John Smith And The New Sound

At one point there was a real John Smith and a real New Sound backing band.   From 1965 till late 1967 the band had some good success on the charts.  John Smith was talented young man who in the mid 50s became infatuated with the American blues scene and  formed a skiffle band called Jubilee.   In the 60s he signed a solo deal with Parophone and released singles under the name of Bobby Dean.  Being managed by Bill Wellings he ended up EMI's Top Six label doing discount records cover songs.    These recording were release in the UK and Germany and had some good success.  The Vogue record label released these songs under the original name but also under the Four Kings as well on various 45" singles.   Two hits made this vaudeville band act relevant, covers of the New Vaudeville Band's original "Winchester Cathedral" and The Royal Guardsmen hit "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" ended up charting for the band.   By late 1967 John Smith himself had lost interest in pursuing this portion of his career and moved on to later relocate to Australia where he continued his musical career there.

In 1968 this left Bill Wellings with a band but no vocalist and he decided to continue use of the same name using multiple vocalists.   The was done without the consent or knowledge of the real John Smith.  Since Wellings was deep in the discount records business and was interchanging vocalist with Avenue Records at PYE Studios in London he had a talent pool to draw from.   A great deal of the work was done by the lead vocalist for a group called "The Excheckers" but by using multiple vocalists as fate would have it, across the hall were other recording sessions and new talent was emerging so Bill Wellings attempted to grab a bit of the charm from those sessions.

One such vocalist to take part in these recordings was David Byron who did vocals on multiple [but not all] tracks for two John Smith and the New Sound albums that followed under the original name.  The albums Rockin' With John Smith and Rock & Roll Again With John Smith were both released in 1968 but to this day it's not official which songs David's vocals are found on.   These releases featured covers with photos featuring the original band but John Smith's face was cut out of those photos.   No credits were listed for the musicians or the vocals on either album.   A good many of these tracks would have been recorded in the same sessions and both albums would have been mixed simultaneously given the time frame and the working of the sessions at hand.

At this point we have no proof to confirm nor deny the presence of David's voice.   We only have the recordings and the sound to go by so if you listen to the sound files you will hear what we refer to.   It appears that David did very little on the first work presented but considerably more on the second.  Did you ever wonder what gave Uriah Heep the idea for the Rock N' Roll Medley?   Well now you know.

Rockin' with John Smith



Original Release 1968

Original Album Credits:

No musician credits were listed

Producer: Bill Wellings
Mixed by: Bill Wellings
Recorded at: PYE International Studios, London
1968 Vogue / Pop Schallplatten
Catalog: ZS 10160

Track Listing:

01. Tutti Fruitti
02. Rave On
03. Good Golly Miss Molly
04. Girls In Love
05. Whole Lotta' Shakin' Going On
06. Judy In Disguise
07. Shakin' All Over
08. See See Rider
09. Shake Rattle And Roll
10.
Be-Bop-A-Lula
11. Ain't Nothing But A House Party
12. Heartbreak Hotel
13. All Shook Up
14. Rock Around The Clock

 

Rock & Roll Again With John Smith



Original Release 1968

Original Album Credits:

No musician credits were listed

Producer: Bill Wellings
Mixed by: Bill Wellings
Recorded at: PYE International Studios, London
1968 Vogue / Pop Schallplatten
Catalog: ZS 10169

Track Listing:

01. True Fine Mamma
02.
Bring It On Home To Me
03. Newspaper Man
04.
Matchbox [Sittin' Here Wonderin']
05.
What I Say
06. Something Else
07. Long Tall Sally
08. Sweet Little Sixteen
09. Hallelujah, I Love Her So
10. Hi Heal Sneakers
11. Memphis
12. Great Balls Of Fire
13.
Love Letters
14. Money

 

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