Long John Baldry
CBMA Blues Hall of Fame
Lifetime Achievement (2008)
John William Baldry , better known to the music world and lovers of the Blues as Long John Baldry left a rich legacy that includes many significant and historical contributions to contemporary blues music.
At a height of 6’ 7” this towering man from England was one of the first British musicians to bring Blues into the clubs in his native country. With a rich and deep voice, Baldry became a central and key figure on the British music scene in the 1960’s. In 1962 while singing with Alexis Korners’s Blues Incorporated, the ensemble produced the first British blues album titled R&B at the Marquee.
You might say the rest is history. Eric Clapton credits Long John Baldry with his inspiration to pick up the guitar and pursue a career in music. From the early 1960’s Baldry’s career associates consisted of a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the most legendary figures in contemporary Blues and Rock music. As a band leader he recorded and performed with Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Jack Bruce .In 1964 he forged a friendship with Paul McCartney and was invited by the Beatles to perform alongside them at the Cavern Club in Liverpool as well as on several television shows. During this period Baldry’s musical pursuits also included work with Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Bryan Auger and Nicky Hopkins.
John’s solo recordings during the 1960’s earned him only marginal success and minimal presence on the Billboard charts. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970’s to diversify his career. In 1978 Baldry moved from LA to Vancouver, B.C. and became a Canadian citizen.
A collaboration with Seattle vocalist Kathi McDonald in 1979 produced a version of the Righteous Brothers classic “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, which went to number five on the Billboard charts.
As a Stony Plain Records recording artist, Baldry’s 1997 album “Right To Sing the Blues” earned him a Juno Awards.
On July 21, 2005, Long John Baldry passed away at a Vancouver hospital of a severe chest infection.