Inspired by his acting experience Washington decided to try his luck in the USA. His decision to pursue his career on the other side of the Atlantic was an easy one for Jon. His first visit to America was in 1965 and he had toured there many times through the years and this time he planned to make the move a permanent one.
On his arrival in the USA Washington lived in New York City and signed with the production team of Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. This association gave Washington his first American solo chart record with his self penned Columbia single Sugar Shine Lady. While in NYC he became a fixture in the studio background vocal scene, singing on many sessions for Atlantic Records and Eddie Kramer’s Electric Lady land studio in Greenwich Village.
In the year of 1974 Washington signed with the Midwest Destiny management organization who were over looking the career of hit recording artist Maureen McGovern at the time. His recording of the song You’ll Be My Baby Again spurred the Destiny organization to help Jon put together a cabaret act that would send him all over the USA coast to coast, from Las Vegas to Florida. The act was successful and Washington embarked on a touring schedule that kept him busy performing on the road sometimes 48 weeks out of the year.
In the 1980’s Jon signed with record producer and long time friend Doc Holiday (of the group The Soul Survivors fame) and he in turn secured Jon a deal with with Gene Kennedy’s Nashville Doorknob Records.
Under the guidance of Doc Holiday, Washington moved into the red-hot 1980’s Country Pop arena and immediately scored with five consecutive country chart records, the most notable being, his songs A One Dance Love Affair and Two Hearts. Both Songs hit both the Billboard and Cash Box charts and stayed there for several weeks. His recording of Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again also charted and has remained a staple of country radio and still continues to receive airplay throughout these many years.
His song If Looks Could Kill was the debut record on Doc Holidays Tug Boat Records. Jon performed this song on Dick Clark’s hit TV show Dance Party USA that featured a female teenage host called Kelly Ripa.
In the 1990’s Jon reverted to his roots and formed a new group Jon Washington’s Sounds Of The Fortunes.
He always loved the 3 part harmony sound of his former band mates and he missed performing with other vocalists. The group was a hit in Las Vegas they became the house band at the world famous Stardust Casino on the Las Vegas strip. Jon continued to perform there until The Stardust closed it’s doors in 2006.
The Sounds Of The Fortunes have released several albums and filmed a special at the National Theater in Richmond Virginia for the PBS network.
Washington continues to ply his craft as a song writer. His song Lady Of The Evening was the title cut on Scandinavian super star Bente Bo’s album that topped the charts in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
In March of 2003 Washington’s solo album I Can Feel A Love Coming On on Mega International Records was nominated for best new country album at the Grammy awards.
Jon recently released an album of his charted American country songs titled Jon Washington’s Greatest Country Hits. His album The Rain Tree (New Era Records) has cemented his success as a singer song writer in the USA and he continues to record and write songs today.
This year 2013. Jon has had two download singles that have achieved great success. I Don’t Want To Be The One Who Leaves received air play all over the world and has almost 40,000 hits on You Tube to date.
The new single My Tears Fall Like Rain was released February 14 2013 the song is being played by Internet streaming radio on an international level and the You Tube hits are rapidly approaching 100,000. The new singles are aimed at the adult contemporary market. They are two singles that have been released from the upcoming new album The Heart Break Chronicles on New Era Records. The album is set for release in the late summer of 2013.
Late last year Jon re-recorded and released a retro album of the old Applejacks songs titled The Applejacks The Hits and More…… on New Era Records. The album features two never before released tracks There Goes My Girl and Looking For A Girl Like You. All the afore mentioned records are available on all Internet music services world wide including iTunes, Amazon, Spotisfy etc.
Jon (who now makes his home in Las Vegas Nevada) has been writing books about the business of making music. His book The Fire Within is the story of several tragic celebrity lives that unfortunately came to an untimely end. The Lost Hero’s Of Rock n’ Roll is a tribute to all the pioneers of modern music. And his current book The British Are Coming is a look back at the groups and artists of the British Invasion from 1964-1969. Jon’s books are available on all Internet book stores and hard copies can be obtained an Barnes and Noble Books.